When I started at ISU working with the women’s volleyball team, I didn’t want to ask my fellow graduate assistants or supervisors for help on my injuries. My perception was that asking for help was a weakness and I didn’t want to bother my fellow graduate assistants. After all, they are just as busy as I am. I was already asking a lot of questions to my collegues, supervisors and professors about the responsibilities of a single Athletic Trainer with a sport, and we were all busy learning the organizational structure which comes with any new job. I felt like asking any more of my classmates was inappropriate.
I couldn’t have been more wrong. I’ve realized how important our fellow Athletic Trainers are, not just to share our knowledge with one another but also to keep each other sane and grounded in a profession where nothing is ever mundane. Clinically, we confirm each others’ ideas, provide our own ideas, and help cover each other when things get busy. Most days when we aren’t in class, having meetings, doing treatments or working with our teams, the graduate assistants are hanging around doing paperwork and joking around. One of the best parts of coming to ISU and being a graduate assistant has been working with the other graduate assistants going through their early years of clinical work as well. I know that having others in the same situation as myself has helped a grow as a professional.
Matthew Schafer, LAT, ATC