PlaySafe AT Home: Athletic Training 101

Athletic trainers provide medical services to all types of patients in a variety of settings. Most people think that athletic trainers only work with athletes, but that’s not true. Athletic trainers can work for companies like UPS, doctor offices, the Army, schools, and in many other settings as well. As for myself, I am an Athletic Trainer at Banks County High school in Northeast Georgia. I work for a nonprofit company called PlaySafe, based out of Anderson, South Carolina.

The five domains of athletic training:

Athletic trainers improve functional outcomes, educate patients, provide preventable care, and immediate emergency care.

Domain I: Injury/Illness Prevention and Wellness Promotion

Athletic trainers are trained health care professionals with a vast knowledge to care and treat patients. Athletic trainers can promote and assists patients by performing pre-participation physical exams, creating emergency action plans, interpreting environmental conditions, and educating patients. For me, this looks like getting proper warm-ups to my sports teams to prevent injury, making sure everyone has a current physical on file, and knowing my athlete’s medical history so that I can provide the best care possible. I created an emergency action plan for every athletic complex at my school, which is imperative for delivering the best care in case of an emergency. Those are just a few things that I do that relate to this domain.

Domain II: Evaluation, Assessment, and Diagnosis

Athletic trainers examine patients with possible acute, subacute, or chronic musculoskeletal or medical conditions to determine a clinical diagnosis. Our skills include performing a thorough evidenced-based examination, design a plan of action, and communicate with and educate the patient. When kids at my school get injured, they come to see me. I evaluate the injury and decide if it is in my scope of practice. If the injury is in my scope, then I create a plan for the athlete to return to sport. If the injury is beyond my scope, I refer the athlete to the proper physician.

Domain III: Immediate and Emergency Care

We provide immediate and emergency care in the event of unpredictable situations. Athletic trainers are trained in the initial assessment of emergencies. Then activate the emergency action plan if needed while continuing care to the patient. Then communicate our evaluation and treatment with advanced care. For me, this is a rare situation, but I am prepared and ready at all times for these types of situations.