TO: PROFESSOR QUINNFROM: JENNIFER SOLANICSDATE: 03/16/2011SUBJECT: ATHLETIC TRAINING Recently I interviewed two professionals in the field of Athletic Training, both from theUniversity of Toledo. One was my own team’s Athletic Trainer, Robyn Hafner, who is aGraduate Assistant here at the university. The other is the University of Toledo’s Assistant HeadAthletic Trainer, Brian Jones. I chose these two people so that I could see the difference betweendifferent positions and learn about the experiences getting to each one. Since Mr. Jones is thehead of the Athletic Trainers here at the university, I used all of his information for the “AgencyBackground” section, which refers to the University of Toledo as the agency.Professional’s Background There is a lot of things that need to be done in order to obtain a job as an AthleticTraining (also known as an ATC- Certified Athletic Trainer). First, like most jobs, you need acollege education. For Athletic Training, you need a bachelor’s of science degree in AthleticTraining. This is a four year degree. Most universities do offer this degree. Ms. Hafner receivedher bachelor’s degree at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan. After you graduatewith a bachelor’s of science degree in Athletic Training, you need to take the Board ofCertification (BOC) exam. This is what certifies you and makes you an ATC, assuming you passit. All states have their own rules, but in order for Ms. Hafner to be able to work in Ohio she hadto apply for a state licensure. Based on this, I would assume that there is a required licensure foreach state, but they all may differ. For Ohio, she had to go through a process that included a
written exam, a background check and fingerprinting. The licensure needs to be renewed everytwo years. As I stated earlier, both of the people that I interviewed work here at the University ofToledo so both of their work environments are the same, but still extremely different. Ms. Hafneris Graduate Assistant, which means she is the head trainer for a team but it is attending theUniversity of Toledo to get her master’s degree in Athletic Training. She does not have her ownroom for her office but instead she has her own desk that is in a room shared by all the GraduateAssistant Athletic Trainers. On the other side, Mr. Jones has his own office in the front of thetraining room, and even a name plaque! They both work in the training room where there isnumerous tables to attend to athletes with and many tools to help them in rehabilitation. There isS.T.E.M. (which helps relieve pain by sending electrical impulses), an ice bath, a pool with atreadmill in it and they have free access into the weight room along with many tools to assist inrehabilitation such as tennis balls, bozo balls, body blades and more. When it comes torehabilitation with the student-athletes, Ms. Hafner has a lot more contact with her athleteswhereas Mr. Jones has his Graduate Assistants and other coaches help his students inrehabilitation. Here at the university, Ms. Hafner is in charge of softball and Mr. Jones is in charge ofbasketball as their main sports. Obviously, Mr. Jones has to oversee everything that is going onbecause of position. He just doesn’t have to attend every team’s practices. Being an AthleticTrainer, they both have to attend every practice, conditioning and weights. They need to be thereto supervise at all times in case someone gets hurt. Based on this, and the fact that teams canpractice twenty hours a week and have people in rehabilitation, Athletic Trainers put in a lot ofhours. With Ms. Hafner, she has three students who are currently here majoring in Athletic
Training, and they have to attend every practice that they can make it to and all the home games.Ms. Hafner will go to all the games, including the away games, and it is all paid for for her. Thedress code for them is also quite different. Because Mr. Jones has such a high position, he has towear a suit and tie while he sits with the team on the bench during games. On the other hand, Ms.Hafner wears a polo given to her from the Athletic Training department and khaki bottoms. Thisis also due to the fact that she is on a softball field where there is a lot of dirt. She receives a lotof clothing from the department including numerous polos, coats and a huge parka as well as theclothing and shoes she receives from the softball team. An Athletic Trainer’s responsibilities are what many people imagine they would be.Their responsibilities are prevention, assessment, treatment and rehabilitation of injuries andillnesses that occur to athletes. Prevention refers to many things such as therapy and providingice bags or stretching. Assessment means properly finding out what is wrong and how to fix itwhen an injury or illness occurs. Treatment and rehabilitation is a wide variety of things frommedicine to crèmes to weights. They are also responsible for making doctor’s appointments fortheir athletes and being at every practice and game. They can sometimes have to cover for otherAthletic Trainer’s practices or events. With Ms. Hafner still attending school, she has to scheduleher classes around her team’s practice schedule which can be very difficult. She basically livesthe life of a student-athlete because of having extremely early classes or extremely late classesand basically has no free time. Ms. Hafner and Mr. Jones both love their work very much. Ms. Hafner has previouslyworked with high school students in the sports of soccer, baseball, and football as well as youthcamps. She likes working with college athletes better because of the maturity, competitive spiritand the dedication. Some of the positives that they both agreed on was being around sports and
helping athletes. Ms. Hafner also said that other positives were that she could further hereducation and that she has great co-workers and boss. The only negative that they both seemed tocome up with was the long, long hours. They didn’t even complain about body odor!II. Agency Background According to the University of Toledo Sports Medicine website: The primary goal of the Rocket Sports Medicine Department is to provide the best quality care to each and every student-athlete. The staff is trained to provide quick, accurate evaluations and expertise with the aid of excellent facilities and resources.This purpose is fulfilled by having numerous Athletic Trainers and assistants for every sport sothat enough care can be provided at all times. There is a head Athletic Trainer for each sport aswell as 35 students who assist them. Also, as a result of the merger between the University ofToledo and the Medical College of Ohio in 2006, there has been a lot better health care servicesprovided for the student-athletes here at the University of Toledo. The Sports Medicine Department has many locations on campus. There is an AthleticTraining room located in Larimer, Savage Arena, and the Scott Park Campus. Most of the sportsuse only one of the three facilities. Football is the only sport that uses the Larimer facility, seeingas they are the only team that practices there. They also use the Savage Arena training room forrehabilitation when needed. The only other sports that use two training rooms are the baseballteam, soccer team and softball team. This is because their fields are located at the Scott ParkCampus but they practice in the winter at Savage and the weight room is there. The SportsMedicine Department serves every student-athlete and their coaches. The Sports Medicine getsfunding from the university, donors, government, and occasionally fundraisers.
III. Comparison & Summary Impressions Honestly, I didn’t really learn much more than I already knew. I’ve been to enoughbasketball games and seen Mr. Jones enough to already know what he does and of course I knowwhat Ms. Hafner does because she is my Athletic Trainer. I have also been in rehabilitation withher so I know what that process is like as well. I didn’t know how much she really enjoyedworking with us, so that was really nice to hear. It was also nice to know that someone thinksthat we have maturity. What I learned most from this, was that being an Athletic Trainer takes a lot of work.Along with everything that we do, they are constantly working out as well to stay in shape. Imean, be honest, I wouldn’t want or trust an Athletic Trainer who was out of shape or extremelyoverweight. I think that people do not give enough credit to Athletic Trainers. The techniques arenot as easy as everyone thinks and they have to memorize a lot of symptoms and signs and knowwhat to do on the spot. I don’t know if Athletic Training is for me, but it is definitely interesting.I wish that one didn’t have to put so much time into it, but I guess that is how all jobs go.