As we wrap up National Athletic Training Month, we sat down with our head athletic trainer (ATC), Elisha Wells, to get to know more about her and her passion for sports medicine. At Dynamix, we are proud to offer the most elite physical therapy and sports medicine services in West Tennessee, and without dynamic leaders like Elisha, we would not have this incredible team of ATCs.
I am originally from Clinton, Kentucky, where my family owned Clarks Seafood Family Restaurant. I attended UT Martin and received my BS in health and human performance, with an emphasis in athletic training. I continued my education and received my Masters of Science in Education while being the first graduate assistant in athletic training at UTM.
During my time at UTM, I had the opportunity to cover several sports teams under the guidance of Linda Barker and Bart Belew, two of the best ATCs in my opinion. I also worked as a registration clerk at Fulton Parkway Hospital in Fulton, Kentucky, where I worked with various nurses and physicians and saw many different types of injuries. Observing these injuries, working with collegiate athletes and watching how the medical professionals helped these patients continued to pique my interest in athletic rehabilitation, and ultimately led me to pursue my career in sports medicine.
I have been an ATC for 20+ years, and the athletic training industry has evolved ever since I was in college. During my time in school, we has to accumulate 2,000 volunteer hours within a certain amount of time, follow coursework curriculum and have an internship with an ATC in order to be ready for our written national board of certification exam. Today's ATCs now have clinical rotations, coursework and a computerized exam for their boards. Plus, ATCs must receive their license from Tennessee's Department of Health.
Besides my love for working as the head ATC for Dynamix with all the student athletes, I enjoy being with my family. My husband and I have three kiddos (one mine, two are bonus kiddos) and we enjoy spending time outdoors, whether it is hiking, playing HORSE (which I am always the winner) or throwing any sort of ball with each other. My mother and her husband travel the US in their RV, and my sister and her family live in Murray. Any time with family is some of the most cherished time.
Lorna Bethel, Dynamix PTA and ATC, helps assess an injured student athlete from Greenfield High School.
What does a day in the life of an athletic trainer look like?
Some ATCs split their time between clinic and field, while some are full-time out at the schools they cover. ATCs typically put in no less than 12 hours a day, six to seven days a week for roughly six to seven months a year. We always have an open communication line with our coaches, parents and even physicians to check on our student athletes. Some of the Dynamix ATCs go into the schools we cover for weekly well checks and to touch base with coaches and athletes. Every day is a new day in the life of a Dynamix ATC.
What is your favorite part of your job?
My favorite part of my job is that every day presents something new. It is not the same thing over and over, day in and day out. There is always an injury to be assessed, an exercise program to be made and a coach, parent or MD to discuss an injury.
How long have you been with Dynamix as head athletic trainer?
I joined Dynamix as their head athletic trainer in 2018.
What makes Dynamix West Tennessee’s leader in sports medicine?
It's me, of course! Just kidding. It is the way we care for all of our "kids," as we call the athletes. I treat each of my athletes like they are my own child. I have always told any student trainer that I have mentored to not have their athlete do an exercise, lift or activity that you would not do yourself or let your own child or family member do.
We tailor each workout program specific to the athlete, the sport(s) they play or the injury itself. We speak weekly, sometimes daily, with referring physicians, parents and coaches to keep them updated on the progress of the athlete. The relationships we also build within the communities where we serve is one that sets us apart from everyone else.
Another part that makes us the best in the business is we are continuously growing and evolving our team through continued education opportunities for physical therapists, PTAs and ATCs. Our leadership team invests in us and views us as valued team members, and because of that, it builds confidence in ourselves as well as the company to serve the West Tennessee with the most elite physical therapy and sports medicine programs in the region.
To schedule a free injury assessment, visit dynamix.life to find your local Dynamix clinic.