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Real Life Experience Gained through Athletic Training Program

Smithville ISD has numerous opportunities for students to get more real life experience over and above classroom lessons and tests. The Athletic Trainer program, now in its third year, is one of them that gives students a taste of future career opportunities.

“It’s important for me to do because it can benefit me later on,” said Eliana Garza, a sophomore who wants to go into the medical field.

Sophomore Ashlynne O’Neal agreed. “I want to be a medical doctor,” she said.

Coach Flores said that past students have joined the program because they had season ending injuries but wanted to stay close to the athletic program or to help out others who have had injuries.

The Athletic Trainer program has the student “put into action what they learn in the classroom,” according to Coach Shannon Flores, who also teaches Sports Medicine at Smithville High School.

The students in Sports Medicine II are also doing the work as athletic trainers in football practice and at all varsity home games in all sports, all under the watchful eye of Coach Flores. Coach Flores also travels with the varsity football team.

“They do learn about the healthcare profession because they do treat the athletes,” said Coach Flores.

Students in the class are CPR and First Aid certified, and spend time on the sidelines of the football field and at other high school sporting events to assist the athletes to help prevent ill health and to treat them in case of injury.

“They’re like my mini me’s,” joked Coach Flores.

According to Coach Flores, they treat cuts, lacerations, supervise rehab, help prevent dehydration and generally watch over the athletes.

Students learn valuable skills over and above basic medical skills. Coach Flores said they learn good communication skills, and how to be professional and accountable because they are responsible for other kids’ lives.

Coach Flores said the student athletic trainers are also her ears.

“Sometimes, the athletes will tell them more than they tell me,” she said.
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