Describe your setting:
Currently, I serve as the Exam Development Coordinator with the Board of Certification, Inc. (BOC). In addition, I am the Chairperson for the Nebraska Board of Athletic Training. Lastly, I perform contract risk management/athletic training services with X Med, Inc., mainly with Red Bull North America, Inc.
How long have you worked in this setting?
For the last 13 years, I have worked with X Med, Inc. in the role of risk management/Athletic Trainer. During this time, I have provided services at 43 large single or multi-day events. In addition, I have been employed at the BOC for five years in the role of Exam Development Coordinator. Lastly, I am in my second term serving on the Nebraska Board of Athletic Training.
Describe your typical day:
My work with X Med, Inc. as risk management/Athletic Trainer is on a contracted basis. Recently, we have been working with Red Bull North America, Inc. in providing risk management, medical and consulting services for selected events. These opportunities have been extremely valuable to my professional development. Red Bull is a very innovative company and we never know what they will come up with next. They have done everything from Flugtag (i.e., German for “day of flight”), cliff diving, freestyle motocross, Rampage, etc. Each of these events provides very unique and specific challenges in regard to risk management and medical coverage.
One of the biggest misconceptions about Action Sports events is that the general public does not view the participants as athletes! Because some of the activities these athletes perform are very different than traditional sports, it is easy to run with the thought that they are purely “crazy.” This is quite the contrary! These athletes take calculated risks and have extraordinary skills. The training methods and focus on health and fitness in the last 5-7 years for those involved in Action Sports are a large reason why we see the amazing performances more often. With the explosion in popularity of Action Sports has come a tremendous opportunity. In the past, most of the athletes have been on their own in regard to health care. As Athletic Trainers (ATs) working these events, we have the ability to do what we do best: build relationships and assist in caring for and preventing injuries.
What do you like about your position?
I love the fact that with all of the professional activities I am involved in, no day could be considered “typical.” Daily challenges keep me engaged and excited to get out of bed.
Working with X Med and Red Bull has allowed me to continually gain a new perspective on athletic training every time I go to an event, as each one is different. The new and unique challenges keep me excited about the future of athletic training, especially from the perspective of prevention and risk management. To me, they are one in the same to a degree. With risk management, we are taking the basic “prevention” concepts we learn as ATs and expand on them with concepts from OSHA, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other agencies.
What advice do you have about your practice setting for a young AT looking at this setting(s)?
Look at athletic training and personal development as “crafts.” There is always something to learn and ways to improve yourself. Ethics and morals go a long way when paired with a drive of self improvement. With 42,000+ ATs out there, it is not enough to just be good at what you do; you must be of good moral character as well. That is what will differentiate you from the masses and sustain yourself professionally and personally for years to come.