California Educator

February 2016

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A Dose of Real-Life Experience " W R A P I T U P, " Ian Sabala tells his students. In most classes that means finishing up an assignment, but in this case students are just getting started — using elastic bandages to wrap imaginary sports injuries. ey are practicing on classmates so they'll know what to do should they encounter real-life injuries on the playing field or elsewhere. "Go from big toe to little toe and lay down an anchor strip," says Sabala, who teaches sports medicine at Kennedy High School in La Palma. This Anaheim Secondary Teachers Association member has been teaching sports medicine for 15 years, helping to prepare students for careers in health care. For years he taught sports med- icine while serving as the school's athletic trainer, but now he's in the classroom full time, also teaching physiology and anatomy. Sports medicine classes, more common at college than at high school, are growing in popularity. His class has a waiting list and is in the process of becoming an A-G course. Students become certified in CPR and learn how to use a defibrillator. ey are also trained to recognize concussions and other debilitating injuries. ey frequently observe and assist the school's athletic trainer when players are injured during practice or competitions. Sports medicine students can't be queasy around blood or injuries. So during the first few classes Sabala shows gross injury photos to determine whether they'll be able to handle the subject matter. He doesn't want to scare them away, but he knows that the class can be too intense for some students. at's especially true when it comes to field trips to the Southern California University of Health Sciences in Whittier to examine dissected cadavers and learn more about the human body. — Sherry Posnick-Goodwin In Ian's words: Sports medicine changes how you view sports… because I can't watch a game like a normal person. I watch a game with the anticipation that something bad will happen. It's stressful, because I can't just watch a football game and enjoy it. I'll see a tackle and wonder, "What could happen aer that?" People constantly confuse… athletic trainers with personal trainers — but there are major dif- ferences. Personal trainers work in gyms, wellness centers and other locations, working with clients to achieve fitness goals. They may not necessarily have certification or state licensing. Athletic trainers work with schools or professional sports teams or in a physical therapy setting, and have a bachelor's degree in athletic training from a school accredited by the National Athletic Trainers Association. They must pass a comprehensive exam for their credential. Athletic trainers coordinate with physi- cians and other health care professionals to prevent, diagnose, treat and rehabilitate physical injuries. Students benefit from access to cadavers… because they learn so much about anatomy. It's much better to learn from a cadaver than from an anatomy app on an iPad or computer. When I was a student at Corona High School, I went on a field trip to the same place to see cadavers for anatomy and physiology class. It changed my life. That's when I knew I wanted to pursue a career working with the human body. My students put their knowledge to use… everywhere. About five years ago, when a grandfather of one of the opposing team members went into cardiac arrest in the stands, they knew to grab the red box and run with me to assist with defibrillating him three times before the EMTs came. And he made it. My favorite part about this job… is seeing the direct impact I have on kids and knowing they loved my class enough to pursue a career in the medical field for the rest of their lives. Many of my students were so passionate about this class that they were inspired to become athletic train- ers, EMTs, personal trainers, firefighters, physician assistants, nurses or doctors. It's awesome to make a difference. Scott Buschman 17 February 2016

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