Riana Pryor, MS, ATC
When most people think of the medical field, a career working with athletes might not be the first career they picture. People like our Cool Jobs alumna (and sports enthusiast) Riana Pryor, however, spend their medical workdays on the athletic sidelines. Pryor, an athletic trainer with the Korey Stringer Institute in Connecticut, has been hard at work providing the tools and research needed to prevent dehydration, heat stroke, and death in sports. We recently caught up with Riana to get the scoop on what she has been working on lately.
Working at the Korey Stringer Institute (KSI) at the University of Connecticut, we just finished a year-long study looking at the number of high schools in the United States who have access to athletic trainers (ATs). Partnering with the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA), we contacted the athletic directors of over 10,000 high schools! With the help of over 40 UConn students we received a 50% response rate – much greater than expected!
We found answers to the number of schools with athletic trainers, number of athletes with access to ATs, position types (full time, part time, clinic outreach, etc), barriers to hiring ATs, perceived medical coverage at schools that do not employ athletic trainers, and much more.
With this information we hope to understand how high schools are protecting their student-athletes and where there is room for improvement. This is a big step forward for athletic trainers, as medical professionals, and we hope to see the number of employed athletic trainers increase as we raise awareness of sport safety in the high school setting.
I am currently analyzing the data and will present the findings at the upcoming NATA national conference this June in Las Vegas, NV. Keep checking back on the KSI website for results!
To find out more about Riana and the journey that landed her this cool job, check out her original Cool Jobs interview!