Happy National Athletic Training Month!
This month ATs all over should spread the word and be appreciated! If you feel like celebrating or doing something good, there are lots of ways YOU can get involved.
Earlier this month I volunteered for a charity high school basketball tournament. I had a busy shift with lots of bumps and bruises, but one interesting situation I wanted to share with you. A sophomore male athlete came up to me nonchalantly seeking tape for his thumb. Before I ever agree to tape anyone, I of course I always take a quick look to really know what I’m taping and why. In this case it was an extremely injured looking thumb with swelling and considerable bruising over 3 joints and in the webbed-space between the thumb and index finger. He hadn't seen a doctor which meant that he required a full evaluation. The mechanism of injury: Patient was sitting on the ground stretching his lower body and when he stood up; the he put his outstretch hand down to push himself up and felt pain but no pops or cracks in his thumb and hand. Then swelling and bruising happened. (Weird huh!?) We started doing some testing and he had normal, pain free range of motion and strength. He did not complain of any pain with palpation. (Game Keepers Thumb?) I was still hesitant due to its appearance so I called in his "support team". Although his mother didn't push to have him play and was fine with him sitting out this game and getting an X-ray first, she also was OK with me taping him to play. Then his coach came over and was very respectful but unhappy that I was hesitant to tape him. He found a friend/doctor the stands to take a look. The doctor said, "I’m an endocrinologist, but I can see here it's not broken. He can play." I agreed that if it were broken then he would likely have pain and decreased ROM but with it's appearance I wasn't sure how honest he was being with us and was worried about it's integrity, risk of further injury and of course…. liability.
Here’s how it all went down in the end. I called one of the tourney directors over and with the coach and mom there I explained all my concerns and the implications of him playing. In the end we all agreed that due to the MOI and his good ROM and fact that he was pain free I would tape him and he would “try” but mom must sign a waiver releasing me, my company and the tournament from all liability. Mom also signed off on the injury report which detailed the event completely. We all felt good about this and he played the entire game, lead the game in points, including a ton of 3 pointers and he turned out to be the best player on the court. (Figures.)
So what's the take home message of this story? Everyone is different. I've seen the ugliest injuries be nothing and the injuries that look like nothing end up being fractures. Go with your gut but, protect yourself.
Business / NATM
If you’re a Massachusetts AT, you should have received an email from ATOM about the legislative efforts. Contact your representatives! It's easier and less scary than it sounds and ATOM gives you scripts and talking points.
Also to celebrate NATM and raise money for a good cause, Precision AT is holding Athletic Trainers Against Cancer (ATAC) again this year. This is a multifaceted event which wraps up with a fully funded party at Miller's Alehouse in Watertown, Mass. Last time we held this event we raised over $3000 for the American Cancer Society (ACS). It was extremely fun and a great way to spend a little time hanging out, telling stories and networking with other ATs. If you're even contemplating coming, please buy a ticket as all the proceeds go to the American Cancer Society and your ticket cost is a direct donation. We have an incredible raffle with affordable tickets that can be put toward multiple prizes attractive to ATs and their friends and families. Just buying an event ticket and showing up enters you to win a HOME THEATER SYSTEM! Plus you’ll get free food and a free shirt! If you can’t come you can still help by printing and taking this flyer to the Ale House any time during the month of March to have 10% of your meal cost donated to the ACS. And if neither of those options work but you really want to help, we would be so thankful if you made a donation on our ACS web page. We all know someone or many people who have battled cancer. Let’s get together and help raise money to eliminate this terrible disease.
Short and sweet, my work is picking up at the skating club. I’ve learned that whether I leave at 6:10p or 6:40p, due to traffic I will get home at the same time so adding a half hour of per diem work into my day after my fitness classes end takes zero time away from my family and allows me to see more patients. Win Win! Great balance!
That’s it! Hope you have a great weekend! Please come to our event or if you’re out of state please make a donation. Every little bit helps the American Cancer Society.