Aug 24, 2017
Get What You Give
Maria Hutsick

Whether in a high school or university setting, athletic trainers need all kinds of support and help. We need the custodial staff to keep the place clean and free of MRSA and other bacteria. Our equipment also needs repairs on and off, and the groundskeepers play a big role in keeping our fields safe. So it’s important we treat these individuals with the respect they deserve.

When I visit Boston University, where I worked prior to coming to Medfield (Mass.) High School, it is all the custodial staffs that remember me and say, “Hi.” I treated them all like they were my elders — with respect — and now and then bought them a coffee. It went a long way, especially when I needed something.

I treated [the custodial and maintenance staffs] like they were my elders — with respect — and now and then bought them a coffee. It went a long way, especially when I needed something.

Now at Medfield, I know all of the maintenance workers and have had to ask for their help on a number of occasions. I have brought them coffee and given them bottles of water when it was hot and they were working hard.

If you don’t treat your maintenance workers and custodial staffs with respect, you will pay for it. Some athletic trainers and coaches think because they have a college degree, they are a step above these workers. In truth, many probably earn more salary than they do, except for big football or basketball coaches. Likewise, many teachers think they are above these workers and treat them poorly. Consequently, they don’t get things done in their rooms because they are jerks to the maintenance staff.

Just think of how you would feel if someone disrespected you an athletic trainer. I know I get really angry if someone disrespects me because they think I am below them socially. I have been in the profession a long time and have a lot of experience. I am well-respected and work hard. I have worked at the NCAA Division I level, Olympic level, high school, and NFL levels.

At my school, I have no issues with the coaches or students. Everyone needs the athletic trainer sooner or later. If you were not a good person, then you reap what you sow.

So if you want to have the support of the maintenance staff, custodians, and anyone else, say thank you and every now and then bring them a coffee or water. It goes a long way. We are a team and need to work as one. If you don’t, you will pay the price. I treat all workers as equals. I have no trouble with getting things done in a timely manner because I know I have to take care of the people who take care of me.

Maria Hutsick, MS, LAT, ATC, CSCS, is Head Athletic Trainer at Medfield (Mass.) High School and former Director of Sports Medicine at Boston University. She is a past president of the College Athletic Trainers' Society and was honored with an NATA Athletic Trainer Service Award in 2010. She can be reached at: [email protected].

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