In-Depth Look: Athletic Trainer Who Practices in a Clinical and Industrial Setting

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Lillian Lorang, MS, ATC practices in both a clinical and industrial setting through her employment with Select Physical Therapy in Omaha, Nebraska. She has been practicing as an Athletic Trainer (AT) for 3 years.

Describe your setting:

My role is unique in that I practice in both the clinical and industrial setting through my employment with Select Physical Therapy. I spend part of the day practicing in the clinic and part onsite at a local manufacturing facility.

In the clinical setting, my main job responsibilities are working with clients on office ergonomic assessments, driver ergonomic evaluations and post offer employment testing. I am also responsible for marketing efforts for the clinic as well as some office and administration work.

In the industrial setting, I am the WorkStrategies Specialist and run an early symptom intervention onsite program at the manufacturing facility. In this program, my goal is to help employees work in less pain through prevention programs and assessing risk factors on the lines they work on. I also partner with the engineers in the company to help make sure they are putting in equipment that is ergonomically sound to decrease the number of possible recordables.

Describe your typical day:

My typical day starts in the clinic, where I work on office and administration tasks. Then, around lunch, I head over to the manufacturing facility where I meet with the environmental health and human safety manager. During the meeting, we discuss any of their concerns or concerns from their employees. Then, I will check the activities on the manufacturing floor. I sometimes watch people doing their jobs and make sure they are using correct lifting techniques. Other times, I talk with the employees and ask them what bothers them about a particular job and what suggestions they have to solve it. I also observe lines and write a report on it. The report details the exact processes, its risk factors and how to mitigate them. Each day is a little different depending on what needs to get down and that’s one of the reasons I like this position.

What do you like about your position?

What I enjoy most about this job is I am positively affecting my patients’ livelihood. No one likes to be in pain when they work. Worst yet, no one likes to be in pain from work, so much so that it effects life outside of work. If I am able to help prevent someone from getting hurt or help reduce their pain at work, then I feel like I have done my job. This job is also very rewarding because it gives the employees a chance to be heard. I perform many activities where I seek out employee comments or concerns about a task and see if I can make it better.

What is your greatest achievement as an Athletic Trainer?

My greatest achievement as an Athletic Trainer would be helping pave the path for new settings for ATs to showcase their multitude of talents.

What advice do you have about your practice setting for a young AT looking at this setting?

Advice that I would give for a young AT looking to go in to this setting is keep an open mind and always be willing to learn. This is the type of setting is not taught in school so it important to be willing to learn new things.

Also learning to communicate effectively with employees and management is helpful as well. That means taking time to learn common terms or words so you can essentially “speak their same language.” I find employees and management are a lot more receptive to your ideas and suggestions if you can speak in their terms.

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Today’s manufacturing plants are not the stereotypical dimly lit and dirty places that we are used to seeing in movies. Manufacturing plants today are held to very high standard for cleanliness and safety by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

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