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A New Wrinkle for Athletic Trainers: Safe Return From COVID

March 11, 2022

National Athletic Training Month is celebrated every year in March in recognition of the expertise and efforts of athletic trainers across the globe. It is dedicated to those who play a vital role in the development and health of athletes at various levels. Whether it’s wrapping ankles or helping athletes through a mental block, athletic trainers are integral to the health of millions.

What Does an Athletic Trainer Do?

An athletic trainer’s main goal is injury prevention, which includes:
  • Conducting injury assessments.
  • Implementing therapeutic exercise programs.
  • Providing emergency medical care to athletes of all ages.
Athletic trainers work under the direction of physicians, collaborating with physical therapists and other healthcare professionals to provide care to athletes. “At Hartford HealthCare we are able to refer and coordinate care amongst the dozens of specialists throughout the state in our network, with a quick message or email so that kids can be seen on the same day,” says Emily Gorki Cruzeiro, a Certified Athletic Trainer at Hartford HealthCare Rehabilitation Network.

Who Benefits From Athletic Training?

All active populations can benefit from athletic training services. With each population comes a new set of challenges. Whether it is youth, high school, college or professional athletes, performing artists, industrial workers and our active military service members. [embed]https://youtu.be/3G-DkiJOZfw[/embed]

What Is the Most Rewarding Part of the Job?

“The most rewarding piece of our job is to see an athlete from initial injury to being back on the field. Knowing that we had a hand in their care and recovery is encouraging and exciting,” says Cruzeiro. “Educating individuals on how to best care for their bodies is our main goal, and seeing that in action is rewarding.” With the specialization and education, athletic trainers are capable of providing care in many capacities. COVID has required a new skill set, so many athletic trainers have developed and implemented safe-return practices for athletes post COVID infection. “I am especially proud of my colleagues at Hartford HealthCare for always advocating for their athletes and continuing to provide excellent care despite the challenges COVID has presented," says Cruzeiro.