It's almost time for football season to start. Ever wonder who takes care of all those players who get crushed , kicked and smashed on the field?
Here's Christi Paul with the answer in today's Health Minute.
Kelli Pugh is an athletic trainer.
No, not the type of trainer who helps you create the perfect six pack.
Kelli works with players from the University of Virginia football team.
Her job is to prevent, diagnose, and treat injuries and refer team members to specialists if needed.
"From an ankle sprain out on the field to a toothache to the stomach flu we're the first person of their point of contact."
Since 1990, when athletic trainers were first recognized by the American Medical Association as allied health care professionals, ATS like Kelli have played an important role in making sure all athletes, even, weekend warriors stay healthy.
"Our background started in the athletic setting where we were need to aggressively return athletes, safely, back to the playing field."
On the collegiate level, athletic trainers, are the healthcare professionals players see most on a daily basis.
"Our training is pretty vast, in concussion management, sudden cardiac death, sickle cell screening and sickle cell collapse, skin conditions.
There's a lot of things that come along in the course of a day."
According to the National Athletic Trainer's Association, more than 70 percent of certified athletic trainers hold at least a master's degree in sports medicine or related fields.
And although kelli works with the football division year round, she is versed in treating any type of injury for any type of athlete.
For Today's Health Minute, I'm Christi Paul.