"My advice would be to get started early. If you are in high school and enjoy being around sports and want to be a part of athletic training, volunteer. Shadow an athletic trainer. Ask questions."

Role Model Photo Lori Groover

Health Field: Athletic Trainer

Number of years in the profession:
14 year

Years in College: 4 years

Professional Credentials:

How did you know this career was what you wanted to do?
I wasn't completely sure when I began college, but after my freshman year of college I had to have knee surgery. My ligaments weren't strong enough and so after surgery I spent a week in the hospital doing rehab and really got interested in this area. I was fortunate to work with an athletic trainer during this time, and really learned more about the field. Once I got into the program in college, I knew instantly that this would be where I wanted to go. After doing my first observation period at a local high school I KNEW high school was where I wanted to work.

What other careers did you consider?
Physical therapy, but I didn't like being indoors all day and I wanted to work with the orthopedic related injuries, as well as the athletic minded.

What experiences in your life developed your interest in your career?
2 knee surgeries really set the mind in motion. Living in the dorms with someone who was already in the athletic training program helped as well.

What early preparations did you take (in high school and college) to reach your career goal?
Besides my own personal history of the knee surgeries, and going through rehabilitation was my only "outside of school" exposure I had to the program.

What things did you find to be difficult as you prepared for your career?
Admissions process was tough--it is a selective admission program and you are competing with many others for a select number of spots. The classes were tough, but I was so intrigued with the program that I enjoyed studying. The hours took a bit of adjustment, with classes in the morning, and then working in the athletic training room in the afternoon and working games as well.

How did you overcome these challenges?
I was determined to get into the program so I gave it my all.

Was your family supportive of you through your college (or other training) years?
Yes

Did you have a job and work while you were going to college or other training? No


Present Career as a Athletic Trainer


Describe an average work day for you.
In the beginning of my career I worked for a sports medicine clinic but was assigned 1 high school. I would go to the school around 1:00 and stay there until all practices/events were completed. I was the sole athletic trainer and I had 1 high school student who helped me out. I worked in a rural school but it was wonderful. The parents and kids were so appreciative of the services I provided. It was hard to leave, but I left for a full time athletic trainer position in another part of the state. This time I was hired by the school directly. It was a private school but they had never had an athletic trainer before, full time, so I had my work cut out for me. I loved having my own program, establishing policies and procedures, recruiting high school students to volunteer. It was a great experience for me and I stayed there for 8 years. I left to do a 1 year fellowship as a physician extender. After 12 years as a full time athletic trainer in a high school, and the one year physician extender fellowship, I have made the transition to the academic side of athletic training in a college. I so much enjoy working with athletic training students and watching them progress through their career. I teach an average of 4 classes a day, oversee 3-4 clinicals and work with the athletic training student club.

How many hours do you work in an average week?
30-40

What kind of health care setting do you work in?
Academic - college Have worked: Hospital-sports medicine outreach to a high school High School - full time athletic trainer for the high school and covered some middle school events Physicians office - Physician Extender Fellow- worked clinic, administration, and assisted in O.R.

What do you see as strengths needed for your career?
*Communication skills are so important. Being able to talk to various health care providers, administrators, parents, and athletes is so vital to the athletic trainer. *Passion - You have to love your job as an athletic trainer. You work behind the scenes, with very little accolades.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Watching an athlete return to the sport he/she loves and to continue to excel in that sport.

What advice would you give to those who are interested in your career?
Get started early. If you are in high school and enjoy being around sports and want to be a part of athletic training, volunteer. Shadow an athletic trainer. Attend summer camps/workshops for athletic training students. Ask questions.

If you could start over, would you still make the same decision to pursue education?
ABSOLUTELY YES!

Do you plan to pursue opportunities for advancement in your career field?
I have obtained the OTC credential already, plan on obtaining the CSCS credential and hope to continue my education by obtaining my doctorate degree.

View Other Professionals in this Field
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