By Danni Eickenhorst
Ideally, in a world without tight budgets and resource shortages, a team physician would be on the sidelines of every game and practice, but with the limitations of athletic department budgets, this ideal is rarely, if ever attainable. If a school district is in a position to provide athletes access to a team physician but can only afford part-time assistance, they are put in the position of having to choose whether to support athletes at games or practices, but not both.
Too often, injury care is left to volunteer coaches, athletic directors or teachers, who may or may not be able to adequately identify and treat injuries. This leads to concussions which go undiagnosed and recurrent injuries when initial sports injuries go untreated.
Certified athletic trainers can serve as a powerful addition to a school’s athletic department staff. Athletic trainers that are certified by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association Board of Certification have achieved a bachelor’s degree in athletic training, health, physical education or exercise science from an accredited institution and passed an NATABOC certification. These trainers can help prevent and treat injury and reduced district liability for sports injuries.
In assessing your need for athletic trainer support, we recommend you fill out our Client Needs Survey, which we provide to our school districts as we prepare to pair them with an athletic trainer. This survey will help you evaluate your current safety standards, your overall program needs and what resources you have available. Should you wish to get feedback from your athletic parents, we also have this template Parent Survey available, which may help your school or district determine the level of support for the addition of services to your athletic program.
Should you decide to move forward with a certified athletic trainer for your high school, Athleticare Sports Health Foundation works to pair certified athletic trainers with high schools in need of athletic training support. Contact us for details on how we can help you find a certified athletic trainer for your school.