Cheshire’s Sports Medicine team provides specialized medical care to student-athletes at Fall Mountain Regional High School, Keene High School, Monadnock Regional High School, and the Keene Swamp Bats baseball team.
Working mostly within the school setting, these skilled, enthusiastic professionals help students reach their athletic potential and provide immediate medical care on the field. Our athletic trainers (ATs) are overseen by a physician and work closely with Cheshire’s Orthopaedic and Outpatient Rehabilitation teams to ensure local student-athletes receive the care they need to heal effectively from injury.
How do ATs help student-athletes?
ATs are able to reduce injury, shorten rehabilitation time, and prevent instances of re-injury. You will likely see them on the sidelines of sporting events and providing medical care to student-athletes one-on-one after school. They provide:
- Clinical diagnosis and a referral to a physician or physical therapist, if necessary.
- Concussion testing administration (ImPACT, VOMS, SCAT5, etc).
- Concussion protocol/Return-to-Play and management.
- Emergency care during sporting events and training exercises.
- Functional testing to determine if an athlete is safe to play.
- Rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions.
- Strategies to prevent injuries during athletic activities.
- Therapeutic interventions like taping or bracing to allow athletes to play safely.
Student-athletes should seek an AT upon injury
Cheshire’s ATs are available during sports practices most days after school. If your student-athlete sustains an injury, please encourage them to seek out the AT after school that same day for an evaluation. If the injury occurs at an away contest, the athlete should report to the AT the next day. The athlete should see the AT before seeing a physician unless the injury requires emergency medical care. If the AT determines the injury needs further evaluation by a physician, they will contact you to discuss the next steps.
Partnering with Cheshire’s sports medicine and orthopaedics teams
Once an AT has referred your child to a physician, the sports medicine lead will call you within 24 hours to set up an appointment for them at the medical center. Working this way enables open communication between medical staff that will improve follow-up care. This can ensure the athlete is following the best protocol for their particular injury and activity.
A concussion is a disturbance in brain function that occurs following either a blow to the head or as a result of the violent shaking of the head. Concussions can have serious effects, so it is important to recognize the symptoms. Please view the National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA) Concussion 101 PDF.
Student-athletes at Cheshire’s contracted schools may be required to take the ImPACT test if they might have sustained a concussion. This test assesses how quickly and how accurately the student can answer questions compared to the baseline test the student completed earlier in the year. It helps medical professionals provide the best concussion care.
Return to play after a concussion
Based on the results of the ImPACT and their signs and symptoms, the student will follow the concussion protocol. If at any time the AT or school nurses feel the student-athlete is not progressing as expected, the AT will explore other options. These may include a referral to Cheshire’s neurology or primary care providers.
Once the student’s symptoms have improved and their ImPACT scores are comparable to baseline, they may begin the five-stage Return-to-Play progression. Each stage is separated by 24 hours. A permission slip first needs to be signed by the parents or guardian giving permission to begin this return-to-play testing. If at any time symptoms return, the student would repeat the stage after a 24-hour period of rest.