Athletic Training Students Volunteer at Boston Marathon

Athletic training students volunteer at the Boston Marathon

Lebanon Valley College athletic training students volunteered alongside medical personnel on the historic Boston Marathon sidelines, helping runners to return to the race after their injuries had been treated.

Several students were assigned to the medical tent but were unsure what to expect on race day.

“I thought I would be handing out water and covering blisters but did so much more,” said Dan Sheffield ’23, M’24. “I stretched runners, taped knees and Achilles, and handed out requested medical supplies. I also helped doctors and nurses with emergent care.”

Sheffield said the medical tent debriefed at the end of the day about their successes and improvements for next year. “They talked about how much they appreciated Frances [Hepner ’22, M’23] and me being there because we were the most requested people. The entire tent clapped and thanked us for being there because the nurses and doctors didn’t know how to stretch or tape people and get them back into the race. The nurses also talked about how it was a ‘slow’ day when it came to patients needing emergent care, so they didn’t need all the nurses there, but they did emphasize needing more athletic trainers at the medical tent.”

This year’s race marked the 10th anniversary of the bombing, and Sara Leiby ’23, M’24 recognized how the runners were racing with a purpose. Leiby was assigned to a “go team” that assisted any athletes who were down on the course within the area of their medical tent. She also treated athletes suffering from cramps and muscle tightness to get them back out into the race to finish.

Samantha O’Neill ’23, M’24 said her favorite moment of the day was cheering on the athletes as they raced by her assigned station.

“Seeing the pure joy on their faces, proud of their accomplishments, was truly heartwarming. As an athletic trainer, that’s what you look forward to at the end of the day. It’s more than just treating your patients—the relationships you build with your athletes and seeing their improvement make you love what you do.”

While their volunteerism lasted just a few hours, the memories and opportunities will not soon be forgotten.

“Volunteering at the Boston Marathon was toward the top of my bucket list. I knew this event would allow me so many opportunities and new experiences,” said Leiby. “The medical tent captains had such an appreciation for young students because we often bring new outlooks to medicine and healthcare, which is essential to a field that is always changing. Receiving all my medical credentials was such a ‘Wow, I made it here’ moment and put all my hard work into perspective.”

Lebanon Valley College athletic training students volunteer at Boston Marathon

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