Going to Rehab: Emergency Preparedness

October 23, 2011

Going to Rehab is a weekly series where I talk about anything athletic training. Over the past few weeks, I have tried to discuss topics about a certain part of athletic training. Contrary to the name, I have not yet covered much in the way of rehab. Don’t worry– that is coming!

This week’s topic is Emergency Preparedness. As healthcare providers responsible for athletic injuries, the Certified Athletic Trainer must be ready for anything. It is not unusual for the athletic trainer to be the only healthcare provider onsite at an athletic event and therefore we are responsible for emergencies that may occur on the field. At other athletic events, we may be just one piece of the puzzle that is the sports medicine team. For example, high school varsity football (and higher levels) often has at least one physician on the sideline in addition to an ambulance onsite.

Athletic Trainers stabilizing the Cervical Spine of Rutgers Player

Athletic Trainers are trained and educated to handle a host of medical emergencies. We must hold certification in CPR and AED use at the Professional Healthcare Provider level through the American Red Cross or American Heart Association. In addition, we are able to recognize and manage injuries such as fractures, potential spine injuries, as well as wounds.

We are trained to use splints in order to splint possible fractures in bones and also trained in the immobilization of potential spine injuries. We work in conjunction with other healthcare providers to provide the best care for that athlete in their time of need. We must take the most care and take precautions to not do further harm.

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