March is an important month for a select group at Goucher College. Though they are usually behind the scenes, National Athletic Trainers Appreciation Month brings their hard work and dedication to the spotlight. The three athletic trainers, Ryan Price, Rachel Robbins, and Conor Trainer, are an integral part of every sports team here at Goucher.
Rachel Robbins recently joined the athletic training staff at Goucher College, but already feels at home in her new environment.
"Since I started at Goucher in January, I only had the opportunity to work closely with the men's lacrosse program and I loved working with the team," said Robbins. "I can't wait to work with more sports at Goucher next year!"
Although Robbins is new to Goucher, athletic training was the natural course for her career.
"I always knew I wanted to work in healthcare and I was involved with sports growing up," Robbins remarked. "Athletic training is the best of both worlds! I love working with athletes and being around sports."
Robbins decided to be a collegiate athletic trainer while she was still in school. During her undergraduate time at Towson University, she found her calling. At Towson, East Stroudsburg University, and Division III Fairleigh Dickinson University, Robbins worked with many different teams.
"I love the atmosphere working at a college provides and all the athlete are great to work with," remarked Robbins.
However, if she wasn't in a college setting, Robbins said she would like to be an athletic trainer in the military. Even in a different environment, Robbins believes that athletic training would be the same.
"You use the same skills that you are taught in your education," explained Robbins. "But it can be different because each place you work could have access to different resources which may change the way you treat."
Robbins loves athletic training and plans to do it for the rest of her career. Her favorite part of the job is helping student-athletes get back onto the field so they are able to play the sport they love. During her time being an athletic trainer, she found that her favorite sports to cover are football and men's lacrosse.
"Every year I always have many great memories with the teams I work with and I look forward to creating so many memories with Goucher Athletics," said Robbins
Robbins believes that she and other athletic trainers have an impact on the athletes they treat.
"Athletic trainers have the opportunity to be with athletes when they first get injured and work with them every day in order to get them back on the field," professed Robbins. "It's definitely rewarding to see their progress daily. I always try my best to have a positive attitude to help motivate throughout their healing process."
Like most professions, the job does have its drawbacks. Robbins said the hardest part of being an athletic trainer is when she has to tell athletes that their season or career has ended because of an injury.
Not only is keeping an athlete out of their sport hard, but preparing to be an athletic trainer also isn't easy. In addition to earning an undergraduate degree from an accredited university, there are tests and certifications that are needed.
"To be an athletic trainer you need to pass a national board exam to get your Athletic Training Certification. In the state Maryland, in order to be able to practice you need to be licensed by the Maryland Board of Physicians," Robbins explained.
In the next few years, students will need to earn a Master's degree in Athletic Training in order to be eligible for the national board exam.
As March is National Athletic Training month, it is important to remember that athletic trainers are healthcare providers and are essential to have at all schools and sporting events.
"You need to have the ability to quickly think on your feet and you always be prepared for anything to happen," Robbins explained.
These are skills that are essential to being an excellent athletic trainer, just like Robbins. Though her time at Goucher has been short, she has brought much to the athletics program already.
"I look forward to creating so many memories with Goucher athletics," said Robbins.