Athletic trainers have expanded roles

Published 12:24 pm Thursday, June 25, 2020

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The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our daily lifestyle but for athletic trainers the change has been sudden and dramatic.

Athletic trainers have to be in close contact with athletes when they diagnose a potential injury, apply treatment or even apply support tape to ankles.

Arguably the most important job an athletic trainer has nowadays is the application and enforcement of mandated COVID-19 guidelines. Without these guidelines being enforced there would be no sports activities.

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Claiborne County has two on-staff Athletic Trainers, one at each high school. Ally Rines at Claiborne High and Mara Brock. Brock is the athletic trainer for Cumberland Gap High School and she spoke about a typical day, “Each athlete has to have the COVID-19 county disclaimer signed by parent before allowed to participate in any activity.”

She continued, “We have to screen each athlete/coach (ourselves included) for COVID-19 symptoms and temperature checks keeping daily logs of it, following National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) recommendations. We are also encouraging social distancing and absolutely no contact activities allowed.”

“If any athlete has symptoms or a fever (high temp above 100.3) they are being sent to a family doctor for proper testing. Thankfully, none has been sent yet and we are also having to make each athlete supply their own water from home and they are not allowed to share.

As far as I go, I have to arrive early to practices to have the time to screen each athlete prior to exercise, make sure each has had their form signed and make sure everyone has been logged. We are also maintaining proper sanitation of supplies used.”

Brock added, “The purpose of the log is to know who was where and when in case someone on a team is exposed- we have proper tracking of who was in contact with them but I hope that doesn’t ever happen.”

When it comes to her athletes Mara said this, “The kids just want to play and they will do whatever they have to in order to do so.”