Pictured: Palmetto Health-USC Orthopedic Center trainers pose at River Bluff High School in Lexington, South Carolina.
March is National Athletic Trainers Month, and Palmetto Health encourages community members to learn the importance of athletic trainers for a safer approach to work, life and sport.
Athletic trainers work in high school and collegiate athletics, the military, industrial settings, physical therapy clinics and with performing arts. Palmetto Health employs athletic trainers across its health care system.
“We work alongside physicians to make sure patients are taken care of in the orthopedic office on a daily basis, in the operating room, and in clinical administration,” said Kevin Herod, Sports Medicine Manager at Palmetto Health-USC Orthopedic Center.
According to the National Athletic Trainers Association, an estimated 3.8 million concussions occur each year as a result of sport and physical activity. However, athletic trainers have concussion training and the presence of an athletic trainer on the field increases the chances of a concussion being diagnosed, which is critical in avoiding long term recovery and the risk of permanent brain damage.
“Athletic trainers are on the sidelines and can recognize the symptoms to assist with concussions,” said Jason Wimberly, manager of Athletic Training at Palmetto Health-USC Orthopedic Center. “Athletic trainers learn the personalities of their athletes which is critical when diagnosing a concussion. They build relationships with their athletes on a daily basis to notice when something is not right.”
Here are a few tips about athletic trainers that community members should be aware of:
- Athletic trainers are certified health care professionals who work with physicians to provide preventive services, emergency care, clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions in the field of sports medicine.
- Athletic trainers are often on the scene during a sports game. Therefore, they are the first to respond to an incident. The athletic trainer is responsible for providing first-aid care immediately.
- Athletic trainers know the athletes best. Athletic trainers can identify signs that an athlete has suffered an injury by an athlete’s unusual behavior. Since they often see athletes on a regular basis, the athletic trainer is the best position to perform daily follow-up examinations to determine if the athlete is symptom free and ready to play.
- Athletic trainers are trusted by athletes. Many athletes fail to, don’t recognize, or are reluctant to self-report symptoms of an injury. Some parents, coaches and the culture of contact sports encourage athletes to follow a code of silence. As a result, developing the trust of an athlete is necessary. The American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference and Exhibition in Washington, D.C. in October 2015 revealed that, of high school athletes who reported sustaining a concussion during the 2014 season, seven out of 10 reported the concussion to their athletic trainer.
For more information about Palmetto Health-USC Orthopedic Center, visit phuscorthocenter.org.