The mission of the Sports Medicine Program at Sacred Heart is to establish and uphold a standard of excellence among secondary school athletic training programs. Through a commitment to safeguard our student-athletes by providing first-rate health care, facilitating communication among athletes, coaches, parents, and healthcare workers, and utilizing current and growing sports medicine techniques and technology, the Athletic Training program is excited to achieve its goals.
What does the Athletic Trainer do?
The ATC provides the following services on-site:
- Injury Recognition and Evaluation
- Injury Prevention
- Injury Treatment
- First Aid
- Application of emergency life-saving techniques
- Education and Counseling (regarding sport injuries and health)
- Acts as liaison between athletes, coaches, parents, physicians, etc
- What kind of education does an Athletic Trainer possess?
ATCs are certified by the National Athletic Trainer Board of Certification (NATABOC) and possess, at minimum, a Bachelor’s degree, with many opting to further their education at the Master’s level. Before applying to sit for the certification exam, the athletic training student must complete 800 to 1500 internship hours, as well as courses in anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, biomechanics, exercise physiology, and injury evaluation, prevention, and rehabilitation. ATCs are also educated in nutrition , sport psychology, health care administration, First Aid, and CPR. With such a broad knowledge base, ATCs are employed in a variety of settings, including schools, professional sports teams, physical therapy clinics, physician’s offices, and industrial settings.
Is an Athletic Trainer the same thing as a Personal Trainer?
No. This is a common misconception since the titles are similar, however Certified Athletic Trainers (ATCs) and Personal Trainers have very different jobs. While Personal Trainers are skilled in helping individuals achieve their fitness goals, ATCs are highly educated and their work is entirely medically-related. For more information about Certified Athletic Trainers, please visit the National Athletic Trainer’s Association website
Home Care for Treating Injuries
This section is designed to aid student-athletes and parents in the home-care aspect of treating an injury. In no way is this section intended to serve as a substitute for the care of a medical doctor, and, if unsure of the problem, please seek the help of a qualified physician.
What is the difference between a “Sprain” and a “Strain”?
A “Sprain” is the stretching or tearing of a ligament, which attaches one bone to another. A “Strain” is the stretching or tearing of a tendon or muscle. For example, one would strain a hamstring muscle, but would sprain an ankle ligament. Basic home injury care will be the same for both injuries.
What should I do at home for my sprain/strain?
After seeking care from your ATC or physician, follow these basic instructions:
Rest --> Rest at home, and make sure to use crutches if they were issued to you by your ATC or physician.
Ice --> Apply an ice pack to the injured area for no longer than 15-20 minutes at a time. Leave the ice off for a minimum of 30 minutes before reapplying. A frozen bag of peas makes a great ice pack and can be re-used.
Compression --> Make sure to wear your ace wrap if the ATC gave you one! You should even wear it at night while you’re sleeping. This will greatly help control and reduce the swelling.
Elevate --> Elevate the injured area to also help reduce swelling.
Come Daily --> Come daily to the Training Room so that your ATC can monitor your healing process.
Call If You Have Questions --> Parents are encouraged to call the Athletic Trainer if they have questions regarding their son/daughter’s injury.
What is a concussion?
In general, a concussion is defined as a violent shaking or jarring action of the brain, resulting in immediate or transient impairment of the neurologic function. Symptoms can include headache, nausea, dizziness, double vision, ringing in the ears, balance problems, memory loss, lethargy, and/or loss of consciousness.
What should I do if I think I have a concussion?
Tell your parents and seek immediate treatment from your ATC or a physician!
Why are concussions such a big deal?
Concussions must be taken very seriously as they can have long-term damaging effects. As long as you have lingering symptoms from a concussion, your brain is still healing. Even another relatively minor second blow to the head can cause a condition known as “Second Impact Syndrome” which can have fatal effects.
FOR PARENTS: “Head Injury Care”
The following are guidelines which should be followed in conjunction with the physician’s or athletic trainer’s advice.
- The injured athlete should never be left alone for the first 24 hours following the injury.
- The athlete should be awakened every two hours to establish arousability, alertness, and level of consciousness.
- The following signs mandate immediate emergency room evaluation
--Blood or watery fluid emanating form the ears or nose
--Unequal or dilated eye pupils
--Weakness or clumsiness in the arms or legs
--Slurred or garbled speech
--Asymmetry of the face
--Increased swelling along the scalp
--Change in consciousness (hard to arouse or irritable)
- The following symptoms (complaints) mandate immediate emergency room evaluation:
--Change in mental status (inability to concentrate or understand directions, alterations in consciousness or alertness)
--Double or blurred vision
--Severe headache or headache that worsens
--Increased uncoordination or weakness
--Loss of memory
--Difficulty with speech
--Labored or irregular breathing
- Any athlete suffering acute trauma to the head should avoid aspirin, ibuprofen, Advil, Motrin, and any form of alcohol for at least 72 hours following the injury.
Please realize that the above are only guidelines to assist you. If a sign or symptom develops that is new and is not mentioned above, err on the side of safety and have the athlete evaluated immediately by a physician.