Lack of Athletic Trainers in Schools and Youth Sports…. Can Coach Reporting be Part of the Solution?
Participating in sports activities can be an enriching and enjoyable experience for students and youth athletes. However, injuries often occur and athletic programs without on-site athletic trainers (ATs) face significant challenges in providing adequate and equitable injury oversight for their athletes. Fortunately, InjureFree provides a solution by connecting off-site ATs and established health partners with high schools and middle schools that do not have on-site ATs. In this blog post, we highlight how to use www.injurefree.com to facilitate this process.
Lack of AT’s - It’s Time For a Solution!
ATs play a crucial role in supporting prevention, recognition and diagnosis of athlete injuries. In the U.S., 1 in 3 high schools do not have access to ATs and there are many barriers exacerbating this issue. However, technology and innovation can play a key role in increasing the amount of AT’s and health services nationwide.
Adding Context to the Issue
The National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA) recommends that each school employ at least one AT but currently in the U.S., only 28% of private high schools and 37% of public high schools have a full-time AT. That means over 5M high school athletes have little or no access to onsite medical care. This is a serious issue from an equity lens as some students will receive proper on-site medical oversight while many will not, as highlighted by a recent article on The Rams website https://www.therams.com/news/rams-aiding-push-ab-796-regulation-california-high-school-athletic-trainers. Further, State and National injury statistics do not accurately represent these schools as most data input and collection comes directly from ATs themselves.
Think about this…if a district with 10 athletic programs employs 5 full-time athletic trainers, what is the process for supporting injuries that occur on days an AT is not present? How can we streamline injuries reported from a coach directly to off-site ATs to quickly provide proper evaluations and diagnosis, while providing parents with direction and expedited care? This communication process ensures that injured athletes receive appropriate care and can return to school and sports as quickly and safely as possible.
Injurefree is the only cloud-based mobile injury documentation and communication platform that enables off-site ATs to provide oversight and assistance to athletes and parents that do not have access to on-site ATs. InjureFree is easy to use, and athletic programs can simply track injuries, manage concussion return to play and return to learn protocols while connecting parents and athletes with ATs to triage injuries for care. These efforts ultimately reduce school insurance claims costs and out of pocket medical costs to parents.
InjureFree was designed for school athletics with the understanding that each stakeholder overseeing athlete health and safety plays a role and communication with parents is vital. With InjureFree, parents receive notification of their child’s injury report, and have the option to download a PDF of the report to share with their physician. In the case of a suspected or diagnosed concussion, physician clearance paperwork can be directly uploaded by parents allowing administrators to review and clear the athlete for participation.
InjureFree is an excellent solution for schools without on-site ATs to provide adequate injury oversight and support. By following the steps outlined above, schools can easily document injuries, communicate with stakeholders, and provide parents access to valuable injury prevention resources. With injurefree.com, schools can ensure that their athletes receive appropriate care and support, reducing the risk of long-term injuries and promoting the overall health and wellbeing of their athletes.
Click here to learn more about InjureFree as a coach reporting solution
- NATA quick facts. NATA. (2017, December 6). Retrieved April 17, 2023, from https://www.nata.org/nata-quick-fact