Accepting the following characteristics of the profession… is our own fault:
1. Athletic Trainers cannot have a life outside the job
2. Athletic Trainers cannot ever get sick.
3. Athletic Training MUST be a 70-80 hour per week job.
4. No one is here to help me, it’s just me.
It is not a “badge of honor” to work yourself to a point of exhaustion. The poor retention rate in Athletic Training is unacceptable, but we have to contribute to solutions. This means we have to stay motivated and take care of ourselves as well as each other. As professionals, we need to continue to promote the profession and explore other methods and outlets of stress relief. This means talking to future Athletic Trainers about what “reality” looks like, but how to manage and cope with the nature of our work… not discouraging them from staying, but showing them that Athletic Training is manageable, has a ton of cool things to do, and is a fulfilling job!
In order to have life-work balance, one must have professional and personal goals. Developing relationships and advocating with co-workers, peers, and administration is helpful in achieving these goals. A supportive network of these individuals combined with a drive within yourself to succeed in your career is essential.
Athletic Training is without a doubt a demanding career, but this high demand comes with high reward. We must work to attain life-work balance through advocacy for ourselves, our peers and co-workers and make it known that our profession is worth it!
Emma Nye LAT, ATC