Updated: Mar 25
March is National Athletic Training Awareness Month. The 2022 slogan by the National Athletic Trainers' Association is "Providing Health Care Everywhere"
Last year I was officially introduced to Athletic Trainers at New Braunfels High School. I had no idea what they really did or what kind of training they had. Athletic trainers in the state of Texas have a state level licensure similar to nurses. They also have a national certification, and are "health care professionals who render service or treatment, under the direction of or in collaboration with a physician" (1) Some athletic trainers have a masters degree, but all have at least a bachelor's degree.
New Braunfels High School in Texas has two full time athletic trainers currently. They have been employing athletic trainers since 1979, and they currently have 1300 students athletes they are responsible for. Joseph Hernandez is the head Athletic Trainer at New Braunfels High school, and he has been there for 6 years. Joseph works with the student athletes to prevent over use injuries, rehabilitating after injuries in conjunction with physicians, awareness of exertional heat stroke, concussion awareness, and being aware of the students health history to address things early. He also works to help educate the coaches throughout the district on prevention and awareness. I was impressed by the trainers orthopedic assessment skills, and the way they work with the students and parents to help continue physical therapy before the students can return to full activities. Joseph and Talia, the other athletic trainer, also work with local universities to help train athletic trainer students.
In Texas 78% of the schools have access to an Athletic Trainer, and 62% of those are full time Athletic Trainers. However, in the US only 37% of public schools have full time athletic trainers. Even though the American Medical Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Sports Medicine, Kory Stringer Institute and others recommend and encourage hiring at least one full time athletic trainer at all high schools. (2)
Kory Stringer was a Professional football player who died from complications due to a heat stroke during training camp in 2001. He was only 27 years old. This brought to light more awareness about this preventable causes of death. Heat illnesses can be fatal, but death is preventable if quickly recognized and properly treated. Athletic trainers are trained to recognize and provide initial management of a heat stroke right away. Without an athletic trainer present, an ambulance might be called and initial management can be missed. The most important thing to do is get the core temperature down as quickly as possible even before EMS transport. (3)
Athletic trainers with all their training are able to provide exceptional preventive and emergent care for athletes. QuickVisit Urgent Care in Texas is our sister company, every town they have a clinic in have certified athletic trainers in their high schools.
We will continue to work hand in hand for the safety of our communities and for our students. We have been able to work together to provide sports physicals for these students, and discover underlying risk factors or health issues that can be addressed to prevent severe complications or death in our athletes.
QuickVisit Now has the ability to work with our sister company QuickVisit Urgent Care to help perform sports physicals for middle and high school students. We can even work to set up a team of providers to perform these sports physicals in your district or school. Feel free to reach out via our website or email if you would like more information.
Kimberly Catlin is a Family Nurse Practitioner with QuickVisit Now. After serving in the US Marine Corps, she went to UT Tyler for her undergraduate degree, while going through the program she worked as an LVN. Upon completion of her BSN in 2006 she worked in the Emergency Room and ICU as a registered nurse. In 2011 she graduated with her Masters in Nursing and obtained her Nurse Practitioner license. She spent the next 10 years working family practice, internal medicine, pulmonary, sleep and critical care. In April of 2020, she started with QuickVisit Urgent Care in Henderson, Texas. She moved full-time to QuickVisit Now as a virtual medicine provider in November 2020. She was promoted to management and QuickVisit Now Coordinator in October 2021. With her years of experience, she enjoys providing evidenced based practice to all ages.