Athletic trainers: In the background but watching

ATs provide guidance for weekend warriors and pro athletes alike

Kelly Strompro wrapping an ankle

Kathy Stompro became interested in an athletic trainer career because of her love for sports and competition. With 30 years of experience, 25 being at Sanford Health, the role of athletic trainers has evolved.

“It has expanded quite a bit since the early years,” Stompro said. “We’re now not only working with athletes in the traditional settings but also industry, clinical and performing arts.”

Sanford Health athletic trainers serve 86 high schools and 19 colleges and universities in the Upper Midwest.

Stompro is a lead athletic trainer for several schools in and around Fargo, North Dakota. She says it’s important for schools to have athletic trainers for many reasons.

“We help take responsibility off the coaches and administration,” she said, “such as implementing emergency action plans, environmental concerns, checking equipment and facility safety as well as evaluating, treating and rehabbing athletic injuries.”

Stompro references an incident where an athletic trainer saved the life of a young basketball player by initiating CPR immediately.

“We’re always in the background watching,” she said. “We’re highly trained to do the things when we need to, should an emergency or injury surface.”

Stompro said her career as an athletic trainer has been rewarding.

“I stayed in this because of the versatility. I like the transition between different sports and the seasons and the opportunity to be both indoors and outside,” she said. “And through the years, I’ve been able to work and build relationships with young athletes, coaches and their families.”

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Posted In Health Information, Orthopedics, Running

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