As athletic trainers, we act as the initial medical response team to any and all injuries our student athletes may develop while participating in collegiate sports. We are the facilitators and liaisons between the physician and the athlete, and the physician and the coach. The primary duties of an athletic trainer are injury prevention, recognition and evaluation of injury / illness, injury management / treatment, injury rehabilitation, organization and administration, and education and counseling of the athlete as it pertains to his / her injury / illness.
An athletic trainer is a health professional who meets the qualifications set by a regulatory board and / or the Board of Certification, Inc. (BOC), and practices athletic training under the direction of a physician. Some may confuse this with a personal trainer. They prescribe, monitor and change an individual's specific exercise program in a fitness or sport setting. Below you can see a side by side comparison of these professions. (Courtesy of the NATA)
- Athletes must shower before receiving routine treatment after a workout.
- No shoes on treatment tables. No cleats in the athletic training room.
- No athletes are allowed in the staff office.
- No one except the staff and student athletic trainers is permitted to use any modality.
- Towels are to be used for treatments only and should never leave the training room.
- This is a coeducational facility. Appropriate attire (gym shorts and t-shirts) is to be worn at all times.
- All athletes will sign-in prior to receiving treatment, rehabilitation, taping/bracing, or ice.
- Please refrain from inappropriate/foul language in the athletic training room at all times.
- No food or drink in the athletic training room while receiving treatment. NO GLASS!
- The athletic training room in not a "cut-thru" to locker rooms or the weight room. Please go through the hallways.
- Tobacco use is prohibited at all times in the athletic training room or while participating in practices or games.
- Alcohol and drug use is strongly prohibited. Inappropriate behavior in regard to this policy will be reported to the athlete's coach and could lead to suspension from collegiate athletics.
All incoming athletes, freshmen and transfers, must complete a medical history form and pass a Holy Cross physical prior to participating in athletics at the College. The form requests the following information:
- Parent's names, address, phone numbers (home and work), insurance information, and all emergency information that is needed.
- History of all previous injuries broken down by joint, and all history of diseases.
- Shot records, paired organ information and allergies.
Medical history forms can be obtained from Holy Cross Health Services.
Our team physicians must also examine all athletes before they are allowed to become a varsity athlete. There will be no waiver forms allowed. All athletes must have a physical in order to practice or compete in varsity athletics at the College of the Holy Cross. The only exception to this policy is novice crew. Due to the extremely large number of walk-on athletes, the crew coaches may use waivers to cut the team to a reasonable number. In the event that a novice rower sustains an injury, the Sports Medicine Department treats them. The coaches are informed well in advance of the times and dates of the physicals. It is the coaches' responsibility to inform and coordinate his or her team for the times and dates that are given. Physicals are given in the months of August and September. If an athlete fails to attend the physical date, they must wait until the next date, unless the circumstances are extremely extenuating.
Contact sports are given physicals on a yearly basis. These include football, men's and women's basketball, and ice hockey. All other sports must have their physicals their first year and their files are reviewed each year. These sports are as follows: men's and women's crew, swimming, field hockey, volleyball, track and field, cross-country, softball, golf, men's and women's soccer, and lacrosse.
Immediately after each physical date a form listing all the athletes by sport if they passed or failed. For any reason, if an athlete fails his or her physical, he or she is not allowed to participate in varsity athletics until they are cleared. A list of failing physicals will be distributed to the compliance officer, equipment room, coaches, and a copy is held in the athlete's personal file.
Due to the rising cost of health care, budget restraints and organization and administration standards, the sports medicine department follows a stringent procedure for handling insurance and medical care of the injured athlete.
- Physical Screenings: At the time of physicals, stations will be
set-up for the history section. Sports medicine staff will review
the front page of medical history form. All required information
must be completed before proceeding. If this page is not completed
satisfactorily, the athlete must call home and get the information
before the physical exam. Insurance company information must
- Insurance company: name, address, phone number, policy number and whether or not it is preferred provider coverage (i.e., HMO, PPO).
- Any athlete having HMO-type insurance must be informed that,
should he/she sustain an injury that requires treatment beyond the
scope of the athletic training room, he/she must do the following:
- Inform insurance company of the injury.
- Get written permission for treatment.
- Possibly return home for treatment and care.
- Understand that no exceptions to the above can be made without written permission of the athletic director and business office.
- All athletes with preferred provider insurance coverage must have a red dot affixed to the first page of their medical history forms to alert the staff.
- Insurance Forms: Anyone who sustains an injury must complete
the insurance forms within 24 hours. For example, if an athlete is
conscious, he or she should complete this form while icing (if
psychologically able). This will be at the athletic trainer's
- The injured athlete will complete everything he or she is able to, and the athletic trainer will complete the form.
- Failure to complete the form will result in collection agencies pestering parents and athletes and create more paperwork for the SMD.
- The sports medicine staff will file one copy in the athlete's medical file, one in the head athletic trainer's insurance file and one with the athletic department's business secretary.
The sports medicine staff and only the sports medicine staff have the legal authority to determine the fitness of an athlete for participation in sports. Coaches, parents, players or administrators may not determine the fitness of the athlete. Physicians outside the College of the Holy Cross may also be subject to overrule by the Holy Cross sports medicine department in conjunction with the team physicians and the head athletic trainer and legal counsel if needed.
The athletic trainer assigned in conjunction with the team physicians will render a decision during games, practices or at any other time if needed. The athletic trainer is responsible and qualified to administer to the health and welfare of all varsity athletes. If an athletic trainer is not present, an intern athletic trainer will make the decision. If the intern can not, the athlete should not participate until a staff athletic trainer is contacted.
All varsity coaches are aware of this policy and follow it. The coaches are given a daily injury report and the inquiries are discussed with the coaches. The coaches' input is considered and the sports medicine staff works with the coaches to return athletes as fast as is medically safe. For football, due to the large number of players, coaches are given a written injury report on a daily basis. The strength coach is also given a report.
HIPAA is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act that was put in place in 1996. The mail goal of HIPAA is to protect the confidentiality of medical information. As it applies to Holy Cross athletes, HIPAA includes privacy rules forbidding health care providers (i.e. your athletic trainer) from selling or otherwise providing your medical information to anyone who does not need it. Therefore, unless you as the athlete specifically authorize release for a certain purpose, only those with a legitimate need may receive details concerning your private medical information.
If you would like any further information on this topic you may visit www.hhs.gov/ocr/hipaa/ on the World Wide Web or approach your athletic trainer with any questions you may have before choosing the sign the release form.
If a student-athlete feels that they are in need of counseling or a nutritionist, or they are concerned about a fellow teammate, these services can be provided by the Holy Cross sports medicine department. Student-athletes should talk to their athletic trainer about their concerns to determine if they are in need of professional assistance. Please refer to the following names/numbers:
Nutritionist- Amy Oberton
Counseling Services- Neal Lipsitz