by Betsy Kellerman, ATC/LAT, Manager, Sports Medicine and Concussion Programs

As the number of young athletes continues to grow, so does the rise in injuries among their age group. Young athletes today are playing multiple sports which increases the physical demands of their young bodies.

Certified Athletic Trainers (ATCs) are the some of the most comprehensively prepared allied medical professionals, trained to deal with the injuries of young athletes. We have similar educational backgrounds as physical, occupational, and other therapists utilized by school districts, sports clubs and leagues across the country.  Over 70 percent of ATCs have a master’s or a doctorate degree and must pass national certification exams in addition to their state licensure exams.

The Sports Medicine Program at Overland Park Regional Medical Center includes seven ATC’s who are at sporting events everyday across our city. ATC’s with Overland Park Regional Medical Center are on the fields of high schools and sporting facilities across the city, so when an injury does occur we can provide “on the field” or “on the court” immediate care.  ATC’s can evaluate, diagnose and immediately treat a young athletes after an injury. That treatment will continue post-injury in a clinic setting and rehabilitation, if needed. Our goal is to provide early intervention as well as prevention of sports injuries. ATC’s provide:

  • Injury/Illness Prevention and Wellness Protection: ATCs are trained in injury and illness prevention and provide education to young athletes, parents and coaches, including ImPACT concussion testing, first aid and pediatric CPR.
  • Clinical Evaluation and Diagnosis: ATCs are the only health care professionals whose expertise ranges from minor sprains to catastrophic head and neck injuries, and from minor illnesses to exertional heat syndrome. ATCs can examine, diagnose and treat young athletes on the field immediately after an injury.
  • Immediate and Emergency Care: ATCs can provide immediate care of conditions including head trauma, wound management, acute asthma attacks, spinal cord or nerve injuries and sprained or broken bones.
  • Treatment and Rehabilitation: ATCs are trained to assess young athlete’s post-injury or post-surgery and develop appropriate treatment goals and therapeutic interventions.

Consult your primary care physician for more serious injuries that do not respond to basic first aid. As an added resource, the staff at Overland Park Regional Medical Center is available to diagnose and treat sports-related injuries for young athletes. To make an appointment, call (913) 541-3365. For more information about the Sports Medicine Program at Overland Park Regional Medical Center, visit oprmc.com/sportsmedicine.

April 6, 2016 by Health Tip
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