Athletic Training at St. Luke’s

Riley GriffithFaculty Spotlight, News & Events, Spotlight

Get to Know Mr. Bentley.

March is a time to recognize Athletic Trainers. Everyone knows that we have been blessed with the BEST …….”Trainer Dave.” Mr. Bentley is such an important part of St. Luke’s. His love and dedication to our school and athletics is evident. We want to thank him for his LONG hours and for being everyone’s favorite “go-to” guy when they aren’t feeling 100%! Dave’s knowledge, support & patience makes St. Luke’s a better place to be!

St. Luke's: Why did you become an athletic trainer?
Dave Bentley: I have always enjoyed athletics. I have also enjoyed the dynamics of teams. Because of these things, I started working as a student trainer when I was in 8th grade. I enjoyed that and decided to work as a student trainer in college. I went to the University of Alabama where I was exposed to athletics on a much bigger scale. After college I decided I wanted to do this as a career so I took my certification exam and started working as an athletic trainer.

SL:   How long have you worked at St. Luke’s?
DB:   I have been at St. Luke's since 2008 as the athletic trainer.

SL:   Before working at St. Luke’s, what was your athletic training experience?
DB:   I worked as a student trainer at the University of Alabama. I then worked for a company called HealthSouth. This gave me the opportunity to work with high school students and work doing physical therapy with patients in an outpatient setting. I then went to work for Fleming Rehab and Sports Medicine which gave me the same opportunity as HealthSouth. I was assigned to St. Luke's. I worked in the clinic in the morning doing rehab with patients and in the afternoon I would come to St. Luke's to take care of our athletes.

SL:   What are your hobbies?
DB:   I enjoy reading. I enjoy both fiction and nonfiction.

SL:   Describe a typical work day for you.
DB:   A typical work day starts with class. I teach Anatomy and Physiology as well as BioMed Fundamentals. After school, I head up the hill to the gym and start working with injured athletes and covering games and practices in case someone gets hurt.

SL:   How do you prepare for a game day?
DB:   It really depends on which season it is. Football takes more preparation than other sports. I have to pack more things for football than I do for any other sport. I have to make sure that I have enough supplies to tape all the athletes who need taping. I have splints that can be used in case they are needed and crutches. I pack an AED (automatic external defibrillator) in case it is needed. I have different fluids for cramping. And of course, I pack plenty of ice and ice bags.

SL:   During a performance or game, how do you assess an athletic injury?
DB:   My assessment of an athletic injury is based on what the athlete tells me when we first speak. It is important to find out how the injury occured because this will give you a mechanism of injury and that can tell you which structures are involved in the injury. Once I have an idea of what structures may be involved, I test those structures through palpation, stress testing, strength testing, and range of motion testing.

SL:   How do you evaluate a patient’s readiness to resume physical activity?
DB:   If the athlete has been under the care of a doctor, then the doctor usually decides when he/she can return to activity. There are times the doctor lets me decide or there are times during games or practices when I have to decide. I ask the athlete about his/her symptoms. I then look at how functional an athlete is by looking at range of motion, testing strength, and making the athlete do some functional activities that are sports specific.

SL:   How do you motivate an injured athlete?
DB:   Fortunately, athletes for the most part, are motivated people so motivating them is usually not an issue. There are those athletes who do need a little motivation and I choose ways to motivate the athlete in ways that will hopefully achieve the desired outcome. Whatever method I use, I try to always be honest with them.

SL:   What is the thing you do more often than anything else?
DB:   As an athletic trainer, I believe communication with athletes, coaches, and parents is very important. Because of this, I spend a lot of time building relationships with the athletes, parents, and coaches.

SL:   What is your favorite thing about your job?
DB:   The favorite thing about my job is working with our athletes. It is really fulfilling when you help an athlete return from an injury.

SL:   Why do all of the male athletes chant “Dave! Dave! Dave!” when they see you? Clearly, all of your athletes LOVE you.
DB:   I am not exactly sure when this started and which class started it. I do know that I have a pretty decent cheering section.