As the sports season winds down at the high school I am finally getting to the various emails I have received. I do truly enjoy the many stories and questions I get here, often times they are very learned for me; which translates to more information for you the reader.
I picked out one such email and gained permission to reprint it here. The sole purpose of this email is to get feedback about the return to learn aspect of concussions. Tom would like you to give it a read and make comments below.
Return To Learn in the High School
I am an athletic trainer in a high school in the north suburbs of Chicago. We have a concussion program in place and see about 80 concussion a year in our athletics. I am fortunate to have some control over the return to learn side of concussions in my school. I have found that this is essential in order to properly manage a concussion. I find when physicians only see an athlete once and set accommodations for a determined amount of time, it does a disservice. The same is true if the time between physician evaluations is too long, especially when kids are kept out of school for long periods of time. I find many concussion students don’t need to be out of school, and those that do usually have their symptoms decrease significantly within 1-3 days. Many times concussions progress rapidly and Continue reading
This is one of my more outspoken and shared opinion pieces about concussions, it originally was penned in August of 2013.
There is a lot of belief and trust each and every one of us has in those that are medical professionals. The further you go up the chain in those professionals our trust is greater and our belief is stronger that they know more. The sad fact that in some instances those near or at the top of the chain don’t know enough and are putting people, in this case a kid, in danger; not only in the near future but the long-term.
Compared to a physician (MD/DO) I would say my medical skills are pale in comparison, and rightfully so; their schooling and experience far outpace what I have learned in the medical field. Because of this the athletic trainer (I) am not held as in high regard when it comes to decisions about the care of an athlete; which I am fine with… 97.43% of the time (I just made up that number, ha). However there are times when a MD/DO – those making the final and binding (in parents and patients minds) decisions – make a mistake. This is not just some Monday morning quarterbacking either, its FACT.
Just recently I had an athlete take a blow to the body and head in a practice, and they immediately came to me distressed. How distressed? Well that is one advantage I have over a MD/DO, especially the ER doc, I know the kids and have the resources of his/her peers as well as coaches who have known the kid for many years. In this case the Continue reading
Feel free to send in a note, picture, video about your favorite Athletic Trainer or the profession itself. I don’t know where the credit goes but DANG ITS AWESOME!!! (click to enlarge)
The fine people over at InjureFree have a wonderful blog post about the cost for care as it relates to athletic trainers. This is an ABSOLUTE MUST READ for those interested in athletic training at the high school level. Rather than re-post the entire article I will present you with their infographic and give some quick thoughts.
This is for a high school with an athletic trainer, who as the blog post notes, can identify and asses acute injuries as part of their health care provider education. Not only can the ID the injuries but also place the injured athlete in the proper place within the continuum of care depending on the injury itself. Meaning, if the AT feels the injury will warrant possible surgery or is in need of immediate care they will be directed by the AT to “skip” the primary care physician and go directly to a specialist. This not only saves some money for a doctor visit, but it also will save time, which can be of the essence in some cases.
Secondly, if you did not have an AT on staff, and an injury that would have warranted further investigation by a doctor and it went “unchecked” the injury could have morphed into greater damage and further costs.
The athletic trainer is not limited to the above examples, not shown in this infographic is rehabilitation costs. Many times – depending on state regulations – the AT can perform rehabilitation services right at school at no or little cost. Moreover, the very minor injuries that require taping or simple stretching/monitored practice are at no cost to the injured player and their insurance. Again saving money.
Yes, this is a commercial for athletic trainers. We really need people to understand that our profession will not only save time and money when someone is injured, but we also save lives and stress of those dealing with the injuries.
I have noticed a major change in how we have been able to manage concussions at my school since this new legislation. When it initially came out the school personnel, athletes, and parents were reluctant and upset with the new requirements. I, on the other hand, was ecstatic because it put the athletic trainers in the forefront and helped bring to light the issue of concussions along with the issue of the lack of athletic trainers in secondary schools.
I am solely responsible for concussion management at the school that I am contracted with. In August, I spoke numerous times at parents’ meetings, with the athletes, and with the coaching staff. I spoke at length with the school nurse. All of them received information from the Illinois High School Association and CDC regarding concussions. The coaches, administrators, and school nurse were also provided with the return to play protocols.
It is important that we as athletic trainers take control of concussion management. Most others are not educated to do so nor Continue reading
This blog is mainly about concussions however, athletic training is a very strong undercurrent here. Mike Hopper takes a look at a column surrounding the tragedy in Fennville, MI, and how an athletic trainer could have been utilized.
I’m sure anybody in the athletics world has heard of the unfortunate tragedy that took place last Thursday night. For those who don’t know, Wes Leonard, a 16 year-old basketball player from Michigan, died after scoring the winning basket that sealed his team’s 20-0 perfect regular season. Leonard collapsed amid the celebration that ensued after the game and died a couple of hours later.
Chilling reports have come from this small town of Fennville that are sending up red flags across the country. There are mixed reports as to if any care was given immediately following the collapse, but it appears very little was given until paramedics arrived.
In John Doherty’s column on Monday, the author goes to another problem with this whole incident. CPR or lack of CPR has been brought up numerous times and rightfully so. But what has remained hush-hush is the lack of AED and the lack of proper medical services provided onsite that night. Continue reading
Time to introduce our newest blogger; Mike Hopper. I will let him describe a little about himself…
I am currently a certified athletic trainer working in a physical therapy clinic and providing outreach coverage to high schools in the Metro-East St. Louis area. I graduated this past December with my bachelor’s degree in athletic training. People ask why I would choose a profession that is relatively low-paying and has the hours that athletic training often does.
For a long time, I would say that it’s just what I love, which is true. I love being around athletes, I love watching sports, and I have taken an interest into the healthcare of these athletes. But it goes back to high school for why I have become so passionate about this profession.
I suffered concussions in high school. Not a single one was ever diagnosed or even evaluated by a health care professional, but knowing what I know now, I am certain I had at least 3 of them, probably more than that. But even 4-5 years ago, we did not know very much about concussions. I “got my bell rung” but that was just part of being a football player. I can remember now two specific incidents where I am certain I had symptoms that went unreported.
The first one was in a football game on a kickoff. I got hit from behind and my facemask actually got stuck in the ground. I got up a bit dizzy and headed for the sideline—the opponent’s. I realized it quickly enough, but I developed a headache later. Again none of it reported. Then my senior year I was a catcher on the baseball team and took a foul tip Continue reading
Rock Island trainer Tim Mangold, left, and Dr. Thomas Von Gillern tend to the Rocks’ Chris Glover on Oct 8. Glover was shaken up on the play but did not sustain a concussion. (Louis Brems/Quad-City Times)
This is the second part to the concussion series being run by The Quad City Times and the prep section, written by Doug Green. The first one was yesterday and focused on the injury itself. Today’s story is about the athletic trainer and how they are at the front line of this issue.
As an athletic trainer I feel that our profession is not only capable but NEEDED at all levels of sports. Either on-site for the games/practices or a phone call away. A lot of educational time is devoted to head injuries for athletic trainers, and our continuing education requirements offer us the ability to continually learn in this area. Sure, we are not MD’s/DO’s but our experience and rate of seeing these injuries make the athletic trainer somewhat of an “expert”.
As one doctor in the article states, deferring to the athletic trainer to know if the athlete is “right” is, in fact, a prudent and important step in returning athletes.
“I rely on the trainer to know what an athlete is normally like,” said Jessica Ellis, who is the team doctor for the Davenport school district and St. Ambrose University. “I have standardized tests with memory, cognition, balance checks.”
Read the rest of the story HERE.
Know what an athletic trainer is, HERE.
As I have stated time and time again, education is the key to prevention of any injury. But none is as important as the head injury. Education Week published a story by Christina A. Samuels about such prevention.
“Football is such a macho sport. There’s a pervasive mentality in that sport” to ignore injuries, said Mike Carroll, the head athletic trainer at the 1,000-student Stephenville High School in Stephenville, Texas. “I really have to emphasize that this is not something you can walk off.”
Mr. Carroll, who has been at his school for 20 years, doesn’t have to fight too hard with the coaches when it comes to holding students out who have received concussions. But some students are still slow to report their injuries. Recently, one student who was injured Continue reading