From working with ACL tears to minor thumb sprains, new athletic trainers Katie Jenson and Kayla Simpson have found themselves busy this fall working with injured athletes.
Prior to working at Hackley, Katie worked with Hackley head football coach Simon Berk at Rye High School. She worked as the head athletic trainer at Rye High School and Middle School keeping athletes healthy in grades seven through twelve.
Katie heard positive things about the community and facilities from her colleague Simon Berk. However, when she was able to come and see Hackley for herself, she was beyond impressed with the athletic facilities that Hackley has provided for their athletes.
Before Kayla Simpson came to Hackley she was an athletic trainer at Rockland Community College. A graduate of SUNY Cortland Class of 2017, she is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetics to become a Registered Dietitian as well as a Certified Athletic Trainer.
Kayla was immediately attracted to the Hackley community because it felt familial.
“My first few weeks at Hackley I received an undeniable amount of support and countless warm welcomes. From the students to the faculty and coaches, I could tell everyone truly cared for one another,” she said.
Despite the stress around working with injured athletes, Katie and Kayla enjoy helping athletes and seeing the progress that they make through an injury.
“I think it’s so important for athletes to have a consistent person to lean on when they’re working through an injury,” Katie said.
“My favorite part about this profession is being able to watch the growth of an athlete and help get them back to the sport they love,” Kayla said.
Alongside Katie and Kayla’s arrival, there have been various changes to the athletic training room.
“We are so lucky at Hackley to have athletic training as a priority and the ability to keep up with constant changes in the medical community,” Katie said.
New this year to Hackley athletic training is an electrical stimulation and ultrasound machine. These modalities will allow the trainers to help the body’s healing process progress a little faster and hopefully help athletes return to sports faster. This machine maximizes the results of therapy sessions by increasing range of motion, managing muscle pain, and increasing strength.
Additionally, they have updated the concussion policy and the return to play protocols following a head injury in order to treat athletes with the most up to date methods. This new protocol gets athletes back to their sport faster after they have recovered from their concussion.
Finally, the athletic trainers are also taking courses in KT tape and a specific massage technique called instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization this winter. They hope to bring these therapies to the Hackley community.
“Katie and I are continuously seeking ways to educate athletes about their body and preventing injuries, you may just see a sports medicine symposium [a class on sports medicine] coming to you soon,” Kayla said.
Fall athletes on various teams spend time in the training room to alleviate injuries.
Junior soccer player Samson Bennett went to the trainer due to a bruise that went from his knee to ankle. He said that the trainers helped him feel less pain and made the swelling go down very quickly through heating, massaging, and icing.
“I like how they really care about your injury,” he said.
Another fall athlete, sophomore Luke Chaisson on the football team, injured his hip and was told that he had a recovery time of 3-6 weeks. However, the Fall Sting was 3 weeks away and his target was to get back by that game. Both Katie and Kayla helped him strengthen his hip and he recovered by the game.
“I didn’t have to search for a physical therapist because they were doing such a great job by themselves,” Chaisson said.
“I am lucky to be a part of the Hackley community and I am thankful to have a job that leaves me excited to come to work every day. Besides the beautiful campus and the gorgeous Athletic Training Room, it’s really the people that make this school so special,” Kayla said.