LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — The coronavirus has caused a lot of people to be displaced from their jobs. Franciscan Health athletic trainers are some of them.
When high schools began to close and cancel sporting events, athletic trainers were out of work. This caused Franciscan Health to rethink what they should do.
That's why they've decided to give their athletic trainers new opportunities.
After previously working as the athletic trainer at Carroll High School, Jennifer Smith now works at the Lafayette YMCA.
"We work with Parkinson's patients and people that are finished with therapy with our next step patients," said Smith.
Now, due to the coronavirus, she's had a humbling experience. You won't see her working with her normal patients at the YMCA. She is now spending her time helping at Franciscan Health Hospital.
"I was actually cleaning the third floor. So, just making my rounds up there and making sure everything is clean, especially all the high touch surfaces," said Smith.
When Smith is not cleaning, she is screening patients at the emergency room entrance.
"People are kind of freaked out about what's going on," said Smith. "So just making sure that the visitors with them are getting screened properly."
Smith is not the only athletic trainer helping at the hospital. Franciscan has 42 athletic trainers from 29 area high schools. With sporting events being canceled, they now have the opportunity to do something they never imagined.
Manager of sports medicine, Craig Voll, said Franciscan did what they could to keep the displaced athletic trainers employed.
"When the schools closed, there were no sports or anything like that," said Voll. "What we looked at is how can we do our part and be a good teammate."
Voll said even though the athletic trainers never thought they would be doing this, he is glad they are able to help.
"Having them work inside the hospital allows them to be on the front lines, rather than the sidelines," said Voll.