June 5, 2023 4:38 pm

By John Frierson
Employees Writer

A diverse type of practice was taking place inside the Payne Indoor Athletic Facility on Thursday. Rather of football players operating routes or functioning on their blocking strategy, paramedics had been coaching to get superior at dealing with sports-associated emergency healthcare circumstances.

An all-day occasion place on by UGA Sports Medicine and the Regional Trauma Advisory Committee of the Georgia Trauma Commission, the 2023 RTAC Sports Medicine Conference featured 165 attendees and ten diverse speakers. Front and center all through, from delivering the opening remarks to speaking on subjects as wide-ranging as treating heatstroke and the management of spine injuries, was Ron Courson, Executive Associate Athletic Director and Georgia’s Director of Sports Medicine.

Courson stated Area ten of the RTAC asked him and longtime emergency healthcare technician (EMT) Glenn Henry, the former emergency healthcare solutions (EMS) system chair at Athens Technical College, to place with each other a coaching system for paramedics.

“A lot of EMTs and paramedics cover Friday evening football games, and they have fantastic coaching in emergency medicine, but occasionally they do not have as a great deal knowledge in sports medicine,” Courson stated. 

Along with lectures from various physicians, athletic trainers and other healthcare experts, the course integrated on-field labs in the course of which the attendees could get hands-on coaching in dealing with distinct sports injuries and emergency circumstances.

Courson, who is also an EMT and has had to deal with all manner of injured athletes in his profession, like these with neck and spinal injuries, stated that it really is crucial that paramedics know how to most effective to help athletes with potentially main injuries, especially in football.

“Paramedics and EMTs may possibly have fantastic knowledge in trauma circumstances and spine-boarding (placing the injured on back boards), but they may possibly not have that a great deal coaching in how to take football shoulder pads off. Or how take a helmet off in a spine emergency,” he stated. “Not all helmets are the similar, and not all pads are the similar, so you have to know the diverse gear and know the diverse nuances of how to take it off safely.”

An additional element to the coaching involved dealing with these suffering from heatstroke, anything that comes up across the nation every single summer season, especially in the course of preseason practices at all levels of football.

“Heatstroke is a diverse factor. With EMS, you ordinarily want to get them to the hospital as rapid as you can. But heatstroke is a diverse factor, exactly where you want to cool the particular person and then transport them,” Courson stated. “That is the good factor about the lab, you can have the lecture but then you can also demonstrate the most effective way to do items.”

A important element to paramedics and EMTs functioning with sports medicine employees and athletic trainers in emergency circumstances, Courson stated, is communication. 

“I’ve been an EMT for 35 years, so it really is less difficult for me to speak to an EMT mainly because I am 1 and I know their language,” he stated. “The extra I can cross-train my employees, and my target is to have all of my employees be athletic trainers and emergency healthcare technicians the extra we can cross-train there, it tends to make us superior, but it also assists with the facts exchange.”

Ten years ago, Courson and his employees began what they known as “the healthcare timeout” — it really is a practice that has been picked up across the nation, he stated, and in the NFL. Prior to just about every competitors in just about every sport, Georgia’s sports medicine employees get with each other with the healthcare employees for the opposing group, along with the paramedics functioning the game, to have a ten-minute meeting to go over every single person’s part and exactly where they will be positioned, exactly where the gear is positioned, and the place of the nearest hospital.

“Sports medicine teams are just like a (sports) group, you have to practice,” Courson stated. “Everyone has a part. And the extra you get athletic trainers and EMTs and paramedics and nurses with each other to speak about roles and responsibilities, it eventually assists the individuals.”

Assistant Sports Communications Director John Frierson is the employees writer for the UGA Athletic Association and curator of the ITA Men’s Tennis Hall of Fame. You can discover his perform at: Frierson Files. He’s also on Twitter: @FriersonFiles and @ITAHallofFame.

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