ADA OK -- For the athletic trainers at East Central University, National Athletic Training Month is a time to spread awareness about how vital they are to student athletes.
"From the time an injured athlete goes down on the field, we're down with them all the way through the initial clinical diagnosis, the immediate care of that injury,and then on maybe to a referral to a physician or other healthcare professional,and then on to the rehabilitative part of that injury," said Interim Assistant Athletic Trainer, Brittany Klaus. "So we see them from the beginning to the end."
ECU offers a two-year Athletic Training Education Program that allows undergraduate students to learn the skills necessary to become a certified athletic trainer. They also learn that sometimes the job doesn't always mean they'll be working on the sidelines.
"Athletic Trainers don't just always work in your traditional school," said Klaus. "Cirque Du Soleil has athletic trainers on staff, so performing arts industry throughout different places. Not all athletes wear jerseys."
Athletic Trainers work with athletes on a daily basis. Their jobs are to get the athlete healthy as soon as possible, and senior football player, Talon Starkey, says trainers have helped him stay on the field.
"I've been here for four years and never missed a season and that's a very big accomplishment for a student athlete to not miss a season due to an injury," said Starkey.
But athletes aren't the only ones that benefit. Senior athletic trainer, Jon Clark, says it gives him an advantage over others in the medical field.
"We have that special relationship with them," said Clark. "They trust us, they know us, and we understand and know them. An athletic trainer who's around them all the time will know how they normally act. We'll be able to tell be able to tell the difference in their mood and be able to sit them down and talk to them about it."