An In Depth Look with… Scott Sunderland, ATC

An In Depth Look with…Scott Sunderland, ATC

Describe your setting:  My work setting is the collegiate athletics setting in athletics clinical care athletic training and I hold the position of Head Athletic Trainer.  I also serve the Department of Athletics as Assistant Director of Athletics w/ responsibilities in facility management, supervision of other support staff, and assisting the Director of Athletics.  Knox College is NCAA Div III and we play in
the Midwest Conference which is composed of schools from Illinois, Wisconsin, and Iowa.  Knox College is a liberal arts institution w/ 1400 students of which approximately 325 participate in 21 different sports.

How long have you worked in this setting?  I am in my 21st year, 18 full-time years at the college.  The prior 2.5 years I worked for an orthopedic group and I was contracted to Knox College as their first Athletic Trainer.

Describe your typical day:  My day can begin anywhere from 5:30am to 8:30am and last from anywhere to 7:00pm to 10:00pm minus any travel.  The early start will involve a morning workout with one of our pre-season sports and then I move into morning treatments and rehabs mixed with some administrative functions of meetings with the Athletic Department administrative staff, working with individual coaches and others from the campus on administrative topics as it relates to athletics.

I also teach a Care and Prevention of Athletic Injuries in our Department of Sport Studies during our spring term and work with a variety of students throughout the year in some independent studies in related topics where essentially I guide them through self learning on topics related to sports, health, wellness, and injury. The early afternoon continues more of the same from the morning and then we move to practice prep for the afternoon practices and then to practice coverage.  If necessary, we overlap the afternoon practices with practice/competition prep for any evening activities.  All throughout that time, I work with the athletic training staff organizing the staffing of practices, mentoring them in the care of their assigned athletes, updating and re-writing our protocols, dealing with insurance issues and filing insurance paper work and managing our budget.  The day always ends with a practice or competition and post treatments and evaluations.

What do you like about your position?
The variety of tasks, I am always busy, and being on the front lines and involved in most of our Athletic Department activities.  I like to be a leader and I like the idea of being task oriented which this job requires.

What do you dislike about your position?  Long hours.

What advice do you have about your practice setting for a young Athletic Trainer looking at this setting?  Have fun.  Most of what we deal with can really be fun.  Enjoy the student athletes you get the opportunity to work with. Always remember they are the reason you are here.

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