In-Depth Look: Meet an Athletic Trainer for Disneyland Park

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Jena Hansen-Honeycutt, MS, ATC, PES is an Athletic Trainer at Disneyland Park in California. Her role includes working with the entertainment staff to improve performance and prevent injuries.

Describe your setting:

I work with the entertainment staff at Disneyland by providing injury prevention services for a diverse work force, including but not limited to, character performers, equity stunt performers, actors, gymnasts, puppeteers, dancers, musicians, photographers, show support technicians, and cosmetology technicians.

How long have you worked in this setting?

I have been working in this setting for 2 years.

Describe your typical day:

A typical day depends largely on the shift that you are working and staff that you will encounter. I mostly work in a location that works with Parades and entertainment support staff. On a typical day I would initially check my email and schedule to see if there are any scheduled appointments for the location I am at. About 2 hours prior to the parade step-off time we see the performers as needed and provide services to aid them in preparing for their day (i.e., warm-up, exercise progression, first aid, taping, etc.), improving performance, and preventing injuries. At the time of Parade step-off there is a drop in patient load and we take a lunch break.

Upon returning from lunch the performers are taking a break and checking in with AT staff as needed, preparing for the next performance, and creating a plan for progression. Following this second wave of parade preparation we complete any documentation that could not be completed earlier and clean our facilities. In other shifts, I would work with smaller shows and spends the day going to the areas of performances/ where performers are taking breaks and check-in with them to provide them with injury prevention services and education regarding health and wellness.

What do you like about your position?

I enjoy working with the performers and all other support staff, the patients are uniquely aware of their body and work diligently to improve performance and prevent injuries through participating in movement and performance screens. This patient population enjoys learning how to make their body function more efficiently.

What do you dislike about your position?

In this location there is a large patient population making it difficult to have continuity between athletic trainers providing services to the individuals.

What advice do you have about your practice setting for a young AT looking at this setting?

I would encourage other ATs to seek opportunities in their area where they can contribute to providing AT services to groups of performing artists as this population is in need of quality health care services

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