Author Archives: Shawn Taylor

Athletic Training Education

lindsey hagler athletic trainerHave you ever wondered about the credentials of the person rehabbing your strained hamstring? On the other hand, maybe you’ve been curious about what regulatory oversight there is for the medical professional on the sports field with your high school athlete. What are the athletic training education requirements, and how does one become an athletic trainer, anyway?

Athletic Training Education Basics

The goal is to create highly skilled and knowledgeable allied health care professionals. To achieve this, athletic training education requires at least a bachelor’s degree from a nationally accredited program. This accreditation ensures that all athletic trainers meet the same minimum competencies required for their job. However, most athletic trainers have exceeded this minimum education requirement. In fact, nearly 70% of all athletic trainers have their master’s degree, as well.

The Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) oversees the core skills in which each athletic trainer must demonstrate proficiency. CAATE also performs regular audits of accredited programs to guarantee compliance. In addition to learning the required skills, athletic training students must pass a national exam through a separate organization, the Board of Certification (BOC).

Athletic Training Education New Requirements

As of 2015, the National Athletic Trainers Association, CAATE, and the BOC, jointly agreed that a master’s degree is the new minimum level of education. CAATE accredited programs have until 2022 to comply with this new degree requirement. Of course, an exception is in place for the 30% of athletic trainers currently practicing without a master’s level education. They will continue to work under the pre-2015 requirements.

Continuing Education

BOC approved providerIn addition to the national exam, the BOC is also responsible for ensuring that all athletic trainers complete at least 50 credit hours of continuing education every two years. This continuing education requirement ensures that athletic trainers remain current in their ability to recognize and treat injuries.

State of Oregon Oversight

Individual states also have requirements of athletic trainers. For example, in Oregon, all athletic trainers must register with the Oregon Health Authority (OHA). In addition, they must sign an affidavit verifying that they have kept up with continuing education requirements. The OHA may audit athletic trainers, and request that they provide records of compliance with BOC requirements.

As you can see, athletic trainers are subject to many layers of education and oversight. They must complete a rigorous course load, pass a national exam, register with the state, provide proof of compliance with agency requirements, and complete 50 credit hours of continuing education every two years. The result is a professional, knowledgeable, and competent athletic trainer caring for you or your young athlete when you need them most.

Please visit www.nata.org if you would like to learn more about athletic trainer educational requirements, CAATE, and the BOC.

Written by: Michael Estes, MS, ATC athletic trainer for The Center Foundation and Crook County High School in Prineville, OR. Learn more about Michael HERE.

The Center Foundation places dedicated athletic trainers in local high schools to provide sports medicine services to young athletes at no charge to the students or their families. Learn more about our work HERE.

Mental Health for Athletes

female softball player aloneKeeping an athlete’s physical body strong and healthy is the primary focus of athletic trainers. However, they also take care of what can’t be bandaged or splinted – the athlete’s mental health.

Injury and Mental Health

It is true that many young people will deal with mental health issues at some point in their lives. In fact, one study on the mental health of young athletes suggests that as many as 10% will experience mild to severe depression and anxiety at some point in their high school career. If left untreated, the results can be devastating.

For that reason, mental health in young athletes is worth studying and understanding. Often, injury can open the door to underlying emotional issues. For example, when a young athlete becomes injured, their mental health can suffer for a variety of reasons, including; chronic pain, loss of ability to participate, pressure from not performing as well as they would like, or as a symptom of concussion.

The Role of Athletic Trainers

Athletic trainers are not the main provider that an athlete will see for help with mental health issues. However, they are often a person that the athlete sees daily. Many young athletes confide in their athletic trainers, and injured athletes may visit them daily. Because of this consistent contact, an athletic trainer can quickly recognize changes in mental state. Athletic trainers often spot a struggling athlete and point them in the right direction to get help. Recognizing early and referring appropriately can make all the difference in getting the young person back on track and feeling better.

Warning Signs

There are different warning signs for different mental health issues. Generally, keep an eye out for sudden changes in thoughts or behaviors, feeling extreme highs or lows, social withdrawal, dramatic changes in eating or sleeping habits, inability to manage responsibility, frequent outbursts of anger, confused thinking, excessive fears, worries and anxieties. A number or resources are available for athletes to utilize when they are having any issues like depression, anxiety, eating disorders or not feeling quite right. Mental Health America, NCAA Sport Science Institute, and MentalHealth.gov are a few online resources that can help if you or someone you know is struggling.

Protecting Mental Health

There are a few ways that you can proactively protect your mental health. For example, eat a well- balanced nutritious diet, avoid sugar, caffeine and processed foods, exercise regularly, meditate or practice mindfulness, and establish a strong support network. Above all, never hesitate to seek counseling or the help of a mental healthcare practitioner when needed. Finally, it is important to remember that it is okay to not be okay. Sometimes young athletes have injuries that are not visible to anyone else. Athletic trainers are there to help with all injuries, visible or not.

celebrating softball players

Written by: Alex Walker, ATC athletic trainer for The Center Foundation and Sisters High School in Sisters, OR. Learn more about Alex HERE.

The Center Foundation places dedicated athletic trainers in local high schools to provide sports medicine services to young athletes at no charge to the students or their families. Learn more about our work HERE.

References:

Weber, Stephanie et al. “Symptoms of Anxiety and Depression in Young Athletes Using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale” Frontiers in physiology vol. 9 182. 7 Mar. 2018, doi:10.3389/fphys.2018.00182. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5845908/ (accessed online 12/12/2018)

Meet Our Team: Shauna Ericksen

shauna ericksen athletic trainer

Shauna Ericksen, MS ATC

Originally from Santa Barbara, CA, Shauna Ericksen spent four years at small private boarding schools. Specifically, she spent three years as a full-time assistant athletic trainer at one school, and an additional year as head athletic trainer at a second school. Prior to that, she attended University of Louisiana at Lafayette, receiving her Bachelors of Science in Athletic Training. After completing her undergrad education, Shauna worked for a sports chiropractor. There she developed an affinity for injury prevention through strength training, and learned valuable manual therapy skills. After that, Shauna returned to California where she worked as a physical therapy aide. At the same time, she studied for her masters’ degree in Sports Conditioning through A.T. Still University’s online program.

shauna ericksen athletic trainer for the center foundationShauna’s experiences include strength coaching for private gyms, working with runners and youth athletes. Shauna finds that educating young athletes on the importance of long-term health practices like weight lifting, fitness, nutrition, sleep habits, and mindfulness, helps set the tone for their future. It also influences how they take care of themselves in every facet of their lives. Shauna is excited to be living in Bend and working with Summit High School athletes. She looks forward to making major contributions to the sports medicine program.

shauna ericksen athletic trainerFirst job?

Quiznos when I was 16

Favorite food?

Fish tacos

Interesting fact about you?

I was the 2004-2005 California FHA-HERO State President

What’s one thing you would like people to know about athletic trainers?

We have a wide variety of skills and experience. This can include taping, bracing, strength training, emergency medicine, orthopedic evaluations, rehabilitation, manual therapy, and much more! In addition, we can work pretty much anywhere.

 

Shauna Ericksen, MS, ATC is an athletic trainer with The Center Foundation and serves Summit High School. Find out more about our athletic training team here.

Meet Our Team: Shantyel Bowman

shantyel bowman hikingShantyel Bowman, MAT, ATC

A native of Bend, Oregon, Shantyel Bowman attended college at Oregon State University. There, she received her Bachelor’s degree in Exercise and Sports Science in 2014. Following graduation, she headed to Montana to continue her studies and, in 2016, earned her Master’s in Athletic Training from Montana State University, Billings.

After completing her education, Shantyel moved back to reconnect with family and friends in Bend before starting her career. However, her first career move took her away from Central Oregon again. This time to Washington State where shantyel bowman athletic trainer for the center foundationshe enjoyed just over two years as a practicing athletic trainer.

With her heart still in Bend, Shantyel was excited when she saw an athletic training opportunity open up with The Center Foundation. And, we are thrilled to have her on our team! Now, you can find Shantyel at La Pine High School in the afternoons supporting the student athletes.

Shantyel loves her active Central Oregon lifestyle. For example, when she isn’t on the sports field or in the training room at her high school, you can find her hiking, mountain biking, and playing Frisbee. She also values spending time with family and friends, as well as creative pursuits like painting and the adventure of traveling.

shantyel bowman and familyFirst Job?

AT with ATI physical therapy

Favorite food?

Lettuce wraps

Something quirky/interesting about you?

I wear funky socks every day.

What is one thing you would like people to know about athletic trainers?

Athletic trainers are dynamic, quick-thinkers, with the ability to solve problems in a variety of circumstances, and use whatever is at hand to get the job done.

 

Shantyel Bowman, MAT, ATC is an athletic trainer with The Center Foundation and serves La Pine High School. Find out more about our athletic training team here.

Exercise-Induced Asthma and Winter Sports

What is Exercise-Induced Asthma?

First, let’s talk about what asthma is. When we inhale, oxygen enters the lungs through structures called bronchi. Asthma is a spasm, or tightening, of the bronchi making it difficult to get air into the lungs. This lack of air can create unpleasant symptoms and limit activity.  Asthma has many different triggers, but here we will specifically look at exercise-induced asthma.

As the name suggests, vigorous or prolonged activity triggers this type of asthma. The symptoms typically start to show about 5- 20 minutes into an activity. For example, during a sporting event or workout you would start out feeling fine, but after several minutes you might begin to feel a tightness in your chest, coughing or wheezing, unusual fatigue or shortness of breath. The symptoms will often be worse 5-10 minutes after stopping exercise, and will usually go away 20-30 minutes after stopping.

What Causes Exercise-Induced Asthma?

People who already suffer from asthma are most likely to experience exercise-induced asthma attacks. However, many people who do not normally suffer from asthma can experience episodes of exercise-induced asthma. Pollution, pollen and other airborne irritants can trigger a bout of asthma during exercise. Even more common is inhaling very dry or cold air. For that reason, young athletes participating in outdoor winter sports in Central Oregon should take some precautions. At the same time, exercise-induced asthma is not something that should prevent you from enjoying sports that you love.

How to Control Exercise-Induced Asthma

If you regularly suffer from asthma, the best way to control exercise-induced asthma is to use an albuterol inhaler prior to any type of activity. Albuterol is a bronchodilator, which means it opens up the bronchi so that you can breathe. It will also help control spasms that may happen with exercise. If you do have an inhaler for your exercise-induced asthma you should use it 10 minutes before exercise, or as directed by your doctor.

Anyone who experiences exercise-induced asthma can avoid it by taking a few simple precautions. First, start with a proper warm up and cool down activity. This should include at least 10 minutes of activity that will gradually increase your heart rate and breathing. Second, be aware if there is a high pollen count or other air pollutions (such as smoke from fires) that might trigger your asthma, and exercise at a level that is appropriate for you in those conditions. If dry, cold winter air is the specific cause of your asthma, consider using a thin scarf or mask to cover your mouth and nose during exercise.  This barrier will create a pocket of warm air and help you avoid symptoms. Finally, it is important to listen to your body and take the right steps to keep yourself safe and comfortable.

Don’t Let Exercise-Induced Asthma Stop You!

To conclude, exercise-induced asthma should not be a reason to avoid activities that you love. In fact, if you suspect that you have asthma and experience the symptoms above, it may be time to make a visit to your doctor. With their help, you can put a plan in place to control your asthma and keep doing all the activities that you love this winter and beyond.

Written by: Alex Walker, ATC athletic trainer for The Center Foundation and Sisters High School in Sisters, OR. Learn more about Alex HERE.

The Center Foundation places dedicated athletic trainers in local high schools to provide sports medicine services to young athletes at no charge to the students or their families. Learn more about our work HERE.

References:
Exercise-Induced Asthma. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/asthma/guide/exercise-induced-asthma#2. Accessed August 6, 2018.
Exercise-Induced Bronchoconstriction (Asthma). Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. http://www.aafa.org/exercise-induced-asthma/. Accessed October 25, 2018.

Sports Medicine Program Highlight

What is the Sports Medicine Program?

With the recent media focus on concussion, sudden cardiac and heat-related deaths in school athletics, there is little question that having a qualified health care professional onsite for young athletes is crucial. That’s why we place certified athletic trainers in local high schools through our Sports Medicine Program. Our athletic trainers provide daily on-site medical care at practices and games, triage accidents and injuries, diagnose and manage concussions, and educate athletes and coaches on injury prevention and sports safety. In short, they do a lot! And, they do all of this at no cost to students or their families. Since 2015, our high school Sports Medicine Program has grown from four schools to eight, and our athletic trainers now care for more than 5,000 student athletes annually. All of this thanks to the generous support of The Center physicians and our donors.

Why We are Here

There is nothing more precious to a parent than the safety of their child. However, parents cannot be at every practice or game to keep an eye on their young athlete. In addition, the majority of high schools in the Northwest, Central Oregon included, do not have the budget to hire and staff their own athletic trainers to care for their athletes. With more budget cutbacks each year, public schools focus their funds on maintaining high quality academic programs and ensuring equal access to education – as they should. But, kids need safe physical activity too. As a matter of fact, studies show many benefits, physical, emotional, social and intellectual, for kids participating in organized sports. And, schools know that keeping sports programs alongside academic programs is critical for children’s overall development. We agree. We want kids to play and we want them to be safe.

That’s where we step in with our high school Sports Medicine Program. Started over two decades ago by concerned physicians at The Center, The Center Foundation is the only nonprofit program in Central Oregon solely dedicated to ensuring that youth are safe, healthy, and protected while participating in sports. In short, we fill the gap by providing the athletic trainers that our schools cannot afford.

How Can YOU Help?

In order to accomplish this, we raise over $500,000 annually to provide sports medicine services to eight high schools in Bend, La Pine, Sisters, Madras, Culver and Crook County. However, we have more work to do. Specifically, our middle school athletes need support, and we have an additional high school coming online in 2021. As our region continues to grow, so does our opportunity to keep kids active and safe. This is where YOU come in. Our kids depend on us; we depend on you to keep us here protecting them. If every parent of a high school athlete in Central Oregon gave just $10 a month for one year (that’s only two visits to Starbucks!) it would go a log way toward reaching our goals.

New this year, we are excited to announce that the Maybelle Clark McDonald Fund has awarded us a matching grant for gifts up to $5,000.  Please consider making a gift to The Center Foundation Sports Medicine Program. Donating is easy on our website, and we are truly grateful for every dollar given. Make your gift go further by donating today!

Written by: Shawn Taylor, Program Administrator for The Center Foundation. Learn more about Shawn HERE.

References:
The Value of the Secondary School Athletic Trainer. National Federation of State High School Associations. Published online March 10, 2015. Accessed October 26, 2018. https://www.nfhs.org/articles/the-value-of-the-secondary-school-athletic-trainer/
Youth sport: positive and negative impact on young athletes. Journal of Sports Medicine. Published online May 31, 2013. Accessed October 26, 2018.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3871410/
Sports and Child Development. Published online May 4, 2016. Accessed October 26, 2018.
https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0151729
The Value of Athletic Training Employment in Secondary School Athletics. The Sport Journal. Published Online August 31, 2017. Accessed October 26, 2018.
https://thesportjournal.org/article/the-value-of-athletic-training-employment-in-secondary-school-athletics/

 

Exercise or Rest When a Virus Strikes?

exercise or rest with a virusTis the season of coughing, sneezing, and runny noses – not just roasted chestnuts over an open fire and sleigh rides in the snow. The scourge of cold and flu season is here. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and prevention (CDC) estimates that there are over 425 million cases of the cold and flu every year. In an active community such as ours, the question often comes up as to whether you should exercise or rest while sick. Can you “burn it out” with a good run, or do you just need some serious downtime? The answer is…it depends.

Above/Below the Neck Rule

In short, the general rule of thumb is that if the symptoms are “above the neck” such as a sore throat, cough, runny nose, or congestion then it is okay to continue to exercise. Mild to moderate exercise is best, and as your symptoms begin to resolve, you can gradually increase the intensity of your workouts. On the other hand, if you are experiencing symptoms like muscle/joint pain, fever, fatigue, diarrhea, vomiting, and swollen lymph nodes, it is best to avoid exercise all together. In this case, depending on the length and severity of the illness,  you should take 2-4 weeks before resuming exercise that is more intensive.

Don’t Share

Risk of spreading illness is another consideration to take into account when deciding to exercise or rest while sick. If you are contagious and you do choose to exercise, it is best to exercise individually and avoid close contact team sports. As always, practice good hygiene! Wash your hands, wipe off your equipment with disinfectant, don’t share a water bottle, and cover your mouth when you cough and sneeze.

Don’t Stress…or maybe just a little

Exercise is a stressor on the body, but stress can be both good and bad. Research has shown that moderate levels of exercise can help protect the body against illness, while too much intense exercise or not enough exercise can make you more susceptible to getting sick. Therefore, you should find ways to manage your stress and avoid overtaxing your body. If you participate in high-intensity exercise, make sure that you recover fully between workouts. If your symptoms persist or you have a high fever, you should consider seeing your doctor. Once you do recover, ease back into exercising slowly. This process should last about as long as your illness did. For example, if you were sick for three days, you should spend about three days easing back into activity.

Exercise or Rest

Of course, it is best to do what you can to avoid getting sick in the first place. Get your flu shot on a yearly basis, practice good hygiene, eat a well-balanced meal, stay hydrated, and get plenty of sleep.  If you do catch a cold, the best treatment is rest and drinking plenty of fluids. Over the counter medications can help relieve the severity of the symptoms but do not help you recover faster.  Whether or not you decide to exercise or rest when sick should be the result of listening to your body, not just trying to force your way to health.

Written by: Stuart Schmidt, MS, ATC, CSCS athletic trainer supervisor for The Center Foundation in Bend, OR. Learn more about Stuart HERE.

The Center Foundation places dedicated athletic trainers in local high schools to provide sports medicine services to young athletes at no charge to the students or their families. Learn more about our work HERE.

References:

American College of Sports Medicine Current Comment: Exercise and the Common Cold. Accessed Online 11/15/2018. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17095937

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2018). Influenza (flu) including seasonal, avian, swine, pandemic, and other.. [online] Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/index.htm [Accessed 31 Oct. 2018].

Precision Nutrition. (2018). Exercise when sick: Should you sweat it out? Or rest and recover? | Precision Nutrition. [online] Available at: https://www.precisionnutrition.com/working-out-when-sick [Accessed 31 Oct. 2018].

Meet Our Team – 2018 Fall Line-Up

The Center Foundation team of Athletic TrainersWe are excited to announce our Sports Medicine Program line-up for 2018-19! For the first time, we have dedicated certified athletic trainers at eight of our area high schools; Bend Senior High, Crook County, La Pine, Mountain View, Sisters, Summit, and now Culver and Madras. In addition, we have three new athletic trainers, an athletic trainer supervisor, and a program administrator. As a result, we are now serving more student athletes in Central Oregon high schools than ever before.

How Far We’ve Come

Thanks to YOUR support, we have increased our funding by more than 50% since 2015. Due to this increased capacity, we have doubled the number of high schools we serve and the athletic trainers we employ. Consequently, more than 7,000 students and 3,000 athletes at over 760 sporting events per year benefit from our Sports Medicine Program. But, we have more work to do! Specifically, new Central Oregon high schools are slated for construction in the coming years, and middle schools and club sports teams still need our help. Reaching more young athletes means we are ensuring the safety of kids in Central Oregon by keeping them healthy and active in the sports they love. Most importantly, our Sports Medicine Program is provided at no cost to the students or their families.

Our Athletic Trainers

Athletic trainers are the heart of our Sports Medicine Program, and they work hard each day to protect and support young athletes. Sometimes athletic trainers are confused with personal trainers. However, they are vastly different. Highly qualified, multi-skilled health care professionals, athletic trainers specialize in injury prevention, recognition, and evaluation. Our athletic trainers collaborate with physicians to make appropriate immediate-care decisions for a young athlete’s illness or injury. Additionally, they are responsible for treatment, rehabilitation, and reconditioning post-injury.

Our certified athletic trainers are highly educated. They have a bachelor’s degree in athletic training and most have a master’s degree in areas related to sports medicine. All athletic trainers employed by The Center Foundation hold national certification from the Board of Certification (BOC) and have obtained registration to work in the State of Oregon by the Oregon Health Authority (OHA). Drawing on this combination of education and credentials ensures that we are placing excellent athletic trainers in our local schools.

The 2018-19 Line-Up

The Center Foundation is thrilled to welcome our newest athletic trainers, Shantyel Bowman, Shauna Ericksen, and Nicole Porter, as well as our athletic trainer supervisor, Stuart Schmidt. In addition, we are proud to announce our returning team members, Tessa Cashman, Michael Estes, Lindsay Hagler, Courtney Miller, and Alex Walker. You will find each of them on the sidelines of practices and high school sporting events, bringing their vast knowledge and experience to care for your young athlete.

Athletic Trainer Supervisor, Stuart Schmidt, MS, ATC, CSCS
Bend Senior High School, Tessa Cashman, ATC
Crook County High School, Michael Estes, MS, ATC
Culver High School, Courtney Miller, ATC
La Pine High School, Shantyel Bowman, MAT, ATC
Madras High School, Nicole Porter, MS, ATC
Mountain View High School, Lindsay Hagler, MS, ATC, CSCS
Sisters High School, Alex Walker, ATC
Summit High School, Shauna Ericksen, MS, ATC
Per Diem Athletic Trainer, Kathleen Thompson, ATC
Program Administrator, Shawn Taylor

To learn more about our team here.
Find out how you can support the work of The Center Foundation here.

 

Written by: Shawn Taylor, Program Administrator for The Center Foundation. Learn more about Shawn HERE.

Do Helmets Prevent Concussions in Football?

helmet mouth guard concussions preventionUnderstanding Concussions

A concussion is a traumatic brain injury caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head. Concussions can also result from a hit to the body that moves the head and brain back and forth rapidly. When an impact occurs, it causes the brain and surrounding cerebrospinal fluid to move within the skull. Because the brain is similar to Jell-O in consistency, when the head moves suddenly by force, the brain shifts, turns, and twists inside the skull causing chemical and metabolic changes deep in the brain tissue. The resulting concussion produces symptoms like confusion, dizziness, headache, and blurred vision.

So, Do Helmets Help?

The short answer is no, football helmets are not designed to prevent concussions. Rather, their primary purpose is to prevent skull fractures. Even with recent advances in the development of football helmets, they do not prevent the brain from moving within the skull.

Similarly, mouth guards can help prevent dental and oral injuries but not concussions. Research shows there is no reduction in concussion rates for players wearing mouth guards.

What Can You Do?

While there is nothing that can truly prevent concussions in football, there are a few things athletes can do to help reduce their risk of concussion. First, proper fit of the helmet is critical. Although the concussions helmet football athlete injuredhelmet itself cannot prevent a concussion, research shows that improper fit of the helmet can increase concussion symptom severity and duration. Next, proper tackling technique can help to reduce the risk of concussion by using the shoulder to initiate contact instead of using the head. Finally, neck strengthening can also be beneficial to help stabilize the head and dissipate the forces transferred to the head during collisions and rapid head rotations.

Learn More About Concussion Prevention

To learn more about concussion prevention and management, click here. For more on the role of helmets in concussion prevention, watch this TEDTalk by David Camarillo, PhD.

Written by: Lindsay Hagler, MS, ATC, CSCS athletic trainer for The Center Foundation and Mountain View High School in Bend, OR. Learn more about Lindsay HERE.

References

Helmets and Mouth Guards: The Role of Personal Equipment in Preventing Sport-Related Concussions Daniel H. Daneshvar, MA,a Christine M. Baugh,b Christopher J. Nowinski,c,d Ann C. McKee,c,j Robert A. Stern, PhD,c,kand Robert C. Cantu, MDc,e,f,g,h,i,l https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2987604/

Inadequate Helmet Fit Increases Concussion Severity in American High School Football Players Dustin A. Greenhill, MD,*† Paul Navo, MPH, Huaqing Zhao, PhD, Joseph Torg, MD, R. Dawn Comstock, PhD,§ andBarry P. Boden, MD¶ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4981070/