ZANESVILLE – Shortly after 10:30 a.m. on a Monday morning, Miranda Ketcham’s classroom in West Muskingum feels like a doctor’s office after a busy weekend. Students lay on desks with ankles taped, others with long strips of tape over their legs, eliminating the sting of shin splints. Most of the injuries aren’t real, although students in pain stop from time to time. Instead, students learn the ins and outs of sports medicine, including hands-on experience recording their classmates’ joints and limbs.
The course is one way the district is trying to prepare students for life after high school, whether they go to college or not, said Laura Thompkins, principal of West Muskingum High School. “We meet the kids where they are, we figure out what they want to do and how we can get them on that path,” she said. “So on May 26, the day after graduation, they know what they want to do.”
The course offers a broad look at sports medicine. It covers anatomy, learning to tape, causes of injury and how to prevent or rehabilitate after it. “There is a lot of information out there about the physics of the body, how it works, how we can prevent injury or get healthy after injury,” she said.
Even for students who don’t intend to pursue a career in medicine, the course also provides a foundation in injury prevention, Ketcham said, helping both athletes and non-athletes alike, and a skill of life that they can use well beyond their high school. years.
“It’s useful for life in general,” Kecham said, “Everyone is going to get injured, as we get older we start to get more injuries, this course gives them a good foundation of what it’s like. your body and work knowledge of some very common general injuries.
Senior Brandon McWhorter plays golf and baseball for the West Muskingum High School Tornados. “It’s good to know about injuries that occur in sports and the treatments associated with them,” he said. McWhorter, who has suffered a few sports-related injuries, said “it lets you know what you can and can’t do after an injury, and how to recover from it.”
His golf teammate Jack Porter is considering a career in sports management. The course will help him better understand sports injuries and how he can avoid them on the links or on the basketball court.
“Having an idea of the pain I’m feeling or maybe injuries makes it easier to get back on the field as soon as possible,” said Carlee Hankinson, a member of the soccer, swimming and athletics teams. She said anyone interested in a career in medicine should take the course. “It’s a great place to start.”
Emma Sprankle plays soccer and golf for the Tornadoes. She wasn’t a fan of anything medical before enrolling in the class, “But I guess I fell in love with it,” she said. She is now considering a career in physiotherapy.
West Muskingum High School began offering sports medicine classes about six years ago, Ketcham said. Students can take the course for two years. The freshman class begins with a basic anatomy, then moves on to ankle, knee, and shoulder injuries. The next course continues with hip, elbow, wrist, hand and face injuries. Each classroom has a concussion unit, and students leave the classroom with CPR and AED certification through the Falls Township Fire Department. The class strives to stay current with concussion protocol information, Ketcham said, because it changes frequently.
The class is open to all students, not just athletes. “We had a good response,” Ketcham said. “Everyone is welcome.”
Devan Morgan doesn’t play any sports, but enjoys the course and watching high school athletics up close. She was on the pitch for a recent football game, helping out West Muskingum athletic trainer AJ Eppley. The students in the class accompany Eppley to high school sporting events. They help him during football games and are often his eyes and ears at weekly events where he can’t be in two places at once. “I use them more than ever,” he said, “when it comes to attending different sporting events. There’s so much going on and I’m the only sports coach, bouncing from one event to the other.” Class members participate in all home college competitions during the school year.
Students in the class stayed with an injured volleyball player earlier this year, making sure she was okay and comforting her until Eppley could arrive, he said.
Once students gain more experience, they will have the opportunity to check in athletes before games under Eppley’s supervision and with the athlete’s permission. “It will give them a taste of how hectic and chaotic it can be” before a game, Eppley said.
The class could help alleviate the shortage of athletic trainers in rural districts, Eppley said. They are important to keep student-athletes safe. “It’s imperative to have a coach on site so kids don’t go back (to games) when they shouldn’t,” he said. Trainers provide treatment and treatment plans to help students prevent their injuries from getting worse. “The demand is there, the supply is limited,” Eppley said. “It’s going to take a bit of time, but classes like this will help,” he said.
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