The Role of an ATC During a Worldwide Pandemic

As we reach the end of July and move into August, just a little over half way through 2020, it’s a good time to reflect upon all that has happened within the year. At the start of 2020 nobody could have predicted the upheaval our world would face and is still facing, the COVID 19 pandemic. While the world continues to be in a place of uncertainty, what is certain is the vital role that athletic trainers play in keeping the healthcare system moving forward.

Athletic trainers throughout the country have been setting a model for what exemplary healthcare providers look like. We have served on the front lines of care – either assisting in the treatment and rehabilitation of patients in the hospital or outpatient settings and providing screening or testing services to those with symptoms of COVID; and have served behind the scenes – assisting in the development and application of telemedicine visits including patient education materials that can be delivered virtually and helping to develop policies and procedures moving forward for social distancing in healthcare facilities and return to sports activities.

The roles we have served can be unnerving and stressful, however athletic trainers have offered their services with strength and grace. We are used to being hard workers with a creative nature to provide above satisfactory patient care, and in the setting of a pandemic, these are the exact strengths we have brought to the forefront. In a world of uncertainty, we have brought comfort to our teams of healthcare workers and patients alike as we have adhere to and develop new normals.

As the pandemic rages on, we need to keep in mind that the value of our assets continue to be important. We need to advocate for that value and demonstrate how we are leaders in the continuously developing healthcare system. We need to continue to press forward and offer our services, as we are healthcare providers on the front lines of care. In pressing forward though, we also need to be aware of the stress that this places on us. Self-care is a top priority, because in order to serve others we need to serve ourselves first. If you are trying to serve from an empty bucket, nothing will come of your efforts. But, if you serve from a full bucket, you will remain well and be able to assist others in the best way possible. Within the ATPPS society, we can serve as a support system for one another. We encourage each of you to share your stories (triumphs and struggles, tips and tricks or failures) and offer support to others within the society so that we can keep our “buckets full”. What has been your role as an ATC during a worldwide pandemic and how can we encourage one another to continue to thrive in times of uncertainty and stress?