Secondary School

A Helping Hand

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Secondary School

A Helping Hand

Article reposted from Polk County Itemizer-Observer
Author: Lukas Eggen

Jennifer Krug was nearly done with her undergraduate degree at Corban University.

She had always had an interest in the medical field, but didn’t want to be a physician or nurse. She settled on studying computer science when a professor opened her eyes to the world of athletic training.

Krug was hooked.

“The first day of class, I knew it was what I wanted to do. I was one quarter away from a degree in computer science,” she said. “I threw it all away and became an athletic trainer.”

It was one of the best decisions she ever made.

Krug was hired by Dallas High School to be a full-time athletic trainer this fall.

Prior to Dallas, she served as an athletic trainer at Silverton High School for seven years and a trainer at Corban University for 12 years.

Krug, a Stevenson, Wash., native, was drawn to the size of the Dallas community.

“We didn’t even have a stoplight (in Stevenson),” Krug said. “The move from college to high school to a smaller town is not that big of a deal for me. I actually really love it.”

She hadn’t been looking to leave Silverton. Instead, she found Dallas offered her a chance to provide a positive impact on a new community.

“I feel like throughout my career, I’ve moved to where I felt I was needed and where I could be a benefit to that community,” Krug said.

Since arriving, Krug has been working hard to earn the trust of Dallas’ student-athletes and others.

That includes making sure when an injury occurs, Krug, the athlete, parents and the physician are all on the same page for a recovery plan.

“(I’ve been working on) establishing the trust between myself and the parents, athletes and physicians,” Krug said. “That’s really important. We’re all part of a big team.”

Helping an athlete recover is incredibly rewarding, Krug said, but those moments leading up to a return can be difficult — especially when it means telling an athlete the news they don’t want to here.

“That’s the tough part,” Krug said. “I played (volleyball and basketball) in college. I understand the competitive part. I also have to be the neutral party in being able to explain to them that the next two minutes, two days, two weeks, two months and two years can make a big difference. They have to think past those next moments. That’s why I’m here — to help facilitate that.”

There’s more to recovery than simply giving someone rehabilitation.

A key part is learning how best to communicate with an athlete, Krug said. That’s where a sports background is advantageous.

“I think that it really is beneficial,” Krug said. “I can relate to an athlete. They know my best interest is for them. I want to get them back out there. Sometimes, the best way to do that is to take some rest.”

Krug has been pleasantly surprised with the Dallas community’s support in working toward the benefit of the athletes.

“I’ve been really impressed,” she said. “Everyone enjoys working together and they want the best for the athlete.”

Krug is grateful for the career advice she received in college.

And for as difficult as telling an athlete they can’t play right now can be, seeing that athlete come back from an injury is a reminder of why she does what she does.

“When an athlete who has been injured finally returns to play, you can just see the excitement on those kids’ faces,” Krug said. “Knowing how hard they worked to get back out there, that is awesome. I love that part.”