High school athletic trainers adjust to new role at drive thru testing center

Holland area trainers moved during pandemic
Posted at 2:52 PM, May 14, 2020

HOLLAND, Mich. — Many high school athletic trainers are busy doing important work even without high school sports.

A group from the Holland area is currently working at a drive up COVID-19 testing center.

Athletic trainers working at Covid-19 test site

If this were a normal weekday in May the high school trainers would be busy with a bunch of sports.

"Today we'd probably be looking at some baseball, softball maybe track possibly lacrosse," Diana Albers athletic trainer at Zeeland West High School said. "Just a variety of different sports so making sure that is all prepared and setup and getting kids on the bus."

"Spring is pretty heavy so we're pretty busy we have quite a bit going on," Jason Burgess, athletic trainer at Zeeland East High School added. "We would jump in and get our stuff setup at the fields."

But these are anything but normal times.

Sports are canceled for the spring so Albers and Burgess along with several other high school athletic trainers who are contracted from Holland Hospital are working a drive up COVID-19 testing center.

"It was definitely an adjustment period," Albers said. "Quite honestly it has changed almost everyday even since we first started."

The ability to adapt quickly is not foreign to athletic trainers.

"Spring sports and the weather we never know if we are going to have games on a certain days like today would be a super questionable as to if we have events," Albers said. "We are a little bit used to that but it has been an adjustment."

While the athletic trainers definitely miss the athletes, they are also seeing positives in their current role.

"It is cool there is definitely some neat interactions here," Burgess said. "You get to meet a lot of different people from other areas of the hospital and see them come together and really work towards a goal here."

The experience dealing with change is something Albers and Burgess can take with them when they return to their everyday routine helping high school athletes.

"Helping, once we kind of get back to the school, high schoolers understand that," Albers said. "Because sometimes that is a really hard concept for them that things can change. They want to know what's happening, they want to know what's coming next and life isn't always like that."