What is an Athletic Trainer?
According to the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA), an athletic trainer (AT) is a highly qualified, multi-skilled health care professionals who provides preventative services, emergency care, clinical examination and diagnosis, therapeutic intervention, and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions. Athletic trainers must graduate from an accredited baccalaureate or master’s program, pass a comprehensive board certification exam, maintain a state healthcare license, and keep knowledge and skills current by participating in continuing education. Athletic trainers work under the direction of physicians as prescribed by state licensure statutes, providing medical services to a variety of active patient populations within many job settings, not just athletics. For more information about the education of athletic trainers.
Athletic trainers are sometimes confused with personal trainers due in part to the overuse of the abbreviation “trainer”. There is, however, a large difference in the education, skill set, job duties, regulations, and clientele between an athletic trainer and a personal trainer. The athletic training academic curriculum and clinical training follows the medical model. Out of respect for each profession, it is ask that you use the full title. For more information on the differences between athletic trainers and personal trainers.
When to see the Athletic Trainer?
Injuries do and will occur in sport. Statistics reveal that 90% of student-athletes report having sustained at least one sports-related injury during their career. In the event an injury does occur, your athletic trainer is available to help evaluate, diagnose, and treat your injury. They can also refer you to advanced medical care if necessary. Early communication with the athletic trainer is crucial in expediting the recovery process.
What if I have to go to the Doctor?
If it is determined that a doctor’s visit is necessary, the athletic trainer will contact a parent/guardian to discuss reasoning and options. Because of the close working relationship between your athletic trainer and area providers, you may benefit from fast access to orthopedists, physical therapists, or other specialists (often within 24-48 hours). Your athletic trainer will explain the expedited scheduling process when necessary.
If you choose to visit a physician or other health care processional before seeing the athletic trainer, please communicate this to your athletic trainer. This allows the athletic trainer to collaborate with your provider to provide the best care for a safe recovery and return to sport.
Please note: If you see a physician for any reason (excluding preventative care) you MUST provide the athletic trainer with a written note from the physician detailing the nature of the visit and if any restrictions or limitations are required. This is a school policy. If no note is received, the student-athlete will not be allowed to return to sport until a note can be obtained.
Does the school provide insurance for athletic injuries?
If an injury occurs as a result of athletic participation at Zeeland East High School, the school provides a secondary insurance policy to help offset the costs that may be incurred as a result. This policy carries a $500 deductible and covers 60% of the costs thereafter. For more information on the athletic insurance policy.
If medical expenses exceed $500, parents must request a claim form be completed by the athletic trainer. It is critical for parents to stay in contact with the athletic trainer through the injury process to help them be aware of additional costs and your individual insurance needs.
Head injuries, such as concussions, resulting from MHSAA athletic participation also carry a tertiary insurance plan provided by the MHSAA. This plan, in conjunction with the school’s secondary insurance policy, covers 100% of all medical expenses specifically related to the head injury. This form must also be requested via the same process.
Forms will be sent home to be completed and filed by a parent. It is important to note that each of these policies are secondary to your primary insurance. Filing a claim also does not guarantee coverage.
What if the injury occurs when the athletic trainer can not be reached?
If the injury was sustained at an away event or off-site practice, please have your son or daughter see the athletic trainer the following school day. Follow the R.I.C.E. guidelines until your student-athlete can be seen.
Rest the injured body part with minimal activity
Ice for 20 minutes an hour for pain and swelling
Compress and support the area with an ace wrap or bandage
Elevate the injury above heart level to reduce swelling
Ibuprofen can be used to help decrease pain and inflammation.
**Remember, applying heat to injuries less than 3 days old can exacerbate the injury and increase healing time.**