THE Leaders in Concussion Management

In many services and industries, the perceived leaders are the ones that can give the most resolute answers and proper actions.  Among perceived leaders there are some that have such a high profile, even though they do not have the education or experience, they can move mountains with their words.

With the concussion issue gaining attention, mainly through the NFL, one would perceive they are, or should be, a leader in this area, and they are.  Not only has the League and Commissioner Goodell said the right things, but they have evaluated their past and made steadfast changes in the right direction.

“We are changing the culture of the NFL with regards to concussions and, as a result, we are changing the culture of all athletics at all levels,” said Goodell. ” … We know that we set the standards in sports, and we accept that responsibility that comes with that. When we change our approach, other take notice and follow.”

However, with most things being the high-profile person will only get you so far unless you have the backing and partnership of a quality “right hand man.”

At the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) Youth Sports Safety Summit this past week, the NFL made it official that they will be partnering with the NATA to help create and pass legislation for all states about concussions and their management. (USAToday Story)

Not that athletic trainer’s are superior to doctors in the concussion area, but the athletic trainers are most likely to see a concussion in sports FIRST.  The educational background of an athletic trainer is more than qualified for holding up any state/federal law protecting the youth.  Having a plan is great, but the “boots on the ground” must be both capable and in support of such plans, and we as athletic trainers are.

First Line of Defense

In any battle you want a first line of defense that can help eliminate the problem, or a vast majority of it.  PRWeb wrote a story about the first line of defense in the concussion battle.  In the case of the Evansville, Indiana area it is a certain groups’ (ProRehab) athletic trainer’s.  Nationally, IT IS THE ATHLETIC TRAINER.

An athletic trainer is well versed in concussion education by trade, and from their educational background.  They are the first to see the injured individual, and may have even see the mechanism of injury.  The athletic trainer has the very rare ability to get immediate feedback.

If the athletic trainer is at the school everyday they have an added advantage, they will know the personality of each of the athletes.  Along with that the athletic trainer will know how each kids respond to injury, if they lie, if they over-exaggerate, etc.

Athletic trainers are the first line of defense in the concussion battle and because of that more and more people need to let our doctors, lawyers, and politicians know that fact.  The profession needs more recognition and respect and abilities to do more.

California Needs to Catch Up With The Neighbors

In California they use the same recommendation from the NFHS about concussions and removal from play.  However they use the term ‘licensed health care provider’.  Which in this state and 46 others would include the profession of athletic training.  Not in California and two other states.

The PRNewsWire documented the struggles of the CATA and how it affects the new concussion guidelines.

California needs to get with it and get the athletic training profession recognized and in a position like 47 other states.  Athletic trainers are on the forefront of the concussion battle, and need to be used as such.