Juan Cuevas and Lorena Tarnay are Co-Head Athletic Trainers of the Fullerton College sports department. They oversee treatment and recovery of injuries on and off the field.
The main priority of the Fullerton College athletic trainers are the athletes themselves and are seen to be most attentive to their care.
“My goal is to provide the top-notch care every single athlete deserves. from injury evaluation and rehabilitation to physician referral and post-operative care,” Cuevas said.
As healthcare professionals, Juan and Lorena are the first ones on the scene as soon as an athlete becomes injured and needs to be evaluated.
It is important to note that the athletic trainer requirements include a master’s degree in athletic training and passing a national exam for the Board Of Certification.
With high educational requirements for a sports care professional, these Athletic Trainers are mentally and physically equipped to evaluate injuries and rehabilitate players who get hurt.
As trainers, they are responsible for assessing whether a player who is injured and in recovery is allowed to play. It is within their scope of authority to determine who can continue after being injured and for how long they must stay in the healing process.
The scope of responsibilities from the athletic trainers includes preventative care and rehabilitation, which stops the worsening of injuries and helps the recovery process. Athletic Trainers’ authority also grants them the ability to stop a practice or a match depending on environmental conditions such as a heatwave or nearby lightning.
When not tending to a player’s physical needs, Juan and Lorena spend most of their time during practice and matches keeping a close watch for any sign of injury among the players. Their focus is set on the rapid response and safety of the student-athletes.
Among the shared responsibilities of Cuevas and Tarnay, there is a dedicated staff of student athletic trainers who also tend to the needs of the players.
Student athletic trainers are on the field and training room addressing athletes’ needs such as taping, application of first aid, bandaging and providing support as needed to the trainers.
Not only does their program require a set number of hours for on-the-field experience, but student athletic trainers have also shown dedication and passion for their craft which has been demonstrated throughout their interactions with student-athletes.
Kevin Sato, a student athletic trainer, spent his time addressing a sprained ankle injury during football practice, which gives him the hands-on experience desired from the program.
Sato and his fellow student trainers are instructed by Cuevas while performing the same tasks he does throughout the day when the players are out on the field.
Another major responsibility tasked with the athletic trainers is the safety measures that the pandemic has brought.
Both athletic trainers are responsible for ensuring that each student-athlete has had their weekly or bi-weekly Covid test. In addition, Cuevas and Tarnay have tasked themselves with making sure those unvaccinated receive testing at designated times and locations.
They keep a record of the hundreds of athletes that have been tested and their results.
The amount of responsibility seen in an athletics trainer also shows in the appreciation of the players that they tend. It is clear that their profession is an integral part of the recovery process for the injured and depends on whether the team can or cannot play with them.