Tammy Collins never wanted a run-of-the-mill desk job. An athlete who has always loved the outdoors, she craved daily changes and challenges.
As the new athletic trainer at Richmond Hill High School and Spine and Sport, she has both.
“I like to tell people that my job is never going to be the same thing day to day,” Collins said. “That’s why I went into this field. I wanted something that I constantly didn’t know what was coming and that’s my favorite part of the job now.”
Collins does everything from taping ankles to emergency care to working with coaches to develop nutrition guidelines and conditioning programs for their teams.
The everyday variety, she said, “keeps it exciting, keeps it new, and keeps you constantly learning and bettering yourself when you’re challenged.”
Collins was hired for her current role, dividing time between Richmond Hill High School and Spine and Sport, in September.
“It’s a partnership—kind of using a little of the resources of each,” she explained.
While she spends most of her time working at RHHS, Spine and Sport helps her to develop therapy programs for her patients, and she, in turn, provides assistance to them when needed.
Collins is the sole athletic trainer at the school, so she works with all teams.
“I take care of everyone from football to golf,” she said. “Being one athletic trainer for quite a few athletes, some of it is a little run around … I cover the sports that have the highest risk of serious injury, and the other coaches kind of have guidelines to use for when to contact me.”
Hailing from Ohio, the athletic trainer received her graduate degree in exercise science from the University of Georgia. After graduating, she went on to serve as an athletic trainer and health sciences teacher at Armstrong Atlantic State University.
Collins believes that the athletic trainer partnership position will have positive effects on Richmond Hill High School’s athletic program.
“I know the school has had some difficulty before with having trainers and losing funding, so the hope is that this partnership can kind of open the doors for the importance of a position like this. We’ve been working on doing more than just, for example, treating an ankle sprain after it happens. To do more that’s preventative for both an injury basis or just overall sport performance is what we’re working towards … to expand the role of your traditional health care provider into just an overall wellness for all the kids here.”