March marks National Athletic Trainers Month, promoting
a profession dedicated to treating and preventing injuries in thousands of
athletes around the world.
“It’s a really big thing for us to be called athletic
trainers,” said Beth Kinslow, Interim Head Athletic Trainer. “We are viewed as
a healthcare profession and work with active individuals on a different level
than what a personal trainer would.”
Athletic trainers are different than personal trainers.
As an athletic trainer, medical care is provided to individuals of many
different activity levels and abilities. This could include recreational,
little league, high school and university sports.
“What we do as an athletic trainer is help athletes
come back from an orthopedic injury. We help students with muscle, bone, joints
or any number of injuries and evaluate them. Sometimes, we help them with
rehabilitation and sometimes help by referring them to a doctor,” Kinslow said.
Kinslow has served as an athletic trainer for 10 years.
She is a 2002 alumna of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and earned
her master’s degree at Oregon State University. This is her fourth year in
Stevens Point as an athletic trainer.
“I always knew I wanted to be in the healthcare field.
And I always liked sports and wanted to be a part of a team. Ultimately, I
wanted to help people and make a difference in their lives,” Kinslow said.
UWSP has a nationally accredited athletic training
program. The program currently has 34 students who help with the promotion of
National Athletic Trainers Month.
“In Sports Medicine Club we decide what we want to do
for the month. This year, we decided to focus on the education of preventing
injuries and explaining why we do what we do on a daily basis,” said Jon
Pickos, senior athletic training major.
Pickos explained that Athletic Trainers Month is the
perfect opportunity to advocate that athletic trainers are healthcare
professionals providing the information and guidance to help with various
“We’ve been hearing stories of athletes praising our
profession and saying that we as athletic trainers need to be recognized for
the work we do,” Pickos said. “I plan on going to medical school, and from this
experience I will advocate how important the field is.”
With the small size of the program,
Pickos also explained that students are able to have a personal connection with
all of their professors, who do everything with them step by step.
“Professors help us do all of our research. They teach,
act as our advisor and even help us make decisions for what we want to do after
we graduate. They are a great resource for us as students,” Pickos said.
The theme for the month is, “Every body needs an
athletic trainer.” The idea is to make sure that everyone has access to medical
attention and highlight how athletic trainers provide that service to their
students and patients.
“It’s a very rewarding
experience because I get to work with students and young adults daily and help
them. Whether it’s getting an athlete back onto the field or teaching a student
a lesson they will be able to use the rest of their career, every day is
different to us.”