Athletics means a lot to the community at this school. Keeping our athletes healthy is extremely important.
Head Athletic Trainer Rachael Flanders does just that here at Cabrini.
Flanders grew up in Havertown, PA. Before she made her way to Cabrini she studied undergrad at West Chester University where she got her Bachelors in athletic training with a minor in coaching. She also has her Masters in sports management from the California University of Pennsylvania.
“I always knew that I wanted to have a career in sports, and I also had a fascination with science and how the human body moves,” Flanders said. She was an athlete all her life including college where she was a varsity swimming student-athlete at WCU.
Growing up in Havertown she always knew about Cabrini and had heard about it. So after she graduated from WCU she started applying to places in the area. Flanders knew she wanted to stay close to her family. Shortly after graduating college on a job hunt Cabrini was hiring and the rest is history.
“I have been employed as the athletic trainer at Cabrini since February 2011, so I just entered my 10th season with the Cavaliers,” Flanders said. She specifically works with women’s soccer, men’s and women’s swimming, and men’s lacrosse. Being the head athletic trainer she oversees all aspects of the athletic training room. She has a hand in the care of every student-athlete that walks into the athletic training room.
There are six domains of athletic training:
- Clinical Evaluation and Diagnosis
- Immediate Care
- Treatment, Rehabilitation and Reconditioning
- Organization and Administration
- Professional Responsibility
“In other words, we are hoping to prevent injury from even happening but in the chance that it does occur, we are there to provide immediate care and come to a diagnosis,” Flanders said. Then with the help of the strength and conditioning coach Dustin they treat the injury for the athlete to return to play. They also schedule doctors’ appointments, imaging like MRI, X-ray etc., and physical therapy if needed for student-athletes.
“We then keep records of all interactions and evaluations and progress of injuries,” Flanders said. They also communicate with coaching staff and parents about specific student-athletes.
“You could have someone sustain a life-threatening injury/illness, or something as minor as a cut or muscle strain,” Flanders said. She has to be ready at all times for something to happen even if it is a minor injury. For her job, there is never too much preparation for an event. Flanders said, “As an athletic trainer, you need to be ready for anything at any time.”
“It’s difficult to have a work-life balance when your schedule is not entirely “fluid.” It changes every day based upon class schedules, coaches’ schedules, weather etc.,” Flanders said. It’s not an easy job you have to be flexible and have great time management. There are times when she doesn’t get a day off for months at a time. “I miss out on family events, weddings, holidays, birthday parties etc., so it can be pretty hard at times,” Flanders said.
Yet she loves her job and she wouldn’t trade it for anything, it also helps that she has a family that supports her career path.
“I love being involved in helping student-athletes to get back to their sport after having suffered an injury,” Flanders said. The love she has for her job overrules the hard times. “It is the best feeling to watch someone score/win after they have been working so hard to get back to where they were before their injury,” Flanders said. She has built some lasting relationships with student-athletes, coaches and administration because of her job.