A Position On and Off the Ice

Morgan Martin working as athletic trainer for athletics

As an athletic trainer at Salem State University, Morgan Martin ’21, M’22 works with the men’s soccer, women’s ice hockey, and softball teams. She covers practices, games, and student-athlete rehabilitation.

Dr. Joseph Murphy, associate professor of athletic training, previously worked at Salem State and helped Martin make the connection for the position.

“My coworkers have been phenomenal helping me with my transition from student to practitioner,” said Martin. “They’ve helped me with any questions, especially when it comes to newer territory like navigating insurances and doctor’s office visits, but their faith in me to be able to do my job well was a huge confidence boost at the start of my career. Most of the coaches I’ve worked with have been such a positive experience and have taught me so much.”

Wrapping up the end of her first year at Salem State, there’s now another tie between Martin’s current school and her alma mater. A four-year defender on the LVC women’s ice hockey team, Martin connected coach Matt Yingst with the Salem State coach and the two arranged a game between the two squads next season.
The chance to play ice hockey sealed Martin’s college choice that was also based on LVC’s location, affordability, and academic program choice. She arrived at LVC planning to pursue physical therapy but pivoted during her junior year.

“I had never interacted with an athletic trainer or really even realized what they do until I was a college athlete and got to work directly with our athletic trainers,” she said. “I realized it was the perfect combination of anatomy and athletics. Meeting with Dr. Murphy when I was considering switching only solidified that I had made the right decision.”

Martin appreciated the hands-on learning from faculty who taught them how to problem solve and advocated for the importance of athletic trainers. She took these lessons learned and applied them at four clinical rotations that included two high schools, a Division III college, and a professional sports team.

“The high school settings helped me practice and perfect my evaluation process,” said Martin. “The college setting was where I started to build some confidence and independence. My final site was with a professional rugby team in Houston, Texas. This was my favorite experience, but also the most intimidating.

“I started to do a lot more clinical decision-making on my own and take on more responsibility as I prepared to take my certification exam. Talking to the coaches about athlete status was something I always dreaded, but the coaching staff there was very welcoming and understanding that I was still learning,” said Martin.

Martin said these experiences and the rapport she built with the athletes confirmed she made the right career choice.

“You become a part of their life and really get to know them which not only helps you do your job better, but it gives you another reason to look forward to going into work each day,” said Martin.

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