By Sam Ekstedt
Nov 13th, 2023
With over fifteen hundred student-athletes on campus, injuries are inevitable. During practice or a game, the scale of injury severity varies greatly, from a sprained ankle during wrestling practice to a ruptured Achilles tendon amid a particularly strenuous volleyball tournament. That is where the Athletic Trainer comes in. Courtney Eargle, HBHS' current Athletic Trainer, describes her job, "An Athletic Trainer is the sports medicine team that takes care of athletes on campus. We deal with injuries, illnesses, treatment, rehab; all different kinds of things, all for our student-athletes."
Within the last few years, HBHS began offering a Sports Medicine class. Initially inspired to pursue being an Athletic Trainer by her high school's Sports Medicine class, Courtney jumped at the chance to pay it forward by inspiring students and teaching the subject at HBHS. She said, "It was a full circle moment for me, so it’s special that I get to give that to another student who may be interested in it." A student commented on how well Courtney sets the tone, "Courtney's nice; she's cool. There's not a lot of teachers like her. The chill energy makes it not super stressful, but you're still actively learning. It's a good environment."
Sports Medicine is perfect for aspiring students who wish to dive into the medical field. They get the opportunity to test out the waters and learn about the world of medicine in a safe environment with a teacher who wants them to succeed. Students taking the class learn all about the human body's inner workings and what kinds of injuries it is prone to in a sports setting. One student said, "We learn a little bit of everything. We started the year by learning all the bones, and we just finished learning how to examine ankles to see if they are injured. It was actually really fun; one person got up on the table, and we tried it instead of just learning it, stuck at our desks. I’ve been interested in the medical field for a while, but these units have already gotten me really excited about it."
Sports Med Students practicing practical ankle examinations
While other medical courses may be challenging to beginners with no previous knowledge, the Sports Medicine class is structured to allow anyone to build the skills necessary to succeed. Memorization is a crucial part of learning medicine; to many, that is an insurmountable task. When asked about the Sports Medicine tests and the learning curve, another student said, “There’s nothing on the test that we haven’t gone over in class, and we review it basically every other day.” On top of the intellectual and practical knowledge students gain from Sports Medicine, they will also receive numerous observation hours and a CPR certification.
While this year only the Sports Medicine 1 class is being offered, next year the course and its opportunities are expanding with an Advanced Sports Medicine class. In Courtney’s words, “For next year with the advanced class, that’s when kids will be coming in with me and doing what we’ve learned. In Sports Medicine 1, I’ll teach you all the things, and in Advanced Sports Medicine, we do all the things.”
Sports Medicine students posing in front of the classes’ interactive digital cadaver
The hype around Sports Medicine is growing, and it is no wonder why. It is a fantastic way for students who are looking to enter the medical field to put their foot in the door and get an authentic look at what they are hoping to spend their lives doing. Even if you do not go into a Sports Medical profession, you cannot miss this opportunity. It does not matter if you plan on going into EMS, orthopedics, nursing, or any other medical profession; this class has something for you. So, talk to your guidance counselor, keep an eye out next year, and pursue your goals in HBHS’ Sports Medicine class!