News – Having an Athletic Trainer is the Way to Go

3 Nov

In the 10 months that I have spent writing the blog, I have read a lot of articles written about individual athletic trainers and articles about the profession of athletic training.  Most of the articles try to succinctly articulate the role of an athletic trainer and the valuable services provided.  This article may be on the of the best at relating the scope of the expertise and education of an athletic trainer.

Any team that has ever had the opportunity to work with an athletic trainer for a season, not a physiotherapist, not a person who has some first aid training, but a certified athletic trainer, would have to admit to the obvious difference in proficiency and efficiency in the way an athletic trainer attends to and deals with his/her athletes. Athletic trainers are groomed to deal with the specific challenges that accompany working with a team. Everything from assessing an injury on the field/court in full view of the viewing audience, to rehabilitating them to full return to play; from gathering their medical background to having all insurance information on hand in the event of an emergency situation; from identifying the psychological challenges of being injured to communicating with coaches about their management in the best interest of the athlete. Athletic trainers receive the most extensive training to meet the specific demands of athletes. Pre-game preparation usually entails some sort of strapping or taping to help injured athletes to stay in the game while coping with an injury.

Athletic trainers must be proficient in taping techniques to be able to support the joint or muscle properly; to understand what type of tape is most suitable to do the job; to apply the angle of tension to avoid unnatural torque that would cause further damage to the body rather than prevent it, etc. When an athlete goes down on the field, the assessment process starts immediately, recapping what happened just before the athlete went down and then observing the reaction of the athlete to the mechanism of injury—all this while running to the aid of the athlete. Each sport has its own rules with reference to when the first responder is allowed to come onto the playing field/court to attend to the athlete but once there, resuming play as quickly as possible is the priority. Thus, assessing the athlete to determine whether participation can continue or not, or whether the athlete requires medical assistance to be safely removed or not are high priority. Serious injuries like ligament ruptures, spinal injuries and concussions must be managed carefully to avoid further injury to the athlete.

The article continues to explain the athletic trainer’s preparation and education and I encourage all of you to read it and pass it on to parents, athletes, students and coaches.


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