Two years ago, in recognition of April as National Youth Sports Safety Month, MomsTeam asked 30 experts to write a blog answering two questions: first, how or why did they get into their field, and second, how have they made a difference in the life of a youth athlete in the past year.
Today, we reprise a blog submitted by Marci Yost, Sports Medicine Coordinator at Nebraska Orthopaedic Hospital in Omaha, Nebraska.
By Marci Yost, M.A., ATC/L
How did I get into my field?
Sports medicine is a field I have been interested in since junior high. I wanted to work in the healthcare field and also stay involved with athletics, so athletic training fit the bill. There are so many fields available for athletic trainers. Most of those positions are not typical 9:00 am - 5:00 pm job - you're "on-call" 24/7, and you are usually the behind-the-scenes person - but the personal satisfaction of helping athletes is very gratifying.
For eight years I enjoyed watching the progress of an injured athlete and getting them back on the field. In my new role as Sports Medicine Coordinator at Nebraska Orthopaedic Hospital in Omaha, Nebraska, I assist athletes, coaches and parents in finding the resources to get them the best care and back to their favorite activities. I now do a little bit of everything: working in the marketing department, helping to coordinate a lot of promotional events for our nationally-ranked orthopaedic hospital and sports medicine program, and going out into the community to visit with local athletic trainers, youth leagues, and physicians.
I am particularly proud of the work our hospital is doing in the area of sports concussions. We have helped 35 schools set up concussion programs using the ImPACT neurocognitive test, and providing pre-participation physical evaluations (what used to be called plain old sports physicals) and ImPACT testing for about 300 kids ages 10 to 14 in a local youth tackle football program.
How have I made a difference in an athlete's life?
I was a teacher and head athletic trainer at a large high school in Alabama, and was giving a lecture when the football coach interrupted my presentation to say he needed me to come down to the weight room to look at an athlete. It wasn't clear how "emergent" the situation really was, but when I got to the weight room I found an athlete with his knee locked at 90 degrees, unable to bend or straighten it any further and obviously in a lot of pain. We immediately got him into the training room, and I called our orthopedic surgeon. He graciously said he would squeeze him into his schedule in a few hours.
We got him set up with crutches, and I was about to send him on his way, when he told me that his mother told him she couldn't take him to the appointment because she had to get her nails done (I am NOT kidding!). I called his mother, informed her of the situation, and she, quite reluctantly, agreed to change her appointment. The athlete gave me a huge hug and big thank you. Unfortunately, as was the case in this instance, athletic trainers are sometimes an athlete's only advocate, forced to do battle with parents and coaches who may be more concerned about winning and playing time, than safety. It is a responsibility athletic trainers take seriously: to do our best to take care of our athletes.
Marci Yost is a wife, mother of a crazy 2 ½ year old boy, and Sports Medicine Coordinator at Nebraska Orthopaedic Hospital in Omaha, Nebraska. She received her bachelor's degree in Athletic Training from North Dakota State University, and her Masters from the University of South Florida. Over the course of her career, Marci has worked in almost every field possible: high school, Division I, Division II, NAIA, physical therapy clinic, and as a physician extender, providing care to athletes across the full spectrum of sports, from college football to pre-school age soccer. "For those of you who have never experienced it," sh says, "watching four-year-olds play soccer is highly entertaining and can't help but put a smile on your face!" You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.