For many years athletic trainers have been on the sidelines helping concussed athletes, starting with the initial injury through the return-to-play process, and back onto the field.
We use our education and skills to assess and treat injured athletes, to make sure they don’t re-enter the game with concussion symptoms, to help them get the support they need in the school setting, and to collaborate with team physicians to make sure these athletes can safely return to the sports they love.
I spent eight years working on the sidelines before having the opportunity to bring this knowledge and skill set into the Sports Medicine Clinic at OHSU Gabriel Park.
At the clinic, I am the first person concussed patients see when they enter our concussion program. I gather information from the patient and their referring providers and utilize a variety of tests for balance, vision, and cognition in order to provide our physicians the most accurate and up to date information before they even walk into the room.
The physician reviews and assesses this information allowing for a much more efficient use of time with the patient so they can start on the most effective path to recovery.
After the patient leaves the first appointment with the physician, my role in the recovery process continues.
I am the patient’s “go-to” person in the clinic for questions regarding paperwork, referrals, or even just support as they walk the road to recovery.
I, at times, have the privilege to walk the road to recovery with patients from the first impact all the way to the return to the activity, providing continuity of care along the way.
If you do sustain a concussion I hope you come visit our clinic so we can work together to get you back to the activities you love.
Ryan Rockwood, ATC is a Certified Athletic Trainer in the OHSU Sports Medicine Clinic at Gabriel Park.