Lehigh Sports Medicine
Sports Medicine Handbook Overview
The Sports Medicine Staff at Lehigh University consists of certified members of the National Athletic Trainer's Association (NATA), which is the official governing body established in the United States to promote and advance the athletic training profession. In June of 1990, the American Medical Association formally recognized athletic training as an allied health profession, and in the future, the AMA's Committee on Allied Health Education and Accreditation will evaluate and endorse those athletic training programs that meet the AMA's standards. Endorsement is highly regarded because this committee determines the rules of conduct for allied health professionals and the regulations for the institutions that sponsor their educational programs.
To become an athletic trainer, students must complete a rigorous course load designed to provide competency in the seven domains of athletic training. This is accomplished by completing a NATA approved curriculum program (both undergraduate and graduate level programs are available) and accumulating a minimum of 800 hours of clinical experience distributed over a period of at least two academic years under the direct supervision of a NATA Certified Athletic Trainer. Course work in the following areas is required: prevention of athletic injury/illnesses, evaluation of athletic injury/illnesses, first aid and emergency care, therapeutic modalities, therapeutic exercise, administration of athletic training programs, human anatomy, human physiology, exercise physiology, kinesiology, bio-mechanics, nutrition, psychology, and personal and community health.
Upon completion of the required academic and clinical experience, a student must pass the NATA certification examination. Once certified, an athletic trainer must meet the minimum requirements of completing Continuing Education Units (CEUs) on a three year cycle, to remain in good standing as a NATA Certified Athletic Trainer.
Providing the utmost of quality care to all student athletes is the primary concern for an athletic trainer. The programs employed at Lehigh include regular orthopedic physical examinations, year-round conditioning programs, nutritional guidance, attention to environmental factors, comprehensive rehabilitation programs, student athlete educational development, home care programs, and referral services.
The Lehigh Sports Medicine Staff also provides daily in-house coverage of all practices and site coverage of home events. There are currently four co-ed athletic training room facilities utilized during the academic year: Taylor Gym Sports Medicine Tower (Fall, Winter, Spring), Goodman Stadium (Fall), Cundey Varsity House (Fall, Winter, Spring), and Stabler Arena (Winter). The facility utilized is determined by practice site locality, student-athlete numbers, and staff athletic trainer availability. All morning treatments are administered in the primary facility, Taylor Gym Sports Medicine Tower, which is available to all student-athletes during the academic year.
When appropriate, away team coverage is also provided. Decisions to travel are based on incidence of injury from NCAA statistics, in-house statistics, availability of an athletic trainer (home events having priority) and circumstances of a particular team (i.e. post season participation).
The treatment and rehabilitation of Lehigh athletes is accomplished with numerous state of the art modalities and exercise equipment. The primary modality used is the microcurrent electrical nerve stimulator (MENS). This type of modality is especially useful during the acute phase of an injury because it decreases pain perception, controls swelling and aids in the healing process. The MENS is also very effective in the treatment of residual swelling and chronic inflammation such as tendinitis/bursitis. Other modalities include laser light therapy, ultrasound, intermittent cold compression unit, moist heat packs, microwave diathermy, whirlpools, cryocuffs, and ice. Exercise equipment available includes: isokinetic equipment, Versa-climber, upper body ergometers, Fitron cycle ergometers, treadmills, stair-climber, mini trampolines, rowing machines, multi-axial ankle machines, Sleiden board, CAB board, power step, BAPS boards, Elliptical Orbitor, and therabands.
The Lehigh University Welch Fitness Center, which is open to all Lehigh students, student-athletes, faculty, and staff, is equipped with the most modern exercise equipment used for cardiovascular and strength training. The Sports Medicine Department uses the Fitness Center as an adjunct to rehabilitation. Athletes who are in the latest phases of rehabilitation use this facility to maintain strength and thus decrease the chance of re-injury. The Taylor Gym Sports Medicine Tower consists of a primary treatment room, doctor's office/examination room, primary rehabilitation room, hydrotherapy area, advanced rehabilitation room and professional office space.
Finally, the Sports Medicine Staff provides a referral service for those athletes who may benefit from counseling. The services provided are free of charge and include workshops, classroom lectures, in-residence presentations, crisis counseling, group and individual psychotherapy, psychological evaluation, and other programming.