Ask an athletic trainer what is the best part of their job and they’ll jokingly say, “the hours.” That’s because athletic trainers are known for their grueling schedules.
Thankfully, that hasn’t deterred Trinity Health’s most experienced athletic trainers from sticking with their successful careers.
Certified Athletic Trainers Kevin Melby, Barb Nesheim, and Robyn Gust recently celebrated 25, 21, and 20 years respectively with Trinity Health Sports Medicine. Gust, who serves as manager, says such longevity is a plus when you’re out on the field.
“It’s given our service a depth of knowledge and experience that is indispensable when it comes to managing the wide range of medical conditions,” Gust said. “The coaches, athletes, and parents trust us.”
Melby, the longest serving, says he’s noticed a difference in how certified athletic trainers are regarded generally. “There is a lot more recognition of what we do among coaches and the community,” he said. He also shared what is truly the best part of being an athletic trainer. “The best thing is dealing with young athletes, putting them back on the field as quickly as possible and as safely as possible.”
Certified athletic trainers are healthcare professionals who practice in collaboration with physicians and other health team members to safeguard the health of physically active individuals and sports participants throughout all stages of life.
The certified athletic trainers of Trinity Health Sports Medicine have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and are certified by the Board of Certification of Athletic Trainers. All athletic trainers are also licensed by the North Dakota Board of Athletic Trainers. Trinity Health’s sports medicine team also receives specialized education that exceeds basic standards in areas such as injury prevention, mass casualty care, concussion management, emergency response, and many other areas.
Nesheim notes that the professionalism of Trinity Health Sports Medicine is closely tied to its medical director, Dawn Mattern, MD, FAMSSM. Dr. Mattern is a board-certified family practice/sports medicine specialist and a fellow in the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine. She’s been with the department for more than 18 years and shares the central theme of sports medicine that the goal is to safely keep the athletes as active as possible so they can return to peak performance at some point. “We’re as good a department as we are because of her,” Gust said and added jokingly, “We all keep her on speed dial.”