What is an Athletic Trainer?Athletic Trainers (ATs) are health care professionals who collaborate with physicians. The services provided by ATs comprise prevention, emergency care, clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions. Students who want to become certified athletic trainers must earn a degree from an accredited athletic training curriculum. Accredited programs include formal instruction in areas such as injury/illness prevention, first aid and emergency care, assessment of injury/illness, human anatomy and physiology, therapeutic modalities, and nutrition. Classroom learning is enhanced through clinical education experiences. More than 70 percent of certified athletic trainers hold at least a master’s degree. For more information visit: http://www.nata.orgMeet The Knights' Athletic TrainerMs. Laura Massey, MS, ATC, LAT is in her fourth year at East Ridge High School as the head athletic trainer. She received her Bachelors Degree in Applied Physiology and Kinesiology with a specialization in Athletic Training from the University of Florida in 2007. Upon completing her degree she became a Certified Athletic Trainer by completing the National Athletic Trainers Association Board of Certification (NATABOC) certification exam. She is both Licensed through the Florida Department of Health and Certified by the NATABOC to practice athletic training. She received her Masters Degree in Health Services Administration from the University of Central Florida in 2012. Some of her prior experience includes working as an athletic trainer with South Lake Hospital/National Training Center, ESPN Wide World of Sports at Disney, Florida Hospital, Freedom High School, St. Cloud High School, the Florida Collegiate Summer League (wood bat baseball), American Youth Football, World Class Lacrosse and administrative experience with Orlando Orthopaedic Center.East Ridge Athletic Training ServicesA Certified Licensed Athletic Trainer will be at every home athletic event at East Ridge High School. There is also an on-campus athletic training room/clinic available to all IN-SEASON student-athletes free of charge. Due to liability limitations, injuries that occur out of a student-athlete’s season or that are unrelated to their ERHS sport (i.e., occur off campus, with club sports, over the weekend, etc.) will be referred to their primary care physician. No exceptions.Location of Athletic Training Room: Main Gym (Room 9-108)- Open every day immediately after school.Immediately after school, in-season athletes may come into the athletic training room for pre-practice taping, treatment, rehabilitation, and evaluations (acute and/or chronic injuries). Taping is reserved for injured athletes who are consistently performing therapy in the clinic to rehabilitate the injured area. If a student would like to be taped all the time or only for competition with no current injury, they can bring their own tape or purchase our tape for $3 a roll.
Head Injury/Concussion InformationFlorida legislators have passed new laws that address the issue of concussions and playing time for high school athletes. The bills require that coaches and/or athletic trainers immediately remove student-athletes from competition or practice if they may have sustained a head injury. The injured student-athlete must obtain a physician’s clearance before returning to practice or play. The Brain Association of Florida estimates that more than 40 percent of its patients with serious head injuries are permitted to return to competition or practice before their symptoms have fully dissipated. A human brain does not fully develop until the person reaches their late 20s, so adolescents are especially at risk for brain injuries from concussions. All concussions are considered serious injuries that can alter the way the brain functions. Most do not involve a loss of consciousness but can cause short-term neurological changes. The effects of concussions vary greatly between individuals, and many "mild" concussions are undiagnosed and unreported. If a student-athlete is removed from his or her respective sport for a concussion, paperwork with symptoms to be aware of and other important concussion information will be given to the student-athlete to review with a parent or guardian.Before a student-athlete’s season begins he/she is ImPACT (Immediate Post-concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) baseline tested on campus. This initial test is a baseline that can be incorporated into our assessment and treatment of suspected concussions. If a student-athlete is suspected to have a head injury, he/she will take a post-injury test and the scores are compared to their baseline. Any discrepency in the scores helps our Sports Medicine team determine if an injury has occurred, and scores must return to baseline before a student-athlete can be cleared by a physician. It should be noted that ImPACT is a valuable tool in assessing head injuries, however, it is not our only means of determining if injury has occurred.
The process of returning to play after a concussion is lengthy and requires time, patience, and your full cooperation. A student-athlete who sustains a concussion will need to see a physician whom will need to fill out an AT18 once they decide to clear the student-athlete. This form needs to be submitted to our athletic training staff in order to begin the Graded Return to Play Protocol. There are 6 Rehabilitative stages in total:
Stage 1: No Activity (rest; physical and cognitive)
Stage 2: Light aerobic exercise (heart rate < 70% max)
Stage 3: Sport-specific exercise (non-contact drills)
Stage 4: Non-contact training (complex non-contact drills/practice)
Stage 5: Full contact practice
Stage 6: Return to competition
Each step, beginning with step 2, should take at least 24 hours to complete. If the athlete experiences a return of any concussion symptoms they must immediately stop activity, wait at least 24 hours or until asymptomatic, and drop back to the previous asymptomatic level. All exercises are performed with coach or athletic trainer supervision. After step 5, our athletic training staff will sign the bottom of the form, along with the athlete, and fax over the form to the physician for clearance (Affidavit on page 2). If the physician does NOT fax the Return to Competition Affidavit form then the athlete is NOT cleared to play until the Affidavit is signed by the physician and turned in.
Please keep in mind that any student-athlete who sustains a concussion will not be allowed to participate in ANY physical activity (including P.E., running around outside, etc.) until full clearance has been given by a physician. Our staff works diligently with one another to ensure athletes, parents, coaches, teachers, and physicians have all the available information needed to provide the best care for all student-athletes.Student-Athlete Nutrition and Hydration InformationPlease view the attached PowerPoint presentation below provided by Gatorade for important nutrition information for student-athletes.East Ridge High School's Team PhysicianDr. Amit Varma is the newest member of our ERHS sports medicine team. Dr. Varma is a double board certified and double sports fellowship trained Orthopedic Surgeon and has been living and practicing in Clermont and Central Florida since 2008. He trained in one of his sports fellowships under world renowned surgeon Dr. James Andrews. Injured student-athletes at ERHS requiring further medical care receive priority scheduling at Dr. Varma's practice, Florida Sports Injury. Be sure to report all injuries to ERHS' Athletic Trainer before scheduling an appointment with Dr. Varma. For more information about Dr. Varma and Florida Sports Injury please visit http://www.floridasportsinjury.comDoctor's NotesAny student-athlete that has been evaluated by our athletic training staff and been referred to a doctor, or that takes it upon themselves to visit a doctor MUST bring in a doctor’s note stating whether or not they are cleared to participate in their sport. This clearance note MUST be given to our athletic training staff and not given to attendance, guidance, or any coaches. If a student-athlete has missed school because of a doctor’s visit, two copies will be needed: one for attendance and one for the athletic trainer. Please understand that athletic trainers work under the supervision of physicians. An athletic trainer cannot clear an athlete to return to play if a physician has not given the proper notification/documentation.If there are any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our Head Athletic Trainer via e-mail:Laura Massey, MS, ATC, LAT