MT. VERNON —
“A lot of my job here is determining the severity of the injury,” Hammond said. “If it is something that does need to see a doctor, or if it's going to heal on its own. Every kid is different. They all have different pain thresholds, and there are some kids that have pain thresholds that I did not expect.”
Another critical aspect is education. Hammond has handouts available for the athletes. When an athlete comes to her with an injury, she writes down instructions on whether to see a doctor or get a brace if the injury is a sprain. The handouts include rehabilitation exercises and pictures of different braces. All the athletes has to do is point out the specific brace to the supply facility.
“I've found that giving them a handout with everything written on it is a lot better than telling them, because they forget,” Hammond said.
Typically, the public might think players in a sport like football are the toughest. Hammond said she remembers one of the toughest athletes she ever treated.
It was a cheerleader.
The cheerleader suffered an injury that pryed back one of her toenails. She went to the hospital, had surgery and competed the next day.
“I know a lot of football players that would have been done for a month with that,” Hammond said. “I couldn't believe she competed the next day.”
Football is the fall sport that can be the most challenging for an athletic trainer like Hammond. The sport, due to its physical nature, can create an unbalanced about of injuries compared to others. Mt. Vernon, like other schools, has tried to limit and minimize some of those incidents.
Last year Mt. Vernon implemented a computer-based concussion test. It was used as a way to test whether a player was ready to return to action. The test is back this season.