The Secondary School Football Coach's Relationship With the Athletic Trainer and Perspectives on Exertional Heat Stroke

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
William M. Adams, Assistant Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Context: Prior researchers have examined the first-aid knowledge and decision making among high school coaches, but little is known about their perceived knowledge of exertional heat stroke (EHS) or their relationships with an athletic trainer (AT). Objective: To examine secondary school football coaches' perceived knowledge of EHS and their professional relationship with an AT. Design: Qualitative study. Setting: Web-based management system. Patients or Other Participants: Thirty-eight secondary school head football coaches (37 men, 1 woman) participated in this study. Their average age was 47 ± 10 years old, and they had 12 ± 9 years' experience as a head football coach. Data Collection and Analysis: Participants responded to a series of online questions that were focused on their perceived knowledge of EHS and professional relationships with ATs. Data credibility was established through multiple-analyst triangulation and peer review. We analyzed the data by borrowing from the principles of a general inductive approach. Results: Two dominant themes emerged from the data: perceived self-confidence of the secondary school coach and the influence of the AT. The first theme highlighted the perceived confidence, due to basic emergency care training, of the coach regarding management of an emergency situation, despite a lack of knowledge. The second theme illustrated the secondary school coach's positive professional relationships with ATs regarding patient care and emergency procedures. Of the coaches who participated, 89% (34 out of 38) indicated positive interactions with their ATs. Conclusions: These secondary school coaches were unaware of the potential causes of EHS or the symptoms associated with EHS, and they had higher perceived levels of self-confidence in management abilities than indicated by their perceived knowledge level. The secondary school football coaches valued and understood the role of the AT regarding patient and emergency care.

Additional Information

Journal of Athletic Training. 2014;49(4):469-477
Language: English
Date: 2014
sudden death in sport, emergency care, heat injuries, coach's knowledge

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