22 Feb Meet athletic trainer Kaitlin Patterson
Patterson is implementing injury-prevention programs within high school athletics and providing education for coaches, school administrators, and student athletes. Although the goal is to prevent injuries as much as possible, Patterson is present to assist coaches and athletes when they do occur. She is the first person who is called when an athlete is injured, and it’s her job to determine whether it’s safe for the athlete to return to competition. She treats minor injuries — like cuts, scrapes, and bruises — so that athletes can get back into the game, meet, or match. She also knows how to properly tape injuries and even recently relocated a dislocated kneecap. When injuries are more serious, Patterson may need to recommend that athletes refrain from competition until they can heal. When injuries are more emergent, Patterson’s colleagues in Emergency Medical Services (EMS) may need to respond.
Patterson explained that athletic training is an all-encompassing healthcare profession. She works with athletes to prevent injuries, she responds to injuries when they occur, and she helps injured athletes recover so they can return to their sport. Some of her goals for the athletic training program include increasing student athletes’ access to healthcare, increasing communication among healthcare providers, and increasing follow-up for student athlete care.
Patterson said, “I’m looking forward to bridging the gap between the community and the hospital and creating personal connections with student athletes and their families as well as coaches and school administrators.”
When asked what inspired her to become an athletic trainer, Patterson said, “Helping people has always been a major calling in my life.”
As an athletic trainer, she is able to help athletes recover from injuries and learn important lessons along the way. Patterson added that she wants to be part of something bigger than herself and continue her engagement with athletics for the rest of her life.
At 6 feet, 3 inches tall, Patterson was an asset to her school basketball teams. She grew up and attended high school in Forest Grove. After high school, she received a Bachelor of Science degree in health and human performance fitness management from George Fox University in Newberg. She then went on to receive a Master of Science degree in athletic training from Pacific University in Hillsboro. She moved to Harney County after marrying her husband, Chase, who is from the area. Her work keeps her very busy, but when she isn’t working, Patterson can be found spending time outdoors with her family, including her 6-month-old daughter, June.
Patterson said she’s excited to provide a new service to Harney County’s student athletes, and she’s looking forward to building relationships with the community.
You can learn more about the athletic training program by calling Patterson at the Harney District Hospital Physical and Sports Therapy Clinic at 541-573-1543.