A current survey (posted 9/30/14) on the Today Show website asks the following question:
“Who should decide when an athlete is sidelined due to injury?”
The responses include:
“It’s the coach’s decision.”
“The player should decide.”
Where is the Athletic Trainer in this survey? Or for that matter, any medical professional?
Following an injury, Athletic Trainers are THE health care professional responsible for the evaluation, assessment, treatment, and return to play of injuries occurring in the physically active. Neither the coach nor the player has medical training which allows them to evaluate an injury and make an informed decision on whether it is safe for an athlete to return to play. First aid training and CPR training is NOT sufficient! Parents, coaches, and players deserve and should expect an Athletic Trainer at every event or practice to provide onsite medical care. The analogy has been used a thousand times, but it holds true in this situation. Would a parent drop their child off at a pool without a lifeguard and leave? If not, parents should not drop their child off at practice or a game without an Athletic Trainer! Athletic Trainers are specifically trained in injuries of the physically active. Utilize them to ensure the health and safety for all participants.
Advocacy for the profession of Athletic Training can help to eliminate unsafe participation in athletics. Athletic Training is a field that athletes, parents, and even other health professionals are constantly learning more about. It is our job as Athletic Trainers to keep athletes of all ages safe, so why not show it in the media.
This survey is a call to action for all Athletic Trainers to educate the people around them about safety in sports and of our profession.
In my opinion adding Athletic Trainers to the list of medical professionals on ESPN, FOX, and other news media, as experts on athletic injuries is the first step. On sports channels there are many medical professionals that are looked to as experts in sports injuries, why aren’t Athletic Trainers invited to share their knowledge and expertise? Why not add Athletic Trainers in the discussion of sports injuries in the media? Athletic Trainers’ expertise on injuries and their impact on return to participation in athletics would allow the media to better understand injuries, while positively promoting the profession.
Below is a link to the Today Show survey. Take a look and let your comments be heard. If you choose to participate, we urge you to understand that your responses and comments demonstrate who you are as a professional and who WE are as a profession! This is an opportunity to educate a major media outlet and demonstrate our professional knowledge and professional behavior.
Today Show Survey
Jerrod Harrison LAT, ATC