Mar 30, 2020
In Mississippi, athletic trainers find work helping hospitals

Athletic trainers from Mississippi are paying it forward amid the COVID-19 outbreak and making the most of their newfound free time by helping hospitals on the frontlines as screeners in emergency rooms.

An article from The Merdian Star on March 28 outlined how some high school athletic trainers, who may have been temporarily laid off while schools and sports are on hold, are making ends meet by adding more help to the local hospitals.

coronavirus, covid-19, athletic trainers
Photo: Michael Polk

Central Mississippi hospitals like Rush Health Systems’ emergency room or Anderson Regional Medical Center, have been training athletic trainers to screen ER patients, guests and even hospital employees at the point of entry. That entails taking temperatures and asking preliminary questions to determine if anyone entering the building has COVID-19 symptoms.

Chad Acton, a Mississippi athletic trainer, told The Merdian Star, that himself and other trainers can make the transition easily due to their background.

“We do this kind of stuff every day but not usually under these circumstances. You need to have someone at the entryway of an ER that knows what to do and handle situations,” Acton said in the story. 

He went on to estimate that athletic trainers are working roughly 40 to 50 hours a week as a hospital screener.

» Related: FIBO Conference postponed over coronavirus fears

With no sporting events to cover, trainers like Katherine Craig, who is a screener at Anderson Regional, are taking this opportunity as a means to recoup any potential wages lost from school postponements.

“It’s a bit of a change from the income we get from games, but with some people not being able to have an income right now, I’m glad to be getting an income here,” she said to the paper. 

Being an emergency room screener may differ from what trainers would do regularly along the sidelines or in their office, but it’s an opportunity to continue earning a paycheck while, hopefully, make a difference.

To read the full story from The Meridian Star on how athletic trainers are aiding in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, click here




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