The blog began simply enough, making notice of information about concussion in a time when there was so much misunderstanding. It turned into a cathartic exercise on how I have dealt with concussions as an athletic trainer – the good and the bad. It has slowly morphed into a platform for change; not only concussions but the healthcare profession of athletic training, in particular at the secondary school level (high school).
Adolescent concussion is not only staggering in terms of exposure but in terms of mismanagement, the true problem in this concussion crisis, in my humble opinion. I feel – biased – that athletic trainers not only can help with the management but with the overall “acceptance” of this brain injury as it relates to sports. Because of those thoughts I have been openly and behind the scenes, clamoring for a way to get more AT’s in the high school. Not just game-day ATC’s either, full-time and daily coverage for our most vulnerable. The analogy still remains: would you send you kid to a public swimming pool without a life guard on duty? Why would you send your kid to collision sports without an athletic trainer on duty?
Yes, this is being spurred on by the concussion issue at hand, but in reality an athletic trainer is SO MUCH MORE! We deal with the mundane (common cold) to the emergent (cardiac arrest) when it comes to athletic or high school (dealing with situations during a school day) injuries.
I came across a tweet today from Rick Burkholder (@proatc), Head Athletic Trainer of the Kansas City Chiefs that is putting this into action.
The NFL is starting a grant process to place certified athletic trainers (ATC’s) into more high schools. The monies are limited from what I can tell, but this is the start that I have been dreaming of for the past few years.