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Experiencing a global pandemic as a Certified Athletic Trainer (AT)

Experiencing a global pandemic as a Certified Athletic Trainer (AT), is something that I never imagined would have happened during my lifetime. When going into sports medicine, I was confident that I would always have a job in the field that I love, which traditionally combines sports and medicine all into one. As an Athletic Trainer, I am a certified and licensed allied medical professional that works under the sports medicine umbrella working together with our medical team. As a part of the sports medicine team, AT’s can provide services such as: primary care, injury and illness prevention, wellness promotion and education, emergency care, examination and clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention and rehabilitation of injuries. As an AT, we are not limited to serving just the athletic population, but oftentimes work in the industrial setting or with the general population in our local physical therapy offices.

During the past few years of my career, I have primarily worked in junior college athletics, but have also begun to explore the industrial setting, which led me to Sozo Health earlier this year. With the sudden escalation of coronavirus ( COVID-19) back in March, my job as an AT has changed drastically for this year. Back on March 16, 2020, I covered which would be my last baseball game for the school year. Just those few short months ago, it was hard to imagine something so big, yet “invisible”, would be able to completely shut down sports worldwide.

Adjusting to COVID and Serving Accordingly

Since then the world as we knew it before was all in question with each country, state, city, etc., creating their own guidelines as to how to create a safe environment for their people. COVID-19 has also drastically shifted the focus of many AT’s as we try to navigate how to create and provide the safest environment for our athletics staff, student-athletes, coaches, and fans. For me, this process has put me in hours of meetings a week, collecting all of the best recommendations, data, and other outside resources to best return to sports in the safest way possible. These conversations are happening in almost every industry in the world currently. It can be challenging to come up with the “right” solutions, as weekly, daily, and hourly, information is changing. 

As an AT during COVID-19, our role has slightly pivoted as most industries are relying on us to aid with protocol writing, temperature checks and even more so providing athletic training services in the industrial setting. Even though many days have been challenging, I have more than been committed to the people that I am serving. Sozo Health has provided many opportunities for continual growth in this challenging time. While I have a passion for athletes and sports, I have found a new appreciation for the current population of people we are serving. Together we will continue to collectively love, serve and protect, the communities we serve. 

– Daria Bickham, ATC/L

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