• Sports Medicine

    Teacher: Mr. Mark Mejia

    Maintaining the health and well-being of athletes has a significant impact on their personal livelihood, their team’s success and the financial aspects of the sports industry. Individuals in sports medicine careers can help athletes reduce pain, build strength and enhance their athletic performance. Sports medicine professionals also help non-athletes recover from muscle, nerve and joint injuries by allowing them to regain the strength and range of motion necessary to live an active and healthy lifestyle. Because of their wide range of expertise, successful sports medicine specialists can provide both athletic and non-athletic patients with a comprehensive, customized treatment plan.

    Top careers in sports medicine

    1. Exercise physiologist, national average salary: $20.24/hour
    2. Athletic trainer, national average salary: $21.52/hour
    3. Orthopedic nurse, national average salary: $33.82/hour
    4. Kinesiotherapist, national average salary: $62,215/year
    5. Physical Therapist, national average salary: $34.50/hour
    6. Sports psychologist, national average salary: $40.77/hour
    7. Sports medicine nurse, national average salary: $52.29/hour
    8. Physiatrist, national average salary: $92.72/hour
    9. Sports medicine physician, national average salary: $106.66/hour
    10. Orthopedic surgeon, national average salary: $110.17/hour     (source: Indeed.com)

    Sports Medicine is a broad field that includes everything from exercise specialist to physician, and each discipline requires the development of communication, collaboration and problem-solving skills, as well as other characteristics associated with medical professionals. What careers are best suited for me, and how do I plan for success in those careers?

    There are many different ethical concepts that must be followed in a healthcare setting.  Professionals in a healthcare setting need to understand their legal and moral obligations in order to protect themselves and the people they work with. What legal responsibilities will I have as a healthcare professional? 

    It is extremely important to demonstrate habits in the workplace that conform to safety regulations while dealing with patients in order to ensure the safety of both the patients and the sports medicine professionals. How do I incorporate universal precautions and safety procedures into my normal practice? 

    Being able to document injury information accurately in a patient’s medical chart requires fluency in directional terms, medical terminology, anatomical descriptions, specific measurements, and distinguishing between objective and subjective data. What will I need to know/do in order to communicate effectively in a healthcare profession? 

    There are many environmental conditions that affect the homeostasis of the human body. It is important to identify these conditions and respond accordingly to minimize effects on the body.  Emergency care/ first response is a crucial part of every healthcare profession and saves lives. What first responder skills will I need to develop in order to properly assess emergency situations and provide the best care for optimal outcomes? 

    Recognizing the structures and functions of human anatomy plays an important role in injury assessment. How much do I need to know about the body systems in order to help others? 

    One important role of an ATC is to provide an optimal environment for injuries to heal, and it requires extensive knowledge of the body’s natural healing processes. How can I use this information to help myself and others recover from injuries? 

    An inversion ankle sprain is one of the most common injuries in athletics. Sports medicine professionals need to be able to help someone with this or any other injury to the foot, ankle or lower leg, from the TOI, through documentation, assessment, acute treatment, support and complete rehabilitation. How do I prepare myself to master these tasks? 

    There are many possible conditions or injuries to the knee and many ways to prevent or treat most of those conditions. How and when will I apply these skills?

    There are many possible conditions or injuries to the hip and many ways to prevent or treat most of those conditions. How and when will I apply these skills? 

    There are many possible conditions or injuries to the shoulder, and many ways to prevent or treat most of those conditions. How and when will I apply these skills? 

    There are many possible conditions or injuries to the upper extremities and many ways to prevent or treat most of those conditions. How and when will I apply these skills? 

    Many times, there are no visible signs or symptoms of a head or spinal injury, so it is important to be able to recognize injuries to the head or spine. How can I be sure if someone has an injury to the head or spine, and make the appropriate decisions on their best care? 

    The digestive system is a continuous muscular passageway that is important for absorbing nutrients into the body. Nutrition and other lifestyle choices factor in to overall wellness of an individual. What do I need to know about nutrition and wellness in order to make the best decisions for myself and others to influence optimal health? 

    The proper use of medical prefixes, suffixes, and abbreviations are a critical form of communication in the Sports Medicine arena. Can I fluently use medical terminology enough to be ready for a career in health care? 

    The integumentary system is a primary protective barrier for the human body and crucial for maintaining homeostasis. 

    There are many injuries and illnesses in the human body, understanding the foundational anatomy and physiology of our body systems will help to identify and treat them. How can I intervene when a dysfunction of a body system occurs? 

    The muscular system acts in conjunction with the skeletal system to produce movement but has other functions as well. How does the alignment of our joints affect daily function? 

    The ability to properly care for a tissue injury can help return your athlete to play sooner and safer. Therapeutic modalities are methods used to manipulate circulation in the treatment of injuries to the body tissues in relation to pain, range of motion, strength and ability to resume daily activities. How can I prepare to provide the best practices for healing using modalities? 

    There are many sudden illnesses and environmentally caused illnesses that require both long- and short-term care.  What type of long-term care will I need to provide for someone with a sudden illness? 

    Knowledge of chronic health conditions or functional limitations is important when considering appropriate exercise or nutritional program. Other special populations may also have specific modifications during exercise.   How will I modify or design an exercise or rehab program for someone with specific limitations? 

    Pharmacology is an essential component to athletic injuries and performance therefore having the understanding and knowledge of how and why they work is vital. What do I need to know about pharmacology as a healthcare professional, even if I am not going to be prescribing medications? 

    People in the sports medicine field must be able to recognize a variety of different psychological concerns and conditions. What protocol should I follow if my patients/clients demonstrate psychological distress? 

    There are normal patterns of posture and movement that facilitate functional activity. Using functional movement screenings and postural alignment assessments, and body composition measurements can help identify anomalies and potential sites of injury.  How can I use FMS, body comp and PAA to prevent injury and improve function? 

    Different types of exercise serve different purposes, and it is important to understand how to correctly implement the exercise strategies to serve those purposes.   How will I determine when it is most appropriate to use isometric exercise as opposed to other techniques? 

    Sets, repetitions, tempo, rest intervals, supersets, workout phases and burnout are all things to consider when designing an effective program. How can I use these to help an individual reach their fitness goals? 

    The rehabilitation process consists of determining the mechanism of injury, designing and facilitating a treatment plan, and educating the patient to regain full function at optimal performance levels. What steps will I need to take to progress an individual through the rehabilitation process and get them to an optimal performance level? 

    Efficient budgeting is important when buying supplies and equipment. Overhead and payment for services when applicable are also crucial factors to running a successful facility. What factors will I need to consider when determining a budget to efficiently operate in healthcare? 

    There are many ethical factors to consider regarding payment for services, insurance reimbursement, referrals and accurate records. How will I stay protected professionally and ensure that I will be compensated for my services fairly? 

    Nutritional concepts and knowledge of dietary intake are important in understanding how the body functions properly, especially in relation to physical activity. How will I meet all of the nutritional needs of the body during activities for optimal performance and/or desired physique? 

    As technology improves and more research is done, it is important to stay up to date on current trends in sports medicine/exercise science.  Digital portfolios are a way to showcase your qualifications and accomplishments and secure future opportunities.   How can I make sure that I stay relevant in my career and solidify employability?