#NATM2015 YouTube Video – OATS

From my home state of Illinois, I give you Oswego High School…  Make sure you see the interviews at the end of the video!!!!!!!!!!!

Well Done!

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Constantly Learning and Watching: There is a Time to Act

It has been a truly busy season – in regards to injuries – where I perform my “day job”.  I was going over some records that I keep and this season has been the busiest in my 15 years.  In fact, when discussing with peers they too have had a high volume of injuries in the training room.  I would say it is karma; last season we were as slow as I could remember.

Part of what I do in my job is to evaluate the injuries and determine if there are any that could have been prevented.  Certainly preseason preparation – weights and conditioning – is a huge factor and we did that here, but there is always a place to learn and watch to make adjustments.  In reviewing the injuries (over 50 – not all concussions) I’ve encountered that required medical care beyond the athletic training room the results were “good”.  Only three were incidents that I considered “preventable”, one of which I posted about weeks ago. That is less than 10% of injuries that could have been prevented, which is good, not great, but good.  In years past I have seen numbers as high as 25-30% of injuries that I deemed “preventable”.  I take pride in doing my job and if I can prevent every single incident and only have injuries that occur on a “random” basis I will take it (has yet to happen in my 15 years).

Before we go further, I would like to give a glimpse into how I review injuries.  We will use a tib/fib fracture we had this year; this player was injured in a game and to me that is “un-preventable”.  However, a few years back we had a tib/fib fracture that occurred in practice – a practice with only “uppers” on and players were not supposed to take anyone to the ground – that incident was considered “preventable” to me.  If players and coaches were vigilant to the rules of practice that player would never have been rolled up on during a tackle.  Concussions are similar…

I feel that concussions can be “prevented” in practice with contact limits and proper technique during drills.  The other two incidents, thus far, I deemed preventable occurred in practices and were concussions.  One player was hit by a teammate during a non-contact soccer drill as a “joke” and the other did not use good judgement and ran into a pile and was rocked.

The take home here is that most injuries are part of sports and we must accept this.  Also, athletic trainers have much more to worry about and analyze than most think.

All of the observation and learning also pertains to return to play; whether that be orthopedic rehabilitation or concussion return to play protocol.  We, as athletic trainers, must express our voices when there is something going on that is a player safety issue.  This can be as simple as modifying team warm-ups all the way to the case I had yesterday.

One of the concussed kids was on his final step for RTP (full contact practice), he is Continue reading

Ten Reasons Your School Needs an Athletic Trainer

  1. A certified athletic trainer is the #1 healthcare provider trained and educated to work with athletes.
  2. A certified athletic trainer is trained to handle emergencies whether it’s a broken arm, a neck injury, or cardiopulmonary. All athletic trainers are trained in life-saving skills such as CPR and AED use.
  3. Athletic trainers are one of the best-educated professionals to recognize and manage concussions.
  4. Athletic trainers are proactive and spend a lot of time trying to prevent injury.
  5. Athletic trainers have hundreds of hours of related experience before they ever step foot into a full-time job. Continue reading

My Solution: Lack of Athletic Trainers in Secondary Schools

I will not claim to be an unbiased source.  I will not claim to know everything there is to know about insurance.  But one thing I know is very clear:  There is a significant lack of athletic trainers available to student-athletes in secondary schools.

As a certified athletic trainer, I think it’s very important to have the proper health care provider available all the time, and the training and education suggests that be a certified athletic trainer.  No other profession spends their entire education learning sports medicine like we do.  We learn to work with next to nothing in the way of supplies and facilities.  We learn to work within time constraints of the athlete.  They are much different from average patients.

The issue always comes down to money.  Administrators say they do not have the money to pay for an athletic trainer, but they have money to provide a nurse during the school day.  It is time that an athletic trainer be mandated for sports at the secondary school level. In these tough economic times, schools are struggling to provide basic services.  Teachers across the state of Illinois and across the country are facing layoffs and pay freezes or even pay cuts.  Programs are being dropped including sports, music, drama, and even some classes are getting cut.  Coaching positions are being cut as well and schools are relying more on volunteers.  But I am here to suggest that schools be required to hire a certified athletic trainer.  Where are they going to get that money? Continue reading