An athletic trainer is a certified and licensed health care professional who practices in the field of sports medicine. Local sports medicine coverage is now a community outreach program that is provided by Macon Community Hospital.
Our high school sports players greatly benefit from athletic trainers and Macon Community Hospital would like to introduce Rachel Hester and Elizabeth Bell.
“I have been an athletic trainer for Macon County Schools for 12 years,” said Rachel Hester, who lives in Westmoreland. “My first job right out of college was at MCHS, and today I am the athletic trainer at Red Boiling Springs High School.”
“I’m there at every practice and every game,” said Rachel, “and if anyone gets hurt, I’m the first one there to offer first aid, or any treatment they need. Then we get them off and I further evaluate the player. If they need to see a doctor then I facilitate that, and if they need surgery, I am the liaison between the doctor and the parents, and the coaches and the school. If the players need physical therapy then I can do that at the school without them going to a clinic.”
Rachel says that she is with the athletes every day, and she has become a part of their families - just like they have become a part of hers. “I love the kids at Red Boiling Springs, and the people are so welcoming and nice,” said Rachel. “Everyone is so appreciative of me being there and we are all like family.”
“I have to work with lots of different people, including school administration, hospital administration, parents, coaches, as well as the athletes themselves,” said Rachel, “so I have to be able to communicate with a lot of different people at one time and still keep my composure. If the athletes get hurt, I have to be able to control the situation and get them the care they need.”
“I love athletes and I love sports,” added Rachel. “I like being right there on the sidelines or on the bench. It’s just great, along with everybody I work for. The hospital is wonderful having us on board. It’s a great relationship.”
Elizabeth Bell is from Cookeville, and she is the athletic trainer at Macon County High School. “I am responsible for the well being of all the athletes on the field or the floor, and off,” said Elizabeth. “So if they get injured during a game, or during practice, I can work with them and help rehabilitate them in all sports. I travel with the football and basketball teams, and all other teams I just cover their home games.”
“I ran track, played soccer and cheered when I was in high school and my athletic trainer was responsible for three different high schools, which was unbelievable,” said Elizabeth. “I was injured a few times and he taught me how to tape my own ankles, and I was inspired by him to become an athletic trainer myself.”
Elizabeth says this is her first high school position and the students are just great. “I believe every school deserves to have a full time athletic trainer and I try to be as available as I can,” said Elizabeth. “I can treat a lot of the athletes in house and save everybody trips to the doctor, but if they need to be referred out, then I refer them.”
“I really like working with all the athletes, and Principal West is always very helpful,” added Elizabeth. “Macon Community Hospital is really nice and accommodating and I enjoy working for them.”
Athletic training has been recognized by the American Medical Association as an allied health care profession since 1990.