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National Athletic Training Month is held every March to offer awareness about Athletic Training as a profession. ATs work as part of a health care team made up of doctors, physical and occupational therapists and other medical providers to keep athletes safe and prevent and treat injuries. Achieving certification takes dedication and hard work, so we asked a few of our own Athletic Trainers why they chose it as their profession:

I actually decided to go to school for Athletic Training after I sprained my ankle in high school. We didn’t have an ATC at our school so I had to research how to do my own treatment/rehab. I loved every aspect about the becoming an ATC. You work with every aspect of sports and clientele on a daily basis. I get to see the injury from the beginning to the end when the patient recovers and is able to return.  Pamela Brown, MS, ATC, LAT, EMT-I

I’ve always been into playing sports and I’ve dealt with injuries throughout my sports career, so athletic training was always an interest for me beginning in high school. When I was in college, playing soccer, I had the opportunity to work more closely with the ATCs and volunteered within the training room throughout the rest of my college days and knew that rehabbing people back to doing what they love was definitely what I wanted to do as a career. The more I became involved in the patients’ care, I started shadowing a PT and decided this would be a better fit for me, however continued to pursue ATC as another outlet and to stay more closely with sports.  Jennifer DeRosa, DPT, ATC, CLT

I love being an ATC because I get the distinct opportunity to see athletes from their initial injury all the way through to their return to play.  It's a very rewarding profession that I'm proud to say I get to be a part of.  Elizabeth Hoop MS, LAT, ATC

I was an athletic trainer before I was a PT.  Great profession.  It allowed me to be close to the field when my playing career ended. I had had a bad knee injury in my freshman year in college that abruptly ended my career.  My degree in sports medicine has also allowed me to stay close with my boys as they played and now continue to play.  The education I received as an athletic trainer and the resultant time in practice and on the fields color the way I evaluate and treat even today.  I continue to patrol the sidelines for my son’s lacrosse teams and help out at Cuthbertson HS football-taping ankles and icing bum shoulders- but not as a formal ATC.  More like a sports medicine specialist.  I will always remember that I was an athletic trainer first and will always identify with the profession.  Shaun Riney, MPT

I’ve been part of the Lake Norman High School community for 14 years in various capacities including teacher, first responder, coach and parent. During the last four years that I returned as their ATC through Ortho Carolina's community outreach and Dr. Brian Delay. Working with the athletes, parents, and coaches is one of the highlights of my day. I have even been able to teach a sports medicine class and build an inspiring team of student trainers that make me want to work harder and inspire me on a daily basis.  Meg Thompson, ATC

I enjoy helping athletes return to play safely and watch them succeed on and off the field, and interacting with parents and coaches to enhance the importance of an athletic training services in the community. It’s great to be able to work with a team of medical professionals in the community.  James Woods, ATC, CSCS

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