The fact that injuries are an inherent part of athletic participation deems it the responsibility of any administration to provide for the health care of those student-athletes that participate and represent the organization. In accordance with this philosophy, Cumberland University provides medical care for its student-athletes through the Athletic Training Department and its sports medicine team. Our Athletic Training Department, under the supervision of its team medical director, is primarily responsible for the delivery of the health care system to all athletic department sponsored student-athletes at Cumberland University. This care includes prevention, evaluation, referral, treatment and rehabilitation of injuries or illnesses sustained during scheduled Cumberland University practices or games.
Prevention of Injuries
The primary concern of the athletic training department is to prevent any athletic injuries to its athletes. Many of the policies and procedures are designed to meet this goal.
Pre-Participation Physical Examinations
All student-athletes must receive a medical examination prior to participation in their respective sport. New student-athletes will complete the pre-participation packet including medical history and policies and procedures prior to undergoing a comprehensive pre-participation physical examination which is performed by the Cumberland University Athletic Training Department and sports medicine team. Returning student-athletes will complete the medical history questionnaire. If any new injuries/illnesses have occurred since the end of the previous competitive season, the student-athlete may be referred to the team physician. Individuals in a "try-out" situation shall be allowed to sign a waiver and will NOT be covered under the university athletic insurance plan. These individuals must have a physical exam and complete the required policies and procedures as soon as they are made permanent members of the team. All medical records will be kept in the Athletic Training Center (s). All student-athletes must sign and complete the required policies and procedures in order to compete in Cumberland University athletics annually.
Evaluation of Athletic Injuries
The team medical director and team physicians are the individuals responsible for diagnosis of all athletic injuries and illnesses. It is the responsibility of any student-athlete requiring medical assistance as a result of an athletic injury to report this injury to the athletic training staff as soon as possible. For every injury reported to the athletic training staff, an evaluation will be done and a complete injury report filled out. No coach should overstep his or her legal bounds by diagnosing and/or performing or recommending treatment for an injury over a period of time. Referrals to specialist, or health care providers other than the team physicians, can be made only by the staff Certified Athletic Trainers or the Team Physician, and NO ONE ELSE. Any coach or athlete who takes it upon themselves to refer an athlete to an outside physician without approval by the Director of Athletic Training, Head Athletic Trainer, or Team Physician will be solely responsible for all bills incurred.
Treatment of Athletic Injuries
It is the student-athletes responsibility to follow recommended Athletic Training Department procedures for the care and handling of any athletic injury. Failure to do so may result in unnecessary, lengthy rehabilitation and prolonged absence from participation in that sport. The athletic training staff will administer immediate first aid to all injured athletes. If necessary, any medical diagnosis and prescribed treatment will be made through the team physician. Any student-athlete dissatisfied with his/her injury diagnosis or recovery progress should notify the athletic training staff and team physician and request additional consultation. The team physician should make every effort to provide the best possible health care to the athlete. The team physician(s) is the final authority in determining when an injured or sick athlete may return to practice or competition. Any injury occurring after Athletic Training Center hours or when an athletic trainer is not present shall be assessed as life threatening or non-life-threatening. In the case of a life-threatening injury, the coach should call 911 and activate the Emergency Medical System and then notify a member of the certified staff as soon as possible. In the case of a non-life-threatening injury, the coach should contact one of the certified staff as soon as possible to receive instructions on appropriate health care. All student-athletes injured on an away trip should be returned to Cumberland University if possible. When the team physician or athletic training staff do not accompany the team on a trip, the coach is responsible for obtaining the help necessary from the host school's certified athletic trainer, team physician or identified provider.
The Cumberland University Athletic Department will not be financially responsible for any pre-existing injury or condition.
During the course of the year, it is not uncommon for a student-athlete to be referred to the Team Physician as a result of an illness. Sometimes these visits to the physician are not only necessary, but mandatory for the student-athlete to receive prior to their release back into participation. Unfortunately, visits to the physician for non-athletic related illnesses are not covered by the Cumberland University’s insurance. All visits to the physician for illnesses will be the responsibility of the student-athlete. It is recommended that student-athletes who have HMO plans to name a local physician (our team general medical physician is Dr. Bernie Sy) as their primary care physician to decrease paperwork and ensure speedy access to the physician.
Sickle Cell Trait Testing Information
About Sickle Cell Trait:
- Sickle Cell Trait is an inherited condition of the oxygen-carrying protein, hemoglobin, in the red blood cells.
- Although Sickle cell trait is most predominant in African-Americans, and those of Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Indian, Caribbean, South America, and Central American ancestry, persons of any race and ancestry can test positive.
- Sickle cell is usually benign, but during intense, sustained exercise, hypoxia (lack of oxygen) in the muscles may cause sickling of the red blood cells, which can accumulate in the bloodstream and block blood vessels, leading to collapse from the rapid breakdown of muscles starved of blood.
Sickle Cell Trait Testing:
All Cumberland University student-athletes should have knowledge of their sickle cell trait status. If the student-athlete does not have knowledge of the sickle cell trait status, then Cumberland University advises that he/she undergo testing to confirm sickle cell trait status. Screening is performed through simple blood testing, which can be performed at most medical facilities. The NAIA currently does not have a policy regarding sickle cell trait testing; however, Cumberland University encourages all student-athletes to consider one of the following options:
- Provide documented results from previous Sickle cell trait screening(usually done at birth); or
- Voluntarily have the lab test performed and provide the results to Cumberland University; or
- Sign and return a waiver, legally acknowledging the student-athlete’s choice to refuse Sickle cell trait testing.