March is National Athletic Training Month! This month brings awareness about the work of athletic trainers. We are lucky to have numerous on-staff Athletic Trainers at Performance Therapies who provide care for our local high school and collegiate athletes.
Courtney Ralfs, physical therapist and athletic trainer, received her bachelor’s in athletic training from the University of Northern Iowa and later graduated with her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of Iowa. Read about her career to becoming an athletic trainer and a few of her favorite moments >>
What made you want to pursue becoming and athletic trainer?
Throughout high school I was a three-sport athlete, which came with its fair share of injuries. Some of these injuries were bad enough that I wasn’t always sure I would be able to continue playing for upcoming games. However, with the help of my athletic trainer I was able to get back on the court or field in time for some important games. This time spent with my school’s athletic trainer inspired me to pursue an education in athletic training so that I could have the same impact on other athletes.
Was there a significant moment recently as an athletic trainer?
This past year was the first year I spent the majority of my time with a single team/school. Prior to this year I would help cover a variety of schools or events in communities I did not know very well. I started working with Mid-Prairie High School this past spring and have covered most of their events since. Being the main athletic trainer for the school has allowed me to get know several of the athletes and their families, which has been a great experience and has made my job that much more enjoyable. I look forward to continuing to build relationships in this community as I continue into my second year with the school.
Do you have any advice for future athletic trainers?
It’s okay to not have an answer for everything. It is inevitable that you will be put into a position where you aren’t quite sure what exactly the injury is or what the best plan to address the injury would be. Don’t be afraid to acknowledge you don’t know and offer to look into it to get an answer. These are great opportunities to learn and grow as a person and professional. It is also helpful to have strong relationships with the athletes, coaches, and parents in these types of situations so that they trust you will do what is in the best interest of the athlete and can work through the problem together.
Athletic Training Request Form
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