Bringing Your A Game to Sporting Events
Earlier this month I had the privilege to attend a first responder course that was targeted for physical therapists and other clinicians who work or volunteer at various sporting events. As I have been spending more time at CrossFit events and sport venues, I felt it was important for me to be as well prepared as possible. Fortunately, there haven’t been any serious situations during my time at these events (knock on wood) but now I feel as though I am able to manage and assist in the triage process should something occur.
Evidence in Motion (EIM) and the American Red Cross have teamed up to create a comprehensive course that provides the student with the knowledge and confidence to enter into a variety of scenes and be able to effectively start the treatment process. The course itself was very well put together and the majority of it was self-paced online. The course is completed after a two-day lab intensive weekend that puts the clinician into a variety of unique situations with various levels of trauma. Everything from a simple ankle splinting to an eight man team working on a spine board transfer of a football player with a neck injury is played out. But this course is more then just how to wrap a suspected fracture or how to remove a facemask.
Being in a group of 30+ peers, where all eyes are fixed on you, can be a very intimidating situation, even for the most seasoned clinician. The sweaty palms and the feeling of butterflies in the stomach took me back to my practical exams in school. While no one really likes to be put into an uncomfortable situation, the group work and exam process help you grow not only from a knowledge standpoint but also as a person. Having the ability to manage a team and execute a rapid response to a potentially life threating situation is incredibly empowering.
Although this particular course was created more for physical therapists, I think that coaches, parents, and other clinicians would benefit tremendously from taking a first responder course. The course itself doesn’t have to be sport specific but if more people have the ability to respond to various types of emergencies not only will the field of play benefit but also so will our community. While I hope that everyone stays safe during the events that I attend, I know that my new found knowledge will help me provide the best possible care should the need arise.