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Nina Walker gets athletes back in the game
She works with athletes everyday helping them reach their highest potential on the playing field. When athletes walk into the athletic training room they know they will be taken care of immediately.
Nina Walker, a certified athletic trainer at Quinnipiac, graduated from Boston University with a bachelor’s of science degree in athletic training. Walker received her master’s of arts degree in athletic training from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill last May. Working as a certified athletic trainer is Walker’s “first real adult job.”
Even so, Walker had a great deal of team responsibilities at the University of North Carolina.
“I had students and other personnel working underneath me,” Walker said.
Walker first became interested in athletic training when she was in high school, working with the athletic trainer after school.
“She taught me so much, like how to tape and stuff, and she really just opened my eyes to it: she had so much energy,” Walker said.
Walker shadowed and worked with her after school, and found it to be very rewarding.
“After working with her I knew that is what I wanted to do. I just really began to love it,” Walker said.
Walker’s day is hectic like any other athletic trainer, however she loves every minute of it and finds very few drawbacks to the job. She describes her job as having three parts. She is in charge of three sports at Quinnipiac, Women’s Field Hockey, Women’s Basketball and Men’s Lacrosse.
“However,” said Walker, “I treat all athletes who come in, not just those particular sports. “The second part of my job is teaching, where I guest lecture in classes and talk about Athletic Training,”
“The third part of my job is more administrative,” she continued. “I make sure that the Athletic Training Room (ATR) is in working condition. I order supplies and make sure that everything we need is here and in supply. I also write out bills and do a lot of other paper work as well,” Walker said.
As soon as she comes into the ATR until she leaves, she is constantly busy. She does a lot of taping, stretching, and evaluations on athletes’ injuries. She also performs ultra sound and stim on athletes.
Besides this, Walker also supervises the numerous student athletic training majors and works with them as well as teaches them as much as possible. Walker believes it is a wonderful environment to work in, and enjoys her long days incredibly.
The one drawback that Walker finds with her job is that since she works with three teams, she must travel with all of them when they have away games. The traveling leaves Walker with little time at home.
Even though Walker sees numerous athletes each day and has had much experience, she still remembers the most significant injury of her career.
While working at Boston University she was partly in charge of the football summer camp. While at practice, a player was hit in the eye. Walker and her fellow athletic training students took him aside for treatment.
“At first we thought that he had just been poked and that it wasn’t that bad of an injury,” Walker said.
“However, the left side of his face began to droop and we then realized that it was so much worse than we had thought of at first. We had to spine board him and stabilize him so that he could be transferred,” she said.
“He was then rushed to the hospital in an ambulance and was in the emergency room for a while. He came back, but we had to rush him back to the emergency room again because he hadn’t fully recovered.
It was very stressful because we, as the students, were in charge and we had to make all of the decisions by ourselves. We were all a little on edge. But he ended up being ok and returned to playing shortly thereafter,” Walker said.
Walker said that the best part about her job is working with the students and athletes and getting the athletes back on the field.
“It’s so great to work with them,” Walker said. “The best part is to see how they overcome their injury and successfully complete all rehab and getting them back onto the field. It’s great to see them active and playing again.”
Walker has learned so much by being here at Quinnipiac. She said she has become very organized, and has balanced many things at once, and it is no longer a difficult task.
Walker’s advice for choosing a career is “Whatever you choose to do, make sure you love what your doing. That way, any and all negative stuff won’t really factor in to what your doing.” Walker has done just that.