Tag Archives: Lack of athletic trainers

A High School AT’s Lament

11 Oct

I love my job.  I really, really do.  I love working with high school athletes, they keep me young.  I love working with other professionals (teachers, coaches, physical therapists, MDs, DOs, DCs) who pour their lives into the lives of others.  I enjoy being a role model for student athletic trainers.  I enjoy being a CI for a local ATEP.  I like writing occasionally in this blog and giving back to the profession.  I enjoy the work I get to do for PATS and for the BOC.  But there are also things I don’t like about my job.  I don’t like the weird hours that took so much from my personal life.  I don’t like the mountains of paperwork that seem to grow through the years.  I don’t like the added stress of RTP decisions when Continue reading

News – Certified Athletic Trainers Key to Diagnosing and Treatment of Concussions

21 Aug

Idaho – For the past few years, there has been increasing awareness within the media of the problem of concussions in high school sports.  This awareness has raised the level of concern by parents, coaches and administrators, but the awareness hasn’t raised the collective knowledge level.  Proper recognition and treatment of concussions is still a problem.

Zach Kyle of the Idaho State Journal wrote an outstanding piece on the problem.  He writes:

Concussions always will be a reality in high school sports. Continue reading

Most parents feel they don’t know enough about sports injuries

20 Apr

USA Today – Millions of children and teens accross the country participate in organized sports.  NFHS statistics report that over 7 million competed in high school athletics at member schools.  Millions more compete starting at age 4 and 5 through their high school years in club sports.  These club sports, rec leagues, Little League, Pop Warner, etc. are all organized and run by parent volunteers.  A survey released in 2011 by Safe Kids, USA and Johnson & Johnson reveal some sobering statistics: Continue reading

New Game Plan for Concussions

4 Apr

Neurology Now – A well written article discusses the prevelence of concussion in sports and the incompetence of the general public in recognizing the signs and symptoms of a concussion.  I have peiced together many of the better parts of the article below.  It is worth the read and highlights the importance of access to athletic trainers for all athletes.

Over the past few years, a number of stories have made the headlines involving mismanaged injuries in young athletes that turned catastrophic. Too many times, players have been moved off the field when they shouldn’t have been or cleared to return to play before they fully recovered. Instead of heading off to college, teenagers like Matthew Newman of Cowiche, WA, are spending what would be their freshman year making trips to rehabilitation facilities. Newman suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) during a football game in September 2009, and has been fighting a long battle to recover ever since.

As a result, dangerous hits are being taken more seriously. Athletic organizations at every level—from Pop Warner football to the National Football League—are changing the rules that dictate when players can return to the field, what type of personnel must be present at sporting events, and how to determine if an athlete can suit up… or should sit down.

Additionally, a number of states have begun to adopt legislation requiring that players who are suspected to have suffered a concussion be removed from play. (See box, “Making Concussion Safety a Law.”) Data from the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, OH, show that as many as 40 percent of high school athletes who sustain concussions return to action prematurely, which raises the risk for more severe injuries.

“Letting someone continue to play when they are concussed will commonly cause a longer, more complex injury,” says Jeffrey Kutcher, M.D., assistant professor of neurology at University of Michigan Health System in Ann Arbor, MI, and director of the Michigan Neurosport Program. If an athlete re-enters a game or practice, he or she faces serious risks—even if there is no further physical contact. “If they continue to exert themselves physically and mentally at high levels, the injury worsens, with more complex symptoms and a more difficult recovery,” he says.

What is known is that concussions are happening far too often. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), three million concussions occur every year in the United States. Among people 15 to 24 years old, sports are second only to motor vehicle accidents as the leading cause of TBI. Concussions represent an estimated 8.9 percent of all high school athletic injuries, according to a report from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

“These injuries are happening more frequently than we ever realized,” and they’re not always easy to detect, says Julian Bailes, M.D., director of the Brain Injury Research Institute and professor and chairman of the department of neurosurgery at West Virginia University School of Medicine in Morgantown. “It can be very difficult to discern how serious a hit is by just seeing or hearing what happened,” Dr. Bailes says.

That was one of the key drivers behind the AAN’s recommendations: to take the decision of whether a player can return to the field out of the coach’s hand, and to leverage the technological innovations and advances in research that have surfaced in recent months to improve the care of athletes, says Dr. Kutcher.

The bottom line of the new position is actually quite simple: Got a possible concussion? Get off the field.

While experts such as neurologists and certified athletic trainers are qualified to identify the signs of a concussion, doing so can be much more difficult for the untrained. Many people believe that concussions only occur when a player is unconscious. This assumption, says Dr. Bailes, is both incorrect and dangerous. “With the vast majority of concussions in sports—90 percent of the time, in fact—athletes don’t get knocked out,” he notes. “They’re walking around and talking, and they look normal.”

That’s where testing comes into play. Through a neuropsychological evaluation, physicians acquire important information about a patient’s cognitive, motor, behavioral, language, and executive functioning, which can guide them in making a diagnosis and determining when it is safe for an athlete to return to play. According to the AAP, evaluation is based on several computerized neuropsychological tests designed to objectively evaluate an athlete’s post-injury condition and track recovery to prevent cumulative effects of concussion. A neuropsychologist may also administer a pencil-and-paper test to the patient.

Why athletic trainers are needed


One step that can assist in identifying and assessing possible concussions is the presence of a certified athletic trainer. According to Dr. Kutcher, this is important for several reasons.

“Athletic trainers have the experience and the training to be able to block out all of the environmental distractions that exist during games and triage an injury,” says Dr. Kutcher, who is also a team physician for the University of Michigan and Eastern Michigan University athletic programs. And trainers are taught to be completely objective when evaluating athletes.

“While I would love to think that all parents, coaches, and teammates can have objective viewpoints on these injuries, the truth is, that’s hard to do. Athletic trainers accept that responsibility, and they’ve developed the skills to not let the person’s position of importance to the team—for example, the starting quarterback—affect their clinical judgment.”

What distinguishes certified athletic trainers from other professionals such as personal trainers is the fact that they must graduate with a bachelor’s or master’s degree from an accredited professional athletic training education program and pass a test administered by the Board of Certification, according to the National Athletic Trainer’s Association. Once certified, they must meet ongoing continuing education requirements.

Original article

Applying Pressure in CA – Its needed!

17 Mar

As I have blogged about this week, CA is 1 of 3 states that does not have any licensure or certification laws protecting the citizens (i.e. athletes and physically active) from unlicensed and negligent athletic trainers.  Many of the media are helping out by writing articles such as this one in support of athletic trainers and in support of state licensure.

This month is recognized by the National Athletic Training Association as National Athletic Training Month.

“I think it’s great,” said Brittany Bauer, a certified athletic trainer and Cal State Fullerton graduate student. “It’s promoting awareness, especially since the profession is growing.”

Along with NATA, the CSUF Athletic Training Education Program is helping to support the movement to increase both the local and national recognition of the often misunderstood profession of athletic training in hopes of preventing and diagnosing injuries like Mallon’s.

“The more recognition you have for the profession, the more respect, the more people will appreciate the need for athletic trainers,” said Rebeca Ribeiro, a second semster CSUF ATEP student.

Currently California is one of three states that does not have licensure or some form of legal recognition for athletic training, according to CSUF assistant athletics trainer Amanda Rice.

In driving the agenda forward of licensure for athletic trainers in California, Rice along with four CSUF students went to Sacramento at the end of February to meet with Congress. The event called “Hit the Hill,” which brought a combination of 300 students and athletic trainers together, was aimed at calling attention to the recently introduced bill, AB 374, known as the “Athletic Trainers Practice Act.”

“Anybody can call themselves an athletic trainer,” said Rice. “You could call yourself an athletic trainer and there is no recourse saying ‘no, you can’t do what you are doing.’”

The bill would provide licensure for the profession and prevent anyone without licensure from practicing athletic training in the state.

CA has a reputation of being a progressive state and ahead of the times on many issues, but they are anything but that when it comes to the licensure and regulation of athletic training.

Read the entire article.

RI lists ways to improve its tournament

16 Mar

Providence, RI – Mike Szostak pens a review of the RI Credit Union Championship Tournament for boys’ basketball.  He lists several ways to improve the tournament with one suggestion being:

Have an athletic trainer at all tournament games. Continue reading

News – ATs are the first line of defense

15 Mar

McHenry County, IL – This article is a great showcase for National Athletic Trainers Month!

[Lisa] Nold and her colleagues at Accelerated Rehabilitation Centers, which provides athletic trainers for local high schools, do more than supply the ice and water necessary for practices and games. Continue reading

Skill Set – Emotional calmness

10 Mar

The following story is from a fellow AT.  I want to keep the specifics generic because I am not dwelling on the specific situation, just the general circumstances of what happened:

I was at the school today to check in with the teams. Hung out in the gym with softball for a bit, then headed out to the track team practice, and then headed to check in on baseball. I’m standing there watching baseball practice when a girl comes running around the corner of the building looking for me. Somebody “pulled a hamstring.” She’s screaming it. Alright, so I head back to where the track team is figuring it was one of them. Continue reading

What is stopping you, Overwhelmed?

12 Feb

The best thing about the playoffs in high school sports is getting to go to another school and having the chance to speak with another AT.  Last night, our girls’ basketball team played a conference championship tie breaker at a neutral site.  Not only was the host sites’ AT in attendance, so was the opposing team’s AT.  It was a rare chance to see 2 other ATs and sit and talk.  It is always refreshing and invigorating to be able to talk to other ATs.

When ATs get together, we always talk about coaches, athletes, working nights and weekends, etc.  There are always stories that just make you shake your head or roll your eyes at the antics that always go on in high school sports.  It is one of the aspects of athletic training that makes the job so interesting and so much fun.

But often, ATs conversation turn to the “State of the Union”.  How is athletic training doing as a profession?  Continue reading

News – ATs Vital to Athletes’ Health

26 Jan

Twin Falls, ID – The title of this article wraps up piece nicely: “Athletic trainers vital to athletes’ health, but in short supply in Magic Valley“.

In the article, the author pens:

Simply put, athletic trainers play a vital role in Continue reading