Someone says don’t touch that, but doesn’t say why, you may or may not listen. Someone tells you not to drink your favorite drink, but offers no further information, you’re probably going to drink it anyway. A police officer knocks on your door and tells you need to get out of your house and gives you no explanation, chances are you don’t go. A doctor tells you that you need to start giving yourself injections, but doesn’t show you how or explain why, you probably won’t do it. Without being educated as to the reasons to do or not do something, or being taught how to do something, most people are not going to do them.
However, if you were told don’t touch that because it is extremely hot and you’ll get burned, you’re not likely to touch it. If you are informed that the expiration date has passed on your drink, you may no longer choose to drink it. If the police officer tells you there is a gas leak next door and they are afraid there may be an explosion you will probably leave very quickly. The doctor explains that is looks like you’re developing an allergy to shell fish that could prove to be life threatening, you’ll probably avoid them at all cost.
Education is a very important part of working with injuries. Like a doctor, an athletic trainer has to educate their athletes and/or patients, their parents, their coaches, athletic directors, and more. The athletic trainer needs to teach them about the injury, why it happened, what to do about it and why, how to avoid it, and how to help it heal. Without properly educating everyone, there is little chance that they will follow through with what is needed for proper injury prevention, management or rehabilitation. Athletic trainers probably spend as much time on the education about the injury as they do managing it.
The athletic trainers job isn’t just about educating once injury has occurred, they also help educate coaches on proper warm ups, cool downs and stretching. About incorporating strengthening and conditioning to optimize injury prevention. They help educate athletic directors on areas of concern for an athletic program as a whole. They help train local EMTs and paramedics on emergency removal of athletic equipment which is very dangerous unless done properly. They help educate the whole community about injury, risks, and prevention.
Management of injuries is an important part of the athletic trainers job, but without educating, they can’t provide the best care possible.
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