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Guest Post by:

Marty Travis, MS, ATC
Athletic Trainer
MUSC Health Sports Medicine

It seems that athletic training etiquette and courtesy has been slowly eroding over the last 30 years. When I was certified by the Board of Certification, 31 years ago, ATs looked out for each other and were courteous during athletic events; it was an understood standard followed by most. Now it seems rare and followed by only a few. I always greet the visiting team and ask if they have an AT with them. If they do I introduce myself to the visiting AT and inform them what we will have available such as physician and EMS coverage and onsite equipment. I also ask if they have any special needs. After the games I try to see if the visiting teams need any assistance before the attending physicians leave.Injured basketball player

In recent years when traveling with my teams, I am usually the one seeking out the hosting Athletic Trainer. They often seem surprised as if it were the first time they were exposed to courtesy. I can list numerous examples from the past years but I will only mention a few. Last fall, I was at an away high school football game and as usual there was no sign of the home team’s Athletic Trainer. Twenty minutes before the game I tried finding out if the home team had an AT; I asked an assistant coach and members of the chain crew. They all replied that they had one but did not know where he was. In the third quarter I had to run on the field and evaluate a downed player; there I met the host AT for the first time as he ran on to the field to see who I was. 

Another example was at an away basketball tournament over the winter break. When I arrived at the tournament with my team, I expected to encounter the hosting school’s Athletic Trainer; however there were no signs of a host AT. I even asked a teacher from the host school if one was present and she simply replied that she did not think so. During the three day tournament I looked at a few athletes from other schools, even though it was not my responsibility, it was just the right thing to do, thinking I was the only AT present. It was during the championship game that I found out that the tournament had hired an Athletic Trainer. He spent most of his time in the hospitality room and talking on his cell phone.

Last summer, one of my co-workers was at an away basketball tournament. In the game prior to her teams', she happened to witness a player collapse on the court and was unresponsive. She immediately responded and was instrumental in saving this athlete’s life. I do not want to think about what would have happened if she was not there. The host athletic trainer should be courtside and ready to respond at all times, but during big events it is difficult to be in multiple places at once. This is where etiquette is not just being professional, but can be a life saving measure. If the hosting Athletic Trainer introduces themselves to every coach and traveling AT and follows simple rules of Sports Medicine etiquette, then everyone will be on the same page and can respond to emergent and minor medical issues in an appropriate manner. 

Medical professionalism and etiquette is not just for in the hospital or in a clinic, it needs to be translated to all realms, especially in the outreach setting. I do not think athletic training etiquette is dead, but it is becoming more rare to find. I am proud to say that our Sports Medicine team strives to not just lead the way in Sports Medicine care, but also in professionalism.

Kathy Bull remembers the pure delight she felt 33 years ago gazing at the tiny face of her newborn. “I was happy. It was my first child, and I was ecstatic over her. I thought she was the most beautiful thing in the world.”

That was before she was told she would be sent to MUSC to find out more about the “heart murmur” her daughter had. The doctor asked the new mother to sit in a wheelchair as he broke the news.

“I knew this wasn’t going to be good. He started writing down what was wrong. He would write a No. 1 and then write out a defect and explain what it was. Then he would write No. 2, parenthesis and write another defect out. Then No. 3, No. 4., No. 5. By No. 5, I kind of lost it. She had so many severe, congenital heart defects.”

The next 30 years would be a whirlwind of hospitals, surgeries, prayers and miracles. When her daughter announced she wanted to get pregnant, Bull didn’t know if they should tempt fate.

Read more about this modern-day Steel Magnolias story with a twist in our News Center.

Today, nearly 700,000 people in the United States are living with a primary brain tumor, and approximately 78,000 more will be diagnosed in 2016. Brain tumors can be deadly, significantly impact quality of life, and change everything for a patient and their loved ones. They do not discriminate, inflicting men, women, and children of all races and ethnicities.

MUSC Health’s Brain & Spine Tumor Program is committed to delivering the highest level of neuro-oncology care through a dedicated and experienced team focused on providing the most effective therapies. Learn more from Dr. David Cachia, MUSC Health Neurologist, and Katie-Rose Tuttle, National Brain Tumor Society, on Carolina Perspective radio show with Sheri Bernardi.

Join MUSC Health to "Go Grey in May!" During the month of May, MUSC Health will host a variety of events to raise awareness and research funding for patients, survivors and families with brain tumors.

Visit our website for full details.


Guest Post by:
Brittany Darling, MS, ATC
MUSC Health Sports Medicine

           Last April I had the pleasure of volunteering at the 1st Annual Safe Kids Day as a MUSC Health representative. The event took place outside of the North Charleston Coliseum, and although the weather was questionable we lucked out with a beautiful day that attracted children and families from the surrounding Charleston area.  Some of the highlights included fire safety, exploring the inside of an ambulance, and of course my personal favorite, our hydration station questions and stretching techniques.

            This year’s event is set to take place on Saturday, May 21, 2016 from 11am-2pm.  The exciting part is that we are changing the location- this year we plan to enjoy the activities within our very own MUSC Health Stadium. That’s right, it’s where the Charleston Battery soccer team play their home games!

            The purpose of this event is to raise awareness about the possible harmful and preventable injuries that generally affect children in the United States. The key word here is preventable. That means that many of the injuries and deaths that occur do not need to be happening, and can be combated with the proper education and safety lessons. Some of the key topics presented will include water safety, vehicle heat stroke prevention, and sports safety. This is a fun and active event for the entire family to come experience. Any questions in regards to the MUSC Children’s Health Safe Kids Day Event may be directed to Melinda Biller ( or you can read more on our Facebook page- MUSC Health Sports Medicine.

The Joint Commission has certified MUSC as a Comprehensive Stroke Center, placing it in an elite group of about 100 hospitals nationwide. So what difference does the level make?

MUSC neurologist Christine Holmstedt, D.O., explains it this way. Primary Stroke Centers are hospitals that can do everything that an acute stroke-ready hospital can do, as well as admit and monitor acute stroke patients who have received the clot-busting medication tPA in a dedicated stroke unit. Then there’s the top comprehensive tier, the certification level MUSC recently received, that means a hospital can handle the most complex of stroke patients and provide the most advanced level of care achievable.

Complex stroke patients range widely, from “those patients who may require endovascular procedures, such as clot removal, those who require securing of an intracranial aneurysm or those that require neuro-critical intensive care, and emergent neuro-surgical evaluation and treatment,” Holmstedt said.

“To be comprehensive, you have to be able to provide those services 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. And, it’s not just offering the services. We have to monitor our outcomes and demonstrate true quality of care.”

What else it means:

  • MUSC’s door-to-needle time is 30 minutes or less, compared to the national standard of 60 minutes. The faster patients whose strokes can be treated with the clot-busting medication tPA get that treatment, the better their outcomes.
  • Telemedicine connects MUSC stroke experts with doctors in community hospitals, allowing the MUSC team to give life- and brain-saving advice. MUSC acts as the hub of stroke expertise and now has grown to serve 22 sites, ensuring that almost all state residents are within 60 minutes of having access to expert stroke and cerebrovascular care.
  • MUSC is known for its robust research program. Holmstedt says the combined stroke team group last year published 98 papers.
  • MUSC also leads in the testing of the latest in medical devices being manufactured to treat stroke. Many of the new devices and drugs to treat stroke that are being used all around the world came through MUSC early in the testing stages.
  • MUSC’s Stroke Recovery Research Center, one of a handful of such centers in the nation, is dedicated to improving the quality of life for those who have had strokes. The center has 33 active grants that focus on stroke recovery.

Read how the dedicated doctors on MUSC’s Comprehensive Stroke Center team work together to help patients and ensure South Carolina has one of the top stroke centers in the country, on the MUSC News Center.


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