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Malia the Trainer

by Bailee McCarthy

Being an athletic trainer is tough.  It isn’t quite like being a doctor or nurse, but it also isn’t like being a coach or personal trainer.  Being an athletic trainer requires the person to be ready for when an athlete get hurts, no matter if it is during a game or practice.  To someone that doesn’t quite understand what all happens in the life of an athletic trainer, Blackburn’s own was able to give some insight.

Malia Murphy, Blackburn’s athletic trainer, gave insight on what her job is like.  Between taping up athletes and getting ready for games, Murphy is always busy, but doing the job she loves is worth it.  In an email, Murphy was able to answer questions as to what it takes to be an athletic trainer. As the only certified athletic trainer for Blackburn, Murphy’s most important job for both the athletes and the school “is to work on injury prevention and being able to respond appropriately to injuries that do occur.  By doing this it will help the athlete back to their sport safely and to try and prevent any further injuries or issues coming up for the school such as liability, that may arise without having a certified athletic trainer on site for practices and games.” Briefly, Murphy has to be ready to jump into action when an injury occurs and to hopefully prevent the same injury from happening again.  

Murphy’s favorite part of being the athletic trainer is just being around people:  “I think we have a good coaching staff and I enjoy working with them. I like to get to know the athletes and work with them.  I really enjoy working with my staff of student workers here at Blackburn and being able to help them as they go on through school.” To get where she want to be in her career took a lot of experience and travel.  “I went to University of Nevada, Las Vegas and received my bachelor’s and Master’s degree… I have gained valuable knowledge and experiences from each location I have worked and I have done various certifications to improve my skills throughout my time such as Corrective Exercise Specialist and a Certified Ergonomics Assessment specialist and am looking into gaining further certifications,” stated Murphy.

As well as explaining what’s it’s like as a college athletic trainer, Murphy gave advice for any students currently studying or wanting to study her field of work: “I would tell them to keep an open mind because although I think athletic training can be a great career to do, it can often come with a lot of challenges that I would advise others to have other options to do as well to help offset those challenges.  And to be tough — not to be a “doormat” because you are placed in difficult situations that you do have to stand up for yourself, sometimes having to make difficult decisions and being able to know you did the right thing for the athlete and being able to explain to the coach and the parent why you made the decision…to be successful as an athletic trainer.”

Overall, being an athletic trainer isn’t all rainbows and glitter.  Being an athletic trainer is being able to go with your better judgement and being able to justify yourself.  Athletic training is not for everybody, but you never know if you don’t try.

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