Sunday, June 17, 2012

Athletic Trainers & Nurses: A Healthy Collaborative

Haven't blogged in awhile, because I haven't seen much that I considered blogworthy.  Happens I guess.  I stumbled upon this article while reviewing potential collaborations, and this will immediately become required reading in my sophomore level AT course.  In our field, we often speak of working collaboratively with other disciplines, and in fact, on clinical rotations students will often witness/participate in discussions/debates with other health care professionals addressing the student athlete.  While learning to practice interdisciplinary care is in my opinion the best option for athletes, it can admittedly be at times difficult and/or frustrating.
Some key points prior to reading the article:
1.  Understand that most everyone is coming from an angle in which they believe that their plan of care is the BEST way for the athlete to heal and return to activity in a safe and expedient way.
2.  Listen.  Listen to counterpoints; often times we tend to "zero in" on orthopedic or gen med issues as they are presented from faculty or textbooks.  As we all know, unfortunately cases do not always present this way, and we can learn much from other professionals who have experience in dealing with those issues.
3.  Share knowledge.  Don't be afraid to speak your mind in a calm and professional demeanor.  Emotion tends to force others into a defensive stance, which can alter the level of care for the athlete.
4.  More is more.  I love this adaptation to "less is more".  The more information you and your colleagues have, the more informed decisions can be made, and outcomes can be enhanced (read: improved standard of care).
I have been fortunate enough to work closely with nurses and nursing students the past several years during our coursework in the Dominican Republic, and the exchange of knowledge in both directions has made me much more informed regarding general medical conditions; including signs, symptoms and overall management.  Working side by side on real patients has incredible benefits, including my own progression as a clinician.

The article itself, published in the May 2012 edition of the National Association of School Nurses (NASN), can be found here:

I really believe this can serve as a nice informational piece when either creating or modifying the Emergency Action Plan (EAP).    Hope you enjoy!