We’re rounding out National Athletic Training Month by highlighting Raquel Wright, athletic trainer at our Litchfield Park location. She shares why she chose the athletic training industry, her experience and advice for those interested in becoming an athletic trainer.
Q: How long have you been an athletic trainer and what’s your background in athletic training?
Raquel Wright: I have been an athletic trainer for almost a year now. I graduated from Grand Canyon University with my Bachelor in Athletic Training back in December of 2015. I gained most of my experience through my clinical rotations which included GCU Men’s Volleyball and Men’s Soccer, MLB Spring Training Baseball and a variety of high school teams around the valley. Since becoming a certified athletic trainer, I have been working for Foothills Sports Medicine and Physical Therapy and Trivium Preparatory Academy. With the help of Foothills’ physical therapists and physical therapy assistants, I have gained an immense amount of knowledge, love and respect for this field. I truly enjoy being an athletic trainer.
Q: Why did you become an athletic trainer?
Raquel Wright: I played sports almost my entire life. Throughout my years as an athlete, I suffered countless amounts of sprains, strains, cuts, bruises and even concussions. The only people that have been there to patch me up and get me back up were the athletic trainers. Whether it was through rehabilitation of an injury or simply taping my ankle, they are the reason why I was able to continue doing what I loved. I wanted to be a part of that. I wanted to become the person that got an athlete back up and that is why I became an athletic trainer.
Q: What role does an athletic trainer play for sports teams?
Raquel Wright: Athletic training as a profession focuses on the prevention, examination, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of emergent, acute or chronic injuries and medical conditions as defined by the NATA. Athletic Trainers’ roles with sports teams are unparalleled. We are responsible for the athlete’s total care and wellbeing and have one common goal in mind; keep the athlete in the game. We are here to prevent injuries from happening and when they do happen, we are here to evaluate, diagnose and treat that injury. Athletic Trainers are what every team needs to succeed because in order to succeed, a team needs healthy athletes.
Q: Where do you see the profession of athletic training going in the next 5 years?
Raquel Wright: Athletic Training as a profession has grown so much already in the past 10 years. With more and more schools requiring an athletic trainer, I see the profession growing even more in the next 5 years. I believe the profession is being recognized more with the hot topic concerning concussions. Athletic Trainers are one of the few medical professionals trained to diagnose a concussion which makes it extremely important for schools participating in contact sports to have one available on staff.
Q: What advice would you give to someone who wants to pursue athletic training as a career?
Raquel Wright: One of the biggest suggestions I would make is make sure you truly have a passion for this career. It is an extremely rewarding career. Like many other careers, make sure you are not being motivated by money. The true motivation should be helping others and making a difference in people’s lives. Be ready to work outside in the hot sun, rain and even extreme cold. Be ready to make difficult decisions that can affect an athlete’s health or a team’s ability to win the game. Athletic training will sometimes push you to your limits but it’s a career that will bring joy and excitement into your life. I mean, who doesn’t love sports right?