Manchester University
Oak Leaves

December 7, 2018

AT 1

Senior athletic training majors Mikayla Patterson and Rachel Roths help a student athlete.

Photo provided

Athletic Training Students Gain Real-World Experience

Alexandria Collins


This year the athletic training staff went all out trying to make every athlete healthy while also learning. With putting many hours into the job, the staff did a great job of keeping the players in the right position to succeed, while being at every game.

Not only do athletic trainers help athletes, they help students become athletic trainers themselves.  According to head athletic trainer Erin Foreman, “Athletic trainers are highly skilled multi-skilled health care providers trained in prevention, examination, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of acute, chronic injuries and general medical conditions and the referral process.”

Junior Haley Farris is currently taking her Clinical Rotation course. “I got tons of real-life experience,” she said “Our head athletic trainer Erin wanted our clinical rotation to be as close to the real world and that was a little nerve racking but very practical and beneficial for us.”

Being an athletic training student means early mornings and late nights. Students spend roughly five hours a day between preparation, practice and clean up, and usually spend around 350-380 hours in the field each season.

“Time management has always been one of my strengths.” Farris added, “I use my phone and the calendar app as well as a planner to organize and write everything down because it gets stressful in the fall when I also had basketball work outs onto of class.”

On the academic side, head athletic trainer Foreman uses a program called “Atrack” that tracks the students’ clinical hours for accreditation purposes.

Farris is having a positive experience within the collegiate setting. “I love building relationships with the students and staff, that’s my favorite part,” she said. “It’s so rewarding when you have such an impact on athletes when they go through an injury and to be a part of their rehab and recovery process.”

Indeed, the role of an athletic trainer is often unsung. “People don’t always understand everything that goes into being an athletic trainer,” Farris said. “We prepare water and ice baths and bags before practice. We set up the field, we do treatment for a couple hours prior to practice which may include rehab or warm up and taping and bracing. Then the actual practice or game occurs and then after we help with recovery, meaning ice and cleanup.”

Foreman notes that after graduation, students may have a variety of professional opportunities. “Athletic trainers can be employed in the workman’s comp setting or in physician offices,” she said. “They can be employed at ski resorts or performing art centers. Police and fire departments and academic situations. Rural and urban hospitals, hospital emergency rooms, urgent and ambulatory care centers. Regardless of their practice setting, athletic trainers practice according to their scope of practice and state practice acts.”