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Athletic trainers try to put skills to use during coronavirus pandemic

Posted at 5:57 PM, Mar 23, 2020

OMAHA (KMTV) — On a typical late March day, athletic trainer Amber Shepherd would be working with her Omaha South boys' soccer team helping the Packers stay healthy as they go for back to back state titles.

Instead, Shepherd is working her side job at OrthoNebraska screening patients in the parking the lot.

Fellow AT Lisa Moore just wrapped the winter sports season at Millard North.

"It was definitely hard to know that some of these seniors that play spring sports might not get a senior year in their sport," said Moore. "Saturday after the basketball game, you're giving hugs to the kids and you think oh my gosh, I might never see you again."

Moore's job, along with all the other athletic trainers in the Millard, Elkhorn, Papillion and Bellevue school districts is contracted through CHI Health. While high school sports are put on hold, CHI is still keeping their athletic trainers busy at various hospitals and physical therapy clinics in the area.

"We're all just kind of in limbo right now and hoping that there's some way to salvage the spring for these kids," Moore said.

While some are not worried about their job status, one athletic trainer told 3 News Now they are worried their employer might suspend their pay until the summer since there are no sports to cover.

But for now, AT's are stepping up in any way they can to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

"It's just not sports we help out with," said Kelsi Huseman with OrthoNebraska. "We're in the industrial setting, a lot of different health care settings. So we can definitely help out in any way and hopefully not have to file for unemployment and stay at home."

For now, Nebraska high school practices are suspended until March 30th. However, NSAA Executive Director Jay Bellar told 3 News Now that an updated status on the situation could come on Wednesday.