An article published yesterday (November 18, 2014) in the Huffington Post is another voice in the growing chorus which argues that most high schools in the United States lack Athletic Trainers who help keep our children safe during sport participation. Checkout the column here
It is more important today than ever for secondary school settings to have an on-site Athletic Trainer. The Athletic Trainer is the first responder to injured athletes, assessing the injury and providing the immediate care necessary. The Athletic Trainer provides a treatment plan for the athlete and determines if referral is needed. The services of an Athletic Trainer can prevent unneeded trips to the emergency room. Athletic Training services do not stop after the game or the conclusion of practice. Athletic Trainers are available before and after practices/games to provide the athlete with the treatment and quality care that they need. In most cases at secondary schools, the nurse is the only other health care provider at the school and they usually leave school at the end of the school day. If there is not Athletic Trainer on site, there is no other medical coverage for the student athletes during athletic competition.
Educating and socializing middle and high school athletes, coaches, parents, and administrators to the important role Athletic Trainers play in overall physical health is the first step in expanding the reach of Athletic Training in the secondary school setting. The value of an on-site Athletic Trainer far outweighs the cost, when you consider the health and well-being of the student population; not to mention the peace of mind for the coaches, administrators, and parents knowing the athletes’ healthcare while participating in interscholastic activity is a priority and under the watchful eye of an Athletic Trainer.
-Bobby Vallandingham, LAT, ATC