|Hamilton Sports Medicine certified athletic trainers are pictured. In the front, from left, are Stephanie Rynas, Katie Stauffer and Stephanie Wise. In the back are Joe Ogden, Tony Mathis, Sherman Howze, Crystal Clark and Kadaysha Pickens. Not pictured are Ryan Bonanno and Corey Stansifer.|
DALTON, Ga. (Oct. 2, 2014) – The clashing of helmets and shoulder
pads and the crack of the softball against the bat can only mean one
thing. Fall sports have begun.
With schools back in session, practices and games are now an everyday occurrence. But it’s not only the athletes and coaches preparing for games. Hamilton Sports Medicine certified athletic trainers are in full swing as well. There are 10 athletic trainers, employed by Hamilton Medical Center, who provide services to eight area high schools and Dalton State College.
“There is never a dull moment with our job,” said Stephanie Wise, Hamilton Sports Medicine athletic trainer at Coahulla Creek High School. “Providing the best care possible and getting these athletes safely back to play is our top priority.”
Although commonly confused with a personal trainer, an athletic trainer’s job is entirely different than a personal trainer. Athletic trainers complete more education and are required to have more skills in dealing with athletes. An athletic trainer is an allied health care professional who works to prevent, diagnose and treat athletic-related injuries, treat acute and chronic medical conditions, and deal with emergency situations.
Athletic trainers have an extensive background in concussions. The trainers play a significant role in providing parents with proper information regarding concussions and making sure athletes are only released back to play by a health care provider with proper training in concussions, a requirement of the Return to Play Act of 2013.
Commonly behind the scenes, athletic trainers deal with a multitude of tasks. Some of their activities include: injury treatment, athletic event coverage, concussion testing and management, assistance with yearly sports physicals and wrestling weight assessments, in-services to parents, coaches and staff, and involvement in many community events.
Athletic trainers must graduate from an accredited athletic training program and meet the requirements to sit for their certification exam by the Board of Certification. Once certified, most states require them to obtain licensure to practice. Most are part of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, a professional membership association with more than 35,000 members.