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My sister thought it would be fun for me to give you a glimpse of a day in the life of an athletic trainer. My job responsibilities differ quite a bit from day to day, but this will give you a general overview of the professional side of my life.
As some of you may know, I work at a small NCAA Division II university as an athletic trainer/professor/clinical education coordinator. Yes, I am a woman of many titles. The main portion of my job is teaching the athletic training students and managing their clinical education. Here is what a typical day usually looks like for me:
I arrive to my office somewhere between 7:30 and 9:30, depending on whether I’ve got an 8:00 class that day or not. On the days that I don’t teach at 8, I have some free time in the morning to work on lesson plans and class prep. My other classes are at 11:00 and 12:00. The classes I teach are different than what you would typically expect. Athletic training classes are very hands-on, so usually I will give a short lecture, and then have my students practice different skills related to evaluating and treating injuries.
Eating lunch in my office–I usually BYOL.
Most days I have another free period from 1:00-2:00 when I usually do my grading. Then from 2:00-4:00, I hang out in the athletic training room where I take care of the athletes on the teams that have been assigned to me (this year it’s cross-country and track & field).
I have approximately 100 athletes between the men’s and women’s teams, so I keep busy! “Taking care of them” means consulting with the athletes, then evaluating, treating, and rehabilitating their injuries. Since I am a runner, I love working with the cross-country and track athletes because I understand their level of training and have experienced many of the common running injuries. I also have a few athletic training students who I have assigned to work with me/learn from me, so in our free time when there are no athletes to treat, I teach them new skills or have them practice skills they have already learned.
In the training room with my athletic training students.
When 4:00pm rolls around, I usually leave campus for the day, but one day a week I have to stay late. Since I am the clinical education coordinator, I have to check up on my athletic training students who have clinical rotations off campus. We have 13 off-campus clinical sites where our students are doing their athletic training hours. Once a week, I visit one of these sites to check in with their supervisors and make sure that everything is going well.
I usually arrive home around 5:00, just in time to prepare dinner so that it’s ready when my husband gets home! As you can imagine, I am never bored with my job, especially since it changes daily. In addition, since there are several different aspects to my job, I’m never in one place very long! It is tiring, but it is a very rewarding experience to help athletes heal and teach students how to serve athletes. I really enjoy it–most of the time.