Athletic trainers now school employees
Thanks to $500,000 in grants from Forsyth and Wake Forest Baptist medical centers, the certified athletic trainers at all Winston-Salem/Forsyth County high schools will now be working for the school system.
Since 2011, the medical centers have provided each of the 12 traditional high schools with a full-time certified athletic trainer who works with students in all sports. The certified athletic trainers work to prevent injuries, and, when injuries do arise, they deal with them quickly and effectively.
[pullquote]“We really want to thank both medical centers for their contributions to the safety of the student athletes at all our high schools,” said Superintendent Don Martin.[/pullquote]Each of the medical centers is providing $250,000 to continue the program, and as of Dec. 1, the school system is offering jobs to all of the current certified athletic trainers. Until now, they have been employees of the medical centers. The grants will be used to pay for the certified athletic trainers for one year, and school officials will work to find the money to continue the program after that.
“We really want to thank both medical centers for their contributions to the safety of the student athletes at all our high schools,” said Superintendent Don Martin.
Martin said that he understands that, in a tight economy, it was difficult for the medical center to continue to pay for the program and appreciates their willingness to support the program for the next year.
“They have helped us by providing a bridge while we figure out how to continue the program,” Martin said.
The 2011-12 school year was the first year that certified athletic trainers started working full-time at the high schools. In September 2010, the medical centers agreed that each of them would provide a certified athletic trainer to six of the 12 traditional high schools in the school system.
In early 2011, athletic trainers began joining the staffs at various high schools, and, by the end of the year, they were in place at each school. Forsyth has been serving East Forsyth, Mount Tabor, North Forsyth, Reynolds, West Forsyth and Winston-Salem Preparatory Academy. Wake Forest Baptist has been serving Atkins, Carver, Glenn, Parkland, Reagan and Walkertown.
The certified athletic trainers are available during all home games, both to the home and visiting teams. They also keep an eye on such factors as the temperature. Principals, parents and others have said that the program has made it safer for students playing sports.
If a student is hurt, a certified athletic trainer is there to give immediate care. Football games are also staffed by Forsyth County Emergency Medical Services. At other games, the certified athletic trainer, in consultation with others, would be the one to summon additional help if needed.
The certified athletic trainers are also available at practices, and they help athletes who have been injured to establish the best path to rehabilitation. The certified athletic trainers are also responsible for such educational programs as concussion awareness programs for parents.