Skip to Content
August 23, 2017

A Portal To Sports Medicine

Health care is complicated, and timing and access to the right health care providers, in the right place and at the right time, saves families a lot of time, money, and worry. In fact, many companies in our area contract for occupational health services for their employees so they can go straight to the right kinds of specialists for wellness programs, counseling, or injury prevention and initial care.

School’s Licensed Athletic Trainer Can Save Time, Money and Worry

Health care is complicated, and timing and access to the right health care providers, in the right place and at the right time, saves families a lot of time, money, and worry. In fact, many companies in our area contract for occupational health services for their employees so they can go straight to the right kinds of specialists for wellness programs, counseling, or injury prevention and initial care.

In a similar way, your school’s licensed athletic trainer, or LAT, is contracted by your school to be on site to help keep student athletes safe and healthy. If a young athlete does get hurt while participating in sports, a LAT can administer initial treatment on the field or court and refer him or her on to the proper specialist only if necessary. We have so many resources at our disposal to streamline the sports medicine process for our local athletes. The best part? Families don’t pay out-of- pocket for the services of a LAT at their school.

Here are three ways your school’s licensed athletic trainer can help you:

  1. Save Time — A young person with knee pain at the start of cross country season might have tendonitis or something more serious. Before scheduling an appointment with your own primary care provider and taking off work to accompany your child to the doctor, why not have her stop in the training room and talk to me? If it is tendonitis, I can evaluate her, provide a simple brace, instruct her on icing the area of inflammation, and discuss a temporary change to her workout routine. In the end, you’ll have the advice of a specialist in sports medicine, no time lost from work, and a plan of care that’s designed to keep her on track to participate in the rest of the season. The two of us will talk almost every day at school, too, so I can track her progress.

    We never rush a return to play at the risk of an athlete’s well-being, but neither do we insist on long periods away from play and practice if it’s not necessary. We know young athletes can turn around quickly, and our specialty is sports medicine for young people.

  2. Save Money — Consultations and initial treatment by your school LAT will incur no out-of-pocket charges for your family. If you do rehab with us at school, that is also no cost to you. You will most often bypass a trip to another clinic or emergency room if you invite us to evaluate your sports injury right when it happens or ask us for help if you have problems during training. We also document all parent and athlete interactions and record them in ThedaCare’s electronic medical record for reference by your ThedaCare primary care or specialist physicians. Remember, too, standards of patient confidentiality are the same in the training room as a doctor’s exam room.
  3. Worry Less — We are an added layer of security and expertise to care for your kids. Schools contract with us to be present at both practices and home games throughout a sports season, and we help reinforce safety and fundamentals taught by coaches.

    We have specialty training in treating athletic injuries that differs from other types of health care providers. Take football injuries, for example. They require expertise in splinting, stabilizing, and prepping athletes for transport, both with and without pads and helmets. Because Shawano has a concussion treatment protocol in place, all Shawano LATS work with academic officials to coordinate recovery for students who’ve suffered concussions. We also know how to recognize a true heat emergency, a condition that could be fatal if not properly treated.

Look for our ThedaCare jackets at the next Shawano sporting event and tap one of us on the shoulder. We’d love to meet you.

Sarah Smith is a licensed athletic trainer with ThedaCare Orthopedic Care in Shawano. She is a 2013 graduate of Shawano High School and graduated from UW Oshkosh in 2017 with a degree in athletic training after which she earned her Licensed Athletic Trainer certification. As a high school student, Smith shadowed Sally Egan, LAT, ThedaCare Orthopedic Care, in her duties at Shawano High School and credits Sally with inspiring her career choice.

Back to site