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Common Sense

The Student News Site of Thomas S. Wootton High School

Common Sense

The Student News Site of Thomas S. Wootton High School

Common Sense

Athletic trainer interns: The foundation of school athletics

Junior+intern+Leanne+Brown+tapes+freshman+Malia+Bellamys+ankle+in+the+athletic+room+as+she+prepares+for+basketball+practice.
Photo by Emory Scofield
Junior intern Leanne Brown tapes freshman Malia Bellamy’s ankle in the athletic room as she prepares for basketball practice.

Behind the scenes of the Patriot athletes and their game-winning plays on the court or field is athletic trainer Brenna Allen’s team of interns. The athletic room swarms with athletes before games and practices, interns rushing around preparing each athlete by taping ankles, helping with exercises, making ice packs and assisting however they can. Despite the chaos of the scene, the interns are the backbone of the athletics program, helping each athlete stay safe and play their best.

Internships for athletic trainers have only recently become an opportunity for students. Allen, along with two co-workers, made this possible. During a job interview with the MCPS Health and Safety Coordinator, Allen expressed her interest in creating a formal MCPS internship and was connected with the MCPS work-based learning supervisors. Alongside two other MCPS athletic trainers, Allen officially formalized the program by the end of January, opening up the possibility for students across MCPS. “This whole program is for them and I am happy I could be a part of creating it for them,” Allen said.

Allen credits the students who inspired her to formalize the program for all 25 MCPS high schools. Not only does the program allow the interns to experience the study of anatomy and physiology in real-life scenarios, but it also provides first-hand experience in a professional work environment. Between the 24 MCPS athletic trainers and the MCPS Health and Safety Coordinator, the internship program offers widespread contacts to help interns “build relationships that can help me out in the future,” junior intern Rebecca Ogorodnikov said.

Interested students can apply for the position when Allen has openings each semester, as an intern or a student aide. As a beginner they start with the basics: learning their way around the athletic room, how to set up for games, and about equipment such as medical kits. As the interns gain experience they learn the basic anatomy of the body, potential injuries and how taping can benefit the athletes. As ways to check their progression, Allen creates “proficiency check-offs to help assess if interns have a certain skill down,” Allen said.

Interns apply for different reasons: Whether for their love of anatomy, for new experiences, interest in physical therapy careers, or to strengthen their college applications, the program offers benefits. While in the athletic room, interns learn about where everything is located in the office including medical kits and taping materials. Allen teaches the interns about emergency action plan components, wound care, injury assessment, introduction to physical therapy, and even how to document using SOAP notes, which is how patient progress is recorded. The reality of being in the field of sports is unpredictable injuries. Through helping Allen as an intern on the sidelines, sophomore Sara Pinzon Tobacia has “developed [her] passion for anatomy.”

As students think about college and their possible majors, the internship program allows students to explore the physical therapy field of study. The hands-on experience allows interns to learn and invest their time in physical therapy to see if it is a career they want to pursue; “it is a peek into that world,” Ogorodnikov said.

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Emory Scofield, news editor
Sophomore Emory Scofield is a news editor in her second year at Common Sense.  In her free time, she enjoys listening to music, playing lacrosse, biking, reading, and spending time with friends. She hopes you consider joining the Common Sense team!
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