Athletic Trainer: Kyra Balikov MS, LAT, ATC
I grew up in Olympia and went to Olympia high school where I played soccer and basketball. I recently finished my Master of Science in Athletic Training at Whitworth University in 2021. Before that, I was at Gonzaga University getting my Bachelor of Science in Human Physiology with a minor in English. My mother worked as a basketball coach at Tumwater high school when I was young and she only had good things to say, so I'm excited to be able to return to the area and give back to this school.
What does an Athletic Trainer do?
Athletic trainers specialize in the management, prevention, and recovery of injured athletes. Many times, athletic trainers are the first medical professionals on the scene after an injury. Athletic trainers collaborate with doctors to provide emergency and follow-up care and develop injury prevention and treatment programs for injured athletes.
Athletic trainers also provide a vital communication link between the injured athlete, the physician, the coach, and sometimes the athlete's family to determine when it's right to return to practice and competition.
Scope of Practice:
Athletic trainers are highly educated and skilled health science professionals specializing in athletic health care. They work with coaches, doctors, and physical therapists.
On a typical day, the roles and responsibilities of an athletic trainer include:
- Providing athletic training services
- Applying tape, bandages, and braces to protect or prevent injuries
- Evaluating injuries and providing first aid
- Implementing rehabilitation programs for injured athletes and developing injury prevention programs
- Performing administrative tasks, such as writing reports and instructions