Each Athletic Trainer at a DCPS school follows the Policies and Procedures Manual which included “Best Practices” for sports safety, as defined by the NATA (National Athletic Trainers’ Association). The complete Policies and Procedures Manual for Athletic Trainers in DCPS will be attached on the “Documents” page once it is activated. I have taken the time to highlight a few of the common topics below, including my scope of practice.
DCPS has a specific concussion policy that is summarized below:
- Injury is reported to Athletic Trainer
- Athlete is evaluated by a medical doctor
- Once medically cleared, FHSAA form AT-18 page 1 is completed by physician (Family Health Care Provider)
- Supervised return to play begins (4-step process) with Athletic Trainer
- Once all 4 steps are completed, physician will review and complete FHSAA form AT-18 page 2 (Team Physician may complete)
- Team physician and Athletic Trainer will review and file completed forms
- Athlete becomes eligible for return to normal team activities
IMPORTANT Concussion Information
Athletic Trainers use the SCAT-5 test to help discover what the athlete is struggling with and how bad the symptoms are. However, a concussion is not diagnosed by any test – it is diagnosed by signs and symptoms of the athlete. If an athlete has a concussive mechanism of injury (direct blow to head, head hitting the ground, or whiplash motions), and sustains signs or symptoms associated with a concussion, he/she will be diagnosed with a concussion. Concussions are not based on a scale – there is no mild, moderate, or severe concussion. However, every person recovers different from concussions. Concussions may take 2 days, or 3 weeks, or anything in between to completely resolve.
Treatment and Recovery for Concussions
- Rest (physical & mental)
- Drink plenty of fluids
- No alcohol
- No prescription of non-prescription drugs without supervision
- No sleeping tablets
- Do not use aspirin, ibuprofen, any anti-inflammatory medication or sedation pain killers without medical supervision
- Do not drive until medically cleared
- Do not train or play sports until medically cleared
If you notice any change in behavior, vomiting, dizziness, worsening headache, double vision or excessive drowsiness, this is an indication that you must immediately take your student-athlete to the nearest emergency room for further evaluation.
Athletic Training Facility Policies & Procedures
Athletic Trainer will be present M-F from 1pm – end of athletic day (6pm for practices, end of game for games). Open office hours for student-athletes to check in with athletic trainer before practice are from 2:30-3:30, unless previously requested by athlete.
Athletic Training Facility Rules:
- Sign-In for treatment
- Be respectful – no offensive language
- Wear shirt and shoes at all times
- No food or drinks
- Treatment, taping, evaluation, and rehabilitation is on a first come first serve basis
- No horseplay in ATF
- No shoes on treatment tables
- Always take your belongings with you. This is not your locker room
- Being in the ATF is not an excuse to be late to practice or a game.
"DCPS Athletic Training Facilities are for use by enrolled student-athletes who are eligible for sports participation. Athletic training facilities are considered medical treatment facilities and should be respected in this manner. Maintaining the cleanliness of the athletic training facility is the responsibility of the licensed athletic trainer on a daily basis. Athletic training facilities should be supervised by the licensed athletic trainer and should be locked and restricted if the athletic trainer is not present. The athletic training facilities are also available for use by registered members of visiting teams during DCPS home contests. The host athletic trainer will provide this care in the absence of a licensed athletic trainer traveling with the visiting team. Evaluations, care and treatment will be provided for athletes in all DCPS sports, whenever possible. However, priority will be given to those athletes whose teams are currently in-season." - DCPS Policies & Procedures Handbook
My Scope of Practice
My Scope of Practice describes what I am allowed to do as a Certified Athletic Trainer. Some items change between collegiate and high school (due to high school students being minors). Because of that, each physician creates “Standing Operating Procedures” that they allow their Athletic Trainers to do. Here’s a condensed list of my Standard Operating Procedures:
Patient Assessment & Treatment
- Patient evaluation, re-evaluation and differential diagnosis
- Emergency/acute care and stabilization of injuries and illnesses as appropriate
- Treatment and rehabilitation of first and second degree injuries not requiring further referral
- Cold & Heat Packs
- Cold Water Immersion and treatment for Heat Stroke
- Electric Stimulation of any variety and waveform
- Iontophoresis via verbal or written order
- Manual mobilizations and distraction
- Temporary splinting and strapping as indicated
- Application of casts as ordered
- Manufacture and fitting of braces, splints, and other appropriate orthoses as ordered
- Rehabilitation and reconditioning of patients regarding functional activities for strength, flexibility, cardiovascular components as well as appropriate sports/activity skills
- Massage as appropriate
- Water; including but not limited to – whirlpool, aqua therapy, and other appropriate methods
- Prevention of possible injuries via programs to improve strength, flexibility and cardiovascular components as well as sports/skills activities as appropriate
- Maintenance of accurate records, including but not limited to: initial injury reports, SOAP notes, initial evaluations, change of status notes, discharge notes, and all treatments. Notification of status and injuries shall be conveyed to physician as often as practical.
- Any other duties, tasks, or delegations directed by Team Physician.