Professional Development

South Dakota Athletic Trainers and EMTs Collaborate on Spine Boarding


Professional Development

South Dakota Athletic Trainers and EMTs Collaborate on Spine Boarding

Article reposted from KSFY
Author: Jake Iverson

The football season is just around the corner, but athletes aren’t the only ones practicing this offseason. Athletic trainers from across Sioux Falls gathered this week to collaborate on a spine-boarding workshop at the Avera Sports Institute.

It’s not everyday you see both Avera and Sanford on the same playing field. But today, the two health giants, specifically their athletic trainers, are putting aside their differences to train together.

“You want to rotate it into neutral alignment.” instructs Dustin Gebur, an athletic trainer with Avera and one of the leaders of the workshop.

This is a Spine-boarding workshop. Hopefully, the first of many to come.

“It was just a good opportunity for all of us to work together. Because inevitably on a Friday night or Saturday morning during a football game, there are going to be providers from all entities. So we really all need to work together during those events and we want to make sure we are all prepared prior to that.” said Gebur.

This training isn’t necessarily new, it’s more of a refresher course for an injury that both athletic trainers and paramedics thankfully don’t treat that often.

“Absolutely! You know when you talk about injuries to the spine it’s something that can devastate a person for the rest of their life! So even the slightest movement, you have to be careful and precise and make sure you practice enough so that you know exactly how to move a patient and you don’t do any further damage than what is already done.” said Andrew Ideker with Paramedics Plus.

Any injury on the field hardly ever shows up in a textbook the exact same way, so each run-through at the workshop has to be tweaked here and there.

“We went through some different scenarios, whether we remove the facemask only or if we remove all equipment and what criteria determines what we are doing then. So we went through all those different scenarios, we did one with a patient face-down and face-up. It obviously differentiates what you do when you approach the patient as well.” said Gebur.

The practice being done today is for when an athlete doesn’t get up from that big hit. But this practice is also being done before any high schooler puts on the helmet and pads.

“As an athletic trainer you just never know what you are going to come across, so you have to be prepared for everything at any given day or night because it happens at practice! Not just events and games.” said Gebur.

Football has seen several recent changes to help make the game safer, but anytime you have two players crashing into one another injuries will happen. Rest assured, parents and athletes can just look to eyes and ears on the sidelines and the people doing their part to ensure everyone can safely enjoy those Friday night lights.

“It’s great, from us at Paramedics Plus we work closely with both hospitals so it’s nice to get to come and practice with both of them as well on the sports side of things.” said Ideker.

The goal is to keep the spine-boarding workshop going each year to make sure all athletic trainers stay on the same page and up-to-date with all the new research and techniques. For more information just call 877-AT-AVERA.