Describe your setting: I work as a clinical based, outreach AT. I am based out of Athletic Republic, a sports enhancement clinic. This clinic is partnered with an outpatient Physical Therapy clinic. Both of these offices are owned and managed by our local hospital. I provide full time athletic training services to our cities largest high school and outreach to two smaller area schools.
How long have you worked in this setting? I have provided outreach athletic training services to the Columbus area since 1995. I have worked with our cities largest high school since 1995 but worked with many different smaller schools during that time.
Describe your typical day: Is there really a “typical” day in athletic training? On days that I visit my smaller schools it goes something like this. Drive 45 miles to the first school, arriving at 8:30am. Check in with the AD and perform the evaluations. Follow up with the appropriate coaches and phone parents if necessary. Travel on to my second school and repeat the process! When I return I generally try to work out and eat lunch. I stop in to the clinic in the early afternoon for paper work and correspondence. I arrive at the high school I cover in town, usually by 2:00pm. This is when my normal day starts! I perform all the rehabilitation and get athletes ready for practice. Most of our practices run from 4-6:30pm. Several of our sports practice off campus so I have to be available to travel to their practice sites as needed. Our contract with the school only provides practice coverage and two home events per week along with all varsity football. As many of us do, I try to cover all home events if possible. I do travel with teams but generally only for district and state competitions.
What do you like about your position? I love the opportunity to have my own primary high school to work with, along with bringing athletic training services to schools that otherwise would not have the resources to have an Athletic Trainer. Outside of specific times, my schedule does allow for some flexibility and I enjoy that.
What do you dislike about your position? My biggest concern is the time factor. Even on a slow day, it may take up to 12 hours to complete my 8 hour day. And with having a large number of athletes from three high schools competing at many different locations, it is hard to be everywhere at once.
What advice do you have about your practice setting for a young athletic trainer looking at this setting? My position has two distinct settings. When I am working at the large high school, it is a very traditional setting of athletic training. I am usually at the event and do the initial evaluation and follow the athlete on a daily basis until they are ready to return to their sport. At the smaller schools, I am usually doing an evaluation several days after the injury and making appropriate recommendations to the athlete and coach. I use the same skills, but with a little different management. I love the combination of the two settings.
The only other issue is time management. I struggled with this early in my career. There is time available during the day; it just takes organization to get everything accomplished. It will always be a challenge; I am now a single father of two and at times I have to rely on great co-workers to assist me in getting everything done. I had to learn to be flexible and to realize I can’t be everywhere at once.