When people think of athletic trainers, they usually associate them with
professional or college teams, but having an athletic trainer at the high
school level is just as important. Lack of funding is the main reason
schools do not have access to athletic trainers. To help solve this issue,
CVMC provides athletic trainers to a number of areas high schools and
middle schools (at no cost to the school) to help offer access to more
timely professional sports medicine treatment and to help cutback on both
minor injuries and potentially serious conditions.
National Athletic Training Journal, encourages all high schools to have an athletic trainer on staff to take
charge of emergency situations and provide care for student-athletes.
Athletic trainers can evaluate and properly treat injuries, including
sprains, strains, contusions, and abrasions, as well as more serious conditions,
such as exertional heat stroke and concussion. The athletic trainer can
also facilitate and manage athletic health care at the high school, referring
as needed and treating. Schools along the east coast tend to have more
athletic trainers in high school, and according to the
Korey Stringer Institute,
76% of high schools in North Carolina have access to athletic trainers. CVMC
provides athletic trainers for 5 high schools, 2 middle schools and Catawba
Valley Community College.
“Athletic trainers are highly skilled, educated health professionals
who work under the direction of licensed physicians to provide the health
care of student athletes,” said CVMC Athletic Trainer for Maiden
High School, Natalie Williams. “An athletic trainer plays different
roles, but their overall focus is on the safety of athletes and making
sure they stay healthy throughout the season.”
study done in 2012 by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) found that high
schools with athletic trainers have fewer injuries and a lower rate of
reoccurring injuries in their athletes. This speaks to the importance
of athletic trainers in high school. Athletic trainers can provide and
instill preventative measures to avoid injuries, and on top of that, work
with athletes to rehabilitate in the safest method possible.
According to Natalie, the most common injuries are ankle sprains and muscle
strains, and she works with them immediately to get them back on the field.
“It is the nature of the athletic training profession that you are
there to assist with injury treatment and rehabilitation to return them
to play,” she said.
Concussions are a hot topic in sports medicine right now and an athletic
trainer can help identify and treat concussions, even when student athletes
don’t think they have one. More importantly, athletic trainers can
make a point to educate. At Maiden, Natalie speaks with student athletes,
coaches and parents about concussion protocol and awareness, on top of
administering educational handouts about concussions. Protecting student
athletes is a group effort, according to Natalie. “Good communication
with student athletes, coaches, parents, physicians and other healthcare
professionals, administrators, and fellow athletic trainers is key,” she said.
Is your school on the list? Here is the
list of schools that have ATs provided by CVMC:
- Bandys High School
- Bunker Hill High School
- Catawba Valley Community College
H.M. Arndt Middle School(football)
- Maiden High School
- Newton-Conover High School
Newton-Conover Middle School
(football and wrestling)
- Saint Stephens High School
For more information about protecting your athletes, contact Marcus Osborne,
Director of CVMC’s
Sports Medicine and
Fitness Center, at 828.326.2272.