I am Thankful to be an Athletic Trainer – Part 1
Editor’s Note: Being thankful and celebrating the good things in life are very much a part of this time of year. As year-end approaches, it’s important to look back and review your achievements and be proud of your accomplishments. In this series, our BOC guest writers take a look back at their career as Athletic Trainers and share their stories on what makes them feel thankful to be in this profession.
Being Thankful for Being Prepared
By Beth Wolfe, CAGS, ATC
The motto of the Boy Scouts of America is “Prepared. For Life” and I strongly believe Athletic Trainers (ATs) embody this principle both as healthcare professionals and good Samaritans (Boy Scouts of America, 2015). Ever since I became CPR certified in high school, I have always carried a pocket mask, gloves and whistle on my lanyard or car keys as you never know when an emergency might occur. Since 2010, I have had to use my emergency equipment as a first responder 5 times in 5 years and none of those emergencies occurred while providing athletic training services.
Whether walking to class, standing on a street corner or riding the subway, emergencies happen when we least expect it and literally may fall at your feet. My knowledge, skills and training in emergency care as an AT equipped me to help those in need when seconds matter. Although I am not a Boy Scout, I feel every AT has a special merit badge in knowing that we have been trained, equipped and prepared to act when life may take an unexpected turn for the worst. Being a part of a profession that campaigned “We Prepare - You Perform” for National Athletic Training Month (2015) is a symbol/merit badge I am proud to wear. Life is precious and fragile, and I am thankful that athletic training has prepared me and given me a skillset that can help save a life.
Boy Scouts of America. (2015). About the BSA: BSA at a Glance. Retrieved from: http://www.scoutingnewsroom.org/about-the-bsa/at-a-glance/.
By Devon Serrano, MS, LAT, ATC
My first solo season has been one of firsts: my first solo game coverage, my first work-related flights, my first season of crazy injuries, the first time I questioned my sanity and the first time a parent gave me my confidence back.
I fell in love with athletic training at the age of 16 and did everything possible to pursue it. After what seemed to be a lifetime of studying and clinical hours, the moment I received my master’s degree in clinical athletic training seemed like the most important moment of my career. I took my first contract position filled with hope and ambition; I only had a small idea of what I was getting myself into.
My first season has opened my eyes in ways I didn’t know possible. I saw injuries I only read about in textbooks, and I worked harder than I ever knew possible. Somehow I managed to care for a Division I team while working on my doctorate.
Needless to say, there were times I questioned everything. “Am I good enough to be here?” “Am I doing enough for my athletes?” “What is going on?” “What am I thinking?” The list goes on and on.
After the last game of the season and our ceremony to honor the seniors, I was talking to the mother of one of the senior captains. I thanked her for trusting me to take care of her daughter and the rest of the team this season. The athlete’s mother looked at me with the most genuine look in her eyes as she grabbed my forearm and smiled. She then said she felt confident her daughter was receiving the care she needed. Every time she spoke to her daughter, she would say that she and I were working together on the right direction for her care.
“I trust you,” she said as she watched me choke up. “When a mama knows she can trust you, you know you’ve found your calling.”
That one statement means more to me than any win possibly could. It reminded me of why I entered this profession in the first place almost 10 years ago and makes me thankful to be an Athletic Trainer