Archive for October, 2011

The Final Scary Issue Surrounding Concussions

Monday, October 31st, 2011

Today's post lists the final issue that Athletic Trainers find scary. My thoughts have been brewing about concussions and the tremendous concerns surrounding this injury. You may have noticed that concussions aren’t on this list, outside of the multiple concussions because concussions happen and will continue to happen in sports. What are your thoughts?

1.  Public Ignorance – Despite all the great concussion research coming from neuro-psychologists, neurosurgeons, athletic trainers, etc. and the informative articles being published in highly respected newspapers, concussion knowledge is still lacking by the general public.  In a conversation just last week, I was able to educate a student by sharing that you can get a concussion without be knocked unconscious.  Many parents, athletes and coaches don’t know that concussions can occur from a blow that is nowhere near the head.  The public’s knowledge is increasing and more and more myths are being dispelled, but there is long way to go.

Read the previous issues from the initial blog called Top 10 Scary Issues Surrounding Concussions that were posted throughout the month of October.

Written by: Paul LaDuke, MSS, ATC, CSCS
pladuke@ldsd.org

Second Scary Issue Surrounding Concussions

Friday, October 28th, 2011

With Halloween approaching, my thoughts have been brewing about concussions and the tremendous concerns surrounding this injury. Here is the second issue about concussions that Athletic Trainers find scary.

2.  Multiple Concussions – Knowing when to quit participating in a sport and to retire from the game is a tough decision.  The Sentinal, a newspaper in Central Maine, did a feature story on Travis Lazarczyk who is 24 and is suffering from post-concussion syndrome from 22 concussions.  So much of an athlete’s personal identity is wrapped into their sport making the decision to retire from sports a psychologically devastating decision.

Read the previous issues from the initial blog called Top 10 Scary Issues Surrounding Concussions. Continue reading the BOC blog posts throughout the month of October to read the full list of scary issues surrounding concussions.

Written by: Paul LaDuke, MSS, ATC, CSCS
pladuke@ldsd.org

Third Scary Issue Surrounding Concussions

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

With Halloween approaching, my thoughts have been brewing about concussions and the tremendous concerns surrounding this injury. Here is the third issue about concussions that Athletic Trainers find scary.

3. Players who aren’t honest about their symptoms.  Even with modern advancements in computer neuro-cognitive testing and advances in concussion research, return to play decisions are still highly dependent on the athlete’s symptoms.  Most athletes have a very strong desire to be on the field and most of them will deny symptoms making concussion diagnosis and proper rehabilitation very difficult for the Athletic Trainer.

Read the previous issues from the initial blog called Top 10 Scary Issues Surrounding Concussions. Continue reading the BOC blog posts throughout the month of October to read the full list of scary issues surrounding concussions.

Written by: Paul LaDuke, MSS, ATC, CSCS
pladuke@ldsd.org

Fourth Scary Issue Surrounding Concussions

Monday, October 24th, 2011

With Halloween approaching, my thoughts have been brewing about concussions and the tremendous concerns surrounding this injury. Here is the fourth issue about concussions that Athletic Trainers find scary.

4.  Coaches – There is a lot of pressure on coaches to win these days.  Pressure may come from internal or external sources, but this desire to win clouds their judgment all too often.  When a pivotal player suffers a concussion, the coach will turn that pressure towards the Athletic Trainer to get that athlete back on the field.  This is scary because of #10 (which will be shared on Halloween).

Read the previous issues from the initial blog called Top 10 Scary Issues Surrounding Concussions. Continue reading the BOC blog posts throughout the month of October to read the full list of scary issues surrounding concussions.

Written by: Paul LaDuke, MSS, ATC, CSCS
pladuke@ldsd.org

Fifth Scary Issue Surrounding Concussions

Friday, October 21st, 2011

With Halloween approaching, my thoughts have been brewing about concussions and the tremendous concerns surrounding this injury. Here is the fifth issue about concussions that Athletic Trainers find scary.

5.  Parents – Athletic Trainers who have to speak with parents about their child’s concussion know that this can be scary.  Parents will often be in denial that the athlete has a concussion, completely downplay the seriousness of the injury or completely overreact.  As the public’s knowledge of concussions increases, there seems to be less and less of these types of parents, but there is still a lot of anxiety when approaching a parent to speak with them about the injury.  Again, the NATA Member Think Tanks has a popular thread with horror stories of parents and their actions.

Read the previous issues from the initial blog called Top 10 Scary Issues Surrounding Concussions. Continue reading the BOC blog posts throughout the month of October to read the full list of scary issues surrounding concussions.

Written by: Paul LaDuke, MSS, ATC, CSCS
pladuke@ldsd.org

Sixth Scary Issue Surrounding Concussions

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

With Halloween approaching, my thoughts have been brewing about concussions and the tremendous concerns surrounding this injury. Here is the sixth issue about concussions that Athletic Trainers find scary.

6.  Doctors with out of date concussion knowledge.  Most ATs in the traditional setting, especially in the high school, have been given notes by concussed athletes who were treated by a physician that clearly didn’t know what they were dealing with.  This forum thread in the NATA Secondary School Think Tanks is full of horror stories.

Read the previous issues from the initial blog called Top 10 Scary Issues Surrounding Concussions. Continue reading the BOC blog posts throughout the month of October to read the full list of scary issues surrounding concussions.

Written by: Paul LaDuke, MSS, ATC, CSCS
pladuke@ldsd.org

Seventh Scary Issue Surrounding Concussions

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

With Halloween approaching, my thoughts have been brewing about concussions and the tremendous concerns surrounding this injury. Here is the seventh issue about concussions that Athletic Trainers find scary.

7.  Concussion Legislation – Concussion legislation is sweeping through state governments across the country.  ATs aren’t scared of good legislation, but we are scared of poor legislation.  Some of the things that are scary are return to play decisions allowed to be made by unqualified health care providers, legislation that doesn’t include youth sports or recreational athletes, and legislation that is poorly written that can’t adapt to new knowledge about concussions and treatments.  The Milwaukee Journal Sentinal published a review of pending legislation in Wisconsin pointing out that athletes younger than 11 years old are not covered by this legislation.  Many children are starting a sports career at age 5 to 7-years-old.

Read the previous issues from the initial blog called Top 10 Scary Issues Surrounding Concussions. Continue reading the BOC blog posts throughout the month of October to read the full list of scary issues surrounding concussions.

Written by: Paul LaDuke, MSS, ATC, CSCS
pladuke@ldsd.org

Eighth Scary Issue Surrounding Concussions

Friday, October 14th, 2011

 With Halloween approaching, my thoughts have been brewing about concussions and the tremendous concerns surrounding this injury. Here is the eighth issue about concussions that Athletic Trainers find scary.

8.  Poor Rules Enforcement by Coaches and Officials – Spearing and hitting an opponent in the head has been illegal in most sports for years, yet officials rarely make the call.  That trend is slowly changing as unsportsmanlike conduct penalties are increasing due to illegal hits to the head.  The online newspaper Grantland recently published a great piece on the NHL and the challenges that its officials face in rule changes and enforcement.  And this story from New England puts a personal side to the story.

Read the previous two issues from the last blog called Top 10 Scary Issues Surrounding Concussions. Continue reading the BOC blog posts throughout the month of October to read the full list of scary issues surrounding concussions.

Written by: Paul LaDuke, MSS, ATC, CSCS
pladuke@ldsd.org

Top 10 Scary Issues Surrounding Concussions

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

With Halloween approaching, my thoughts have been brewing about concussions and the tremendous concerns surrounding this injury.  According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), 300,000 sports- and recreation-related concussions are diagnosed nationwide each year. But the ACSM estimates the actual number is seven times more because so many concussions go undiagnosed. As an Athletic Trainer (AT), I am not frightened of concussions; they happen and will continue to happen in sports.  But while I don’t find the concussion a scary injury, I do find that much of what goes on around concussions and the effort to prevent concussions to be disturbing.

10.  Returning to play too soon – ATs understand that concussions open a “window of vulnerability” to the brain.  What no one knows is when that window closes and there are no physical or neuro-cognitive tests that will reveal it.   We also know that all concussions are different and each individual’s brain is different.  So returning to play (RTP) too soon is always a scary thought.  A recent situation in Kansas just may be such a story about RTP too soon. 

9.  Improper technique – Putting your head in a vulnerable position is a scary thought, yet football players, ice hockey players and lacrosse players consistently initiate contact with their head.  This news article from The Dayton News explores this scary trend in much better detail.

Read the Eighth Scary Issue Surrounding Concussions and continue reading the BOC blog posts throughout the month of October to read the full list of scary issues surrounding concussions.

Written by: Paul LaDuke, MSS, ATC, CSCS
pladuke@ldsd.org

Protecting the Public from Frightening Violations

Monday, October 10th, 2011

Part of the BOC’s Mission is to protect the public.  One way the BOC monitors this is by auditing continuing education (CE). The audit is directed at assuring compliance to the BOC Standards and Requirements.  The BOC audited 1,047 BOC Certified Athletic Trainers (ATs) during the 2008-2010 audit.  Only 36 ATs did not submit any materials. Though compliance rang in just above 96%, sanctions were distributed like candy to trick-or-treators.

Common violations for CE fall under Standards of Professional Practice Code 2: Competency.  Audit errors most often included lack of required documentation as outlined in the Recertification Requirements, non-compliance of emergency cardiac care requirements, and claiming invalid CEUs.   Sanctions for violations of Code 2 were issued to over 590 ATs during 2011.

 At this time, 174 professional practice and disciplinary cases have been opened in 2011.  Standards of Professional Practice apply to all ATs and exam applicants.  Be Certain.™ to:

  •  Ensure that you and your peers follow Standards of Professional Practice Code 3.2 – “Knows and complies with applicable local, state and/or federal rules, requirements, regulations and/or laws related to the practice of athletic training.”  Practicing without required state regulation will create a disciplinary case with the State Regulatory Board and the BOC.
     
  • Be truthful with exam application affidavit replies.  Standards of Professional Practice Code 3.7 – “Complies with all BOC exam eligibility requirements and ensures that any information provided to the BOC in connection with any certification application is accurate and truthful.”  Graduation dates are the most common inaccurate item on an application; remember, if your graduation date changes, you must contact the BOC.
     
  • Keep all exam content confidential as required by Standards of Professional Practice Code 3.8 – “Does not, without proper authority, possess, use, copy, access, distribute or discuss certification exams, score reports, answer sheets, certificates, certificant or applicant files, documents or other materials.”  The BOC retains the right to recover exam costs from individuals sharing confidential exam information.
     
  • Protect yourself and your assets.  Follow Standards of Professional Practice Code 6.2-Maintain adequate and customary professional liability insurance.

Keep a clean record.  Be Certain.™ you are adhering to the current Standards of Professional Practice and you are proficient in understanding the Recertification Requirements.

Written by: Jessica O'Neel, MS Ed, ATC
JessicaO@bocatc.org