Washburn athletic training students: “We’ve got your back”

March is National Athletic Training Month where Athletic Trainers all over the nation come together to help promote the growing allied health profession, Washburn University is no exception.

The theme this year for Athletic Training Month, sponsored by the National Athletic Trainer’s Association (NATA), is “we’ve got your back.”

“During March the NATA emphasizes advocating for Certified Athletic Trainers and promoting athletic training to the public,” said Haley Holwick, a senior athletic training major. “To promote NATM we recently did an activity in Memorial Union, and will be doing another activity in the Petro lobby this Friday [March 14]. It was a lot of fun because it was kind of like ‘Wheel of Fortune.’ We had categories listed on a spinning wheel and then asked the participant questions about that category.”

Holwick is in charge of the promotions committee for Washburn University’s Student Athletic Training Society. Throughout the school year Holwick collaborates with the four full-time certified athletic trainers at Washburn and her fellow athletic training students to devise games, design posters, and table around campus.

“This role includes organizing activities around campus to promote NATM,” said Holwick. “During the year I also get SATS members organized to cover campus activities such as the Activities and Majors Fair. We also have been trying to get PSA’s out to local radio and TV stations to be announced over the month of March.”

Creating awareness for the duties performed by athletic trainers is a challenge. Most peoples’ exposure to athletic trainers is through high school sports or through television. The idea behind National Athletic Training Month is to show that athletic trainers do more than just tape ankles.

“Athletic training is a one of a kind profession,” said Holwick. “Athletic trainers are health care professionals that are under the supervision of physicians and specialize in prevention, evaluation, rehabilitation and treatment of sport related illnesses and injuries.”

In order to become a certified athletic trainer one must graduate from a Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) accredited institution. The student must then pass a Board of Certification exam to become certified. The biggest misnomer of athletic training is that they only work with athletes.

A good chunk of athletic trainers are employed by secondary schools and colleges, but there are a multitude of settings where an athletic can be handy. Some of these settings include clinics, hospitals, military, performing arts, law enforcement and as a physician extender.

Washburn University’s four full-time certified athletic trainers are Steve Ice, John Burns, Karen Garrison, and Michael Ramirez who oversee more than 30 students who vie for limited spots in Washburn’s athletic training program.

The athletic traning  program is a three-year program that consists of working with Washburn’s 10 athletic teams. Jamie Blackim and Caitlin Ferre are certified graduate assistant athletic trainers who assist with the Washburn athletic teams.