oct 15, 2020
Navigating the Athletic Training Field Through Her Own Lens
Growing up around strong women figures, Brittany Blunt knew she was destined to make an impact in not only her life but the lives of others. With the heavy presence of sports and nursing coming from her aunt playing professional basketball and her mother being a nurse, it only seemed natural for Blunt to explore her interests in becoming an athletic trainer.
“I grew up in that atmosphere of sports and I grew up in that atmosphere of the medical field, so I felt like athletic training was the best of both of those worlds. I get to help people medically, but I also get to be around sports as well” stated Blunt.
Wanting to put her athletic training aspirations into full fruition, Blunt received her bachelor’s degree at University of Louisiana at Lafayette in Kinesiology and Exercise Science and received her master’s degree from the University of Texas at Arlington in Athletic Training.
Following her degrees, she became at athletic trainer at the University of Kansas, transitioned to Wichita State University and has since landed at NC State University. Through her journey, she notes that there have been some bumps in the road, one including gender bias.
“There is definitely gender bias. We [women] do a really good job at trying to connect each other. If we hear of opportunities, we try and use our network, our resources and we utilize mentoring younger people. It’s all about connecting and helping others out and that helps trying to break down those bias." - BRittany blunt
Connecting with others is something that Blunt holds near to her heart so it was a no brainer that creating connections is one of her favorite aspects of being an athletic trainer. By being an athletic trainer, you are able to meet many people as well as creating relationships with the athletes you work with.
“It’s the relationships. That is the best thing about my job because I always get connected with people that I may never get the chance to talk to or learn about. It helps me on a personal level because I can learn, I can adapt, and I engage. I can get into this sponge atmosphere where I can absorb people and their connections and what they know” stated Blunt.
Navigating athletic training through the lens for Blunt consists of being a support system to her athletes and coaches, all while being that example and creating a safe space for athletes of color and student athletes who may not feel heard by others.
“When I come to work and I am in that atmosphere with my athletes, I love learning about them outside of their sport. When we are in the athletic training room, we talk about music, movies and relationships. That makes my job that much special and it helps me give the best health care because when stuff happens, I know my student athletes”
Coming up as a student, Blunt was never exposed to the idea of women being able to fill big roles or that there were black athletic trainers so, one piece of advice that she would offer to anyone who wants to become an athletic trainer is to “be a sponge”.
“I started to get exposed to different people, atmospheres and different resources. You need to be involved, you need to be engaged, you need to apply for that scholarship because you never know what seed that can plant to be something that can become a job”.
Navigating the field hasn’t been an easy one but it has been a lens that she has been able to build and make her own.
Check out the rest of Brittany Blunt's story below: