Behind the Scenes of an Athletic Trainer

Behind the Scenes of an Athletic Trainer

We see athletic trainers at every game at SNU, but what does being an athletic trainer entail? To answer my questions, I went to the head athletic trainer at SNU, Travis Veatch, to get some behind the scenes information on the life of an athletic trainer.

I learned from this interview that an athletic trainer does a lot more than we would think they do. He walked me through his day to explain his work and everything he does:

“A typical day as an Athletic Trainer at SNU begins in the morning where time is spent working on administrative duties and processing medical insurance claims some of our athletes have accumulated from doctor’s visits, etc. “

While many people see the exterior, physical side of an athletic trainer’s job, running to players in need and assisting athletes with medical issues, it was surprising to hear they process insurance claims. Veatch does much more than simply physically assist athletes.

Veatch went on to say, “The athletic training room is then open from 1-6pm every day during the week. This is the time I see athletes for treatments and/or rehabilitation of any injuries they may be dealing with. Lastly, depending on what sporting events are going on each week, I may have an event to cover in the evening or on the weekend.”

Many may see Veatch at the home basketball games and wondered if he or any of the other athletic trainers traveled with the teams. Travis explains, “We, as an Athletic Training staff, currently travel to all away games with football, men’s and women’s soccer, volleyball, men’s and women’s basketball. We also travel some with baseball and softball in the spring.”

With the number of athletic teams that SNU has, it is difficult for the athletic trainers to make it to all the games, Veatch explaining, “We try to travel to all away games with the sports that are considered high-injury contact sports. These include football, soccer, and basketball.”

Their jobs look slightly different during away games as they focus more on the athletes than the administration, Veatch saying, “We basically try to serve the athletes’ medical needs about the same we would if they were playing at home. We would perform pre-game treatments and taping, provide first responder and acute care during the games, and lastly, post-game treatments.”

Athletic trainers assist athletes on a daily basis, but this is not the task Veatch considers to be his most common job. Veatch explains, “I would have to say that communication is the thing I do most as an Athletic Trainer. I am constantly communicating with student/athletes when I evaluate their injuries. Then I must communicate with coaches on their athlete’s injuries and what limitations/restrictions they may have each day. Finally, I communicate with our team of doctors regarding treatment and physical therapy plans for our athletes.  Successful Athletic Trainers must all be good communicators.”

Veatch, along with SNU’s other athletic trainers, works incredibly hard on a daily basis to ensure the safety and health of SNU’s athletes. Athletic trainers may not be out on the court, field or course, but they are the unsung heroes of athletes everywhere.

(Photo courtesy of Google Images)