CHKD's Certified Athletic Trainers
In 2010, CHKD added a staff of 15 certified athletic trainers (ATC) to its sports medicine department.
The ATCs work primarily in the Chesapeake Public Schools, providing medical coverage for sporting events and practices year-round for all of the middle schools and six of the seven high schools.
There are also two ATCs assigned to provide medical coverage for sporting events that take place at the Virginia Beach Sportsplex and Field Hockey Center, so you can rest assured that your child will be taken care of while participating in a camp or athletic event at those facilities.
What is a certified athletic trainer (ATC)?
A certified athletic trainer is an allied health professional who has earned a four-year bachelor’s degree from a college or university that offers an accredited athletic training program and has passed the Board of Certification national certification exam.
In addition, many athletic trainers complete a master’s degree in either athletic training or a related discipline such as exercise science, exercise physiology, secondary education or health and wellness. In order to use the ATC credential professionally in the state of Virginia, an individual must be licensed by the Virginia Board of Medicine, just like doctors, pharmacists, and physical therapists must be licensed.
What does an ATC do?
The ATCs employed by CHKD work in the interscholastic athletics setting. Their focus is primarily on athletes playing middle school and high school sports. Each day, the ATCs provide the following services:
- Pre-practice and game taping
- Injury evaluation
- Design and implementation of rehabilitation programs
- Practice and event coverage for VHSL recognized sports
- Maintain documentation of athletic injuries
- Coordinate with parents, physicians, and physical therapists to carry out an athlete’s plan of care for a wide variety of athletic injuries
- Work cooperatively with coaches and athletic department staff to ensure safe playing conditions for all athletes
- Assist student-athletes and parents in determining when they need to see their primary care physician or a sports medicine specialist, providing referrals as needed
- Work to promote healthy lifestyle choices and assist student-athletes in locating educational resources to improve health literacy
The ATCs also maintain the ability to provide emergency management of severe injuries that occur during practices and games. In addition, they play a key role in a student-athlete’s concussion management team by monitoring athletes on a daily basis and acting as the liaison between physicians, teachers, and coaches during the recovery process. You can read more about CHKD’s concussion management program and the Chesapeake Public School’s concussion policy.
The athletic trainers at CHKD support the Hampton Roads community by providing medical coverage for athletic events that are held in the area, in addition to working in the schools. If you or your child has participated in the CHKD RunWalk for the Kids, Girls on the Run 5k, Challenger Baseball World Festival, SkatePark Event, or the Chesapeake Sheriff’s football camp, then you have probably met a CHKD athletic trainer.
Improving health literacy in the community is important to CHKD. ATCs take part in this effort by teaching American Heart Association HeartSaver CPR/AED classes to students and coaches within the Chesapeake Public Schools system as well as other groups in the community. The ATCs have also been featured on WVEC’s 13 News at Noon to discuss current issues in sports medicine and give educational talks on general sports injury prevention, care and nutrition to kids’ sport camps and athletic clubs as requested. If you are interested in having a CHKD athletic trainer speak at your camp or club meeting, please contact Mitchell Callis, MSEd, ATC at 757-373-7427.