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Emergency Management for the Sports Therapist

Develop the essential skills for the physical therapist and athletic trainer working in providing sideline and court side coverage for athletic events.

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About this Certificate Program

The sports medicine professional must be trained and have practiced the management of any emergency condition that could occur. These practice sessions should take place prior to the season and incorporate all individuals associated with the care of the athlete. This includes those individuals on the sidelines (including physicians), emergency care personnel, coaches and other individuals identified by the emergency care team. In some instances, the injuries sustained can be life threatening. Coordination of this team for on the field and off the field treatment ensures effective treatment of these athletes. Knowing how to treat, diagnose, and manage return to play for sports injuries is essential for protecting the athlete. This certificate program course provides an in depth discussion of injuries, protective equipment, hydration, and heat injuries.

Target Audience

Physical Therapists
Physical Therapist Assistants
Certified Athletic Trainers
Strength and Conditioning Specialists

Goals & Objectives

  • Understand the importance of an emergency action plan and the initial assessment following injury.
  • Describe, understand, and manage the different types of shock and sudden cardiac arrest in athlete, including commodio cordis.
  • Describe, assess and properly manage visceral injuries and injuries to the face and neck.
  • Recognize and properly manage musculoskeletal injuries.
  • Recognize, understand and manage heat and cold related illness.
  • Recognize and protect athletes exposed to lightning.
  • Develop and properly fit moldable protective equipment for the athlete.

What's Included in the Certificate Program

Accredited Online Courses*

6 hours of online video lectures and patient demonstrations.

Interactive Learning Assessments

Case-based quizzes to evaluate and improve clinical reasoning.

Patient Education
HEP and Patient Education

HEP and patient education resources to use with your patients.

Section 1: Emergency Management

6 Chapters

Emergency Management: Environmental Considerations and Hydrationkeyboard_arrow_down

  • Environmental Considerations: HeatChapter 1

    Thermal injury occurs when the body cannot produce enough heat loss to maintain a constant core temperature of 98.6°F. When the body cannot control core temperature, thermoregulation is lost and the end result can be heat exhaustion, heat stroke, or death. This chapter discusses the importance of maintaining equilibrium in hot and/or humid conditions, as well as responses to heat illnesses, hypernatremia, and hyponatremia.

  • Environmental Considerations: ColdChapter 2

    The most common cold related conditions athletes experience are hypothermia and frostbite. Hypothermia is described as a general cooling of the body, while frostbite is the freezing of body tissues. This chapter will describe the different stages of each of the injuries as well as treatment and prevention options.

  • Lightning ManagementChapter 3

    Lightning emergencies are a risk of outdoor sporting events, with only flash floods and river floods causing more weather related deaths. This chapter will discuss the protocol for treating lightning injuries, including a safety assessment of the area, evaluation and treatment options, and prevention guidelines.

  • Dehydration and RehydrationChapter 4

    Dehydration can affect the physical and mental performance of athletes, and often times is not recognized until after the athlete is dehydrated. This chapter will discuss signs and symptoms and treatment strategies for dehydration, as well as tactics to get athlete to remain hydrated throughout training and competition.

  • Practice MaterialsChapter 5

    For more information on managing thermal injuries and hydration with your athletes, we recommend you review these handouts. These materials will help you monitor environmental concerns and make return to play decisions.

  • View full course details »

Protective Equipment in Sportskeyboard_arrow_down

  • The Purpose of Protective EquipmentChapter 1

    This chapter explores the historical development of different types of protective equipment. Danny Smith also covers the legal risks of protective equipment modification, including the concept of duty, what may occur when a breach of duty occurs, and questions of causation and damage.

  • Equipment Standards and FittingChapter 2

    Danny Smith describes the NOCSAE standards for the helmet and how these standards were developed. He further discusses the result of the increasing interest in safety standards. Finally, this chapter covers multiple types of protective padding including air management pads, gel pads, felt pads, orthoplast, and casting material.

  • Proper FitChapter 3

    In this chapter, Danny Smith explains how to properly fit many different types of protective equipment though both lecture and live demonstration. This chapter covers proper fit of football, baseball, and hockey helmets, as well as face and eye protection and neck and ear protection.

  • Other Forms of Protective EquipmentChapter 4

    In addition to helmets and protective padding, various other types of protective equipment can be used with athletes. This chapter covers other forms of protective equipment, including demonstrations of the sawa brace, rib protectors, protective pads, arm and leg braces, and chest and shoulder protection.

  • Protective Equipment Q&AChapter 5

    This course concludes with a question and answer session between Justin Smith and Danny Smith on their experiences with protective equipment.

  • View full course details »

Emergency Management: Shock, Soft Tissue Injuries, Sickle Cell, and Sudden Cardiac Deathkeyboard_arrow_down

  • Soft Tissue InjuriesChapter 1

    Danny Smith provides a comprehensive overview of soft tissue injuries for the athlete, including both closed and open wounds, as well as immediate management of these wounds. This chapter includes information on care for traumatic amputation and blisters. The chapter concludes with a question and answer session on return to play guidelines.

  • ShockChapter 2

    In this chapter, Danny Smith delves into a life threatening condition: shock. This chapter covers both types and causes of shock and relates each of these types of shock specifically to athletic conditions. Different signs and symptoms of shock are also discussed before detailing the important steps for treatment of shock. This chapter also includes a question and answer session with Justin Smith, discussing different types of shock and their treatment and prevention. Included is a demonstration of an epinephrine autoinjector for treating anaphylactic shock.

  • Sickle CellChapter 3

    This chapter discusses the unusual situation of sickle cell trait in an athlete. Danny Smith covers exertional sickling, situations that affect sickling, and death as a result of sickle cell trait. Finally, this chapter covers the signs and symptoms of sickling, precautions, and treatment for athletes with sickle cell trait.

  • Sudden Cardiac DeathChapter 4

    This chapter provides an overview of sudden cardiac death in athletes and breaks down the examination into SCD in athletes under thirty and athletes over thirty. Several conditions associated with sudden cardiac death such as Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, Marfan’s Syndrome, and Myocarditis are covered in this chapter. The chapter concludes with a note on screening and a question and answer session with Justin Smith.

  • View full course details »

Emergency Management: Musculoskeletal Injurieskeyboard_arrow_down

  • ImmobilizationChapter 1

    In this chapter, Danny Smith provides an introduction to the importance of emergency management for acute musculoskeletal injures. The participant will be able to identify signs and symptoms of musculoskeletal injuries, and provide appropriate management, including when to call EMS, the importance of immobilization and how to correctly splint an injury.

  • Management of Musculoskeletal InjuriesChapter 2

    Management of fractures requires the identification of a fracture, as well as the ability to identify appropriate splinting techniques. In this chapter, Danny Smith will cover different types of splints and when to apply them as well as how and when to tape the lower extremity.

  • Musculoskeletal DislocationsChapter 3

    Dislocations are a common injury among athletes. This chapter covers the common mechanism of injury for dislocations, signs and symptoms, and how an athlete can self-locate their shoulder. This chapter will also teach the appropriate application of slings for the upper quarter.

  • View full course details »

Emergency Management: Athlete Care, Spinal, and Visceral Injurieskeyboard_arrow_down

  • Pre-Hospital Care: The Emergency Action PlanChapter 1

    In this chapter, Danny Smith emphasizes the importance of an emergency action plan, informs the viewer of the different essential components of an emergency action plan, and provides rules of evaluation for an injury on the sidelines and on the field. The lecture discusses how to obtain objective information, diagnoses, and the initial management of the injury. The chapter concludes with tips for entering into emergency care for athletes.

  • Spinal InjuriesChapter 2

    When discussing spinal injuries, burners and stingers are a common occurrence among athletes. Danny Smith covers the anatomy, cause, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and return to play for burners, stingers, and skull fractures. The chapter concludes with considerations for the immediate stabilization of spinal injuries on the field for unconscious and conscious athletes.

  • Visceral InjuriesChapter 3

    This chapter covers a variety of visceral injuries and focuses especially on chest and abdominal injuries. Danny Smith explains the mechanism of injury, signs and symptoms, and management for a variety of visceral injuries, specifically focusing on chest and abdominal injuries. The conditions discussed include costochondral separation, tension pneumothorax, hernia, liver contusions, appendicitis, and pelvic avulsion, among other visceral injuries.

  • View full course details »

Exertional Heat Illnesseskeyboard_arrow_down

  • IntroductionChapter 1

    Introduce course topics and outline course structure and objectives, including the definitions, etiology, recognition, treatment, and prevention of exertional heat illnesses, including exercise-associated muscle cramps, exertional heat exhaustion and heat syncope, exertional heat stroke, and exertional sickling.

  • Exercise-Associated Muscle CrampsChapter 2

    Compare definitions commonly used to diagnosis muscle cramping. List common EAMC etiologies that have been identified in research. Identify key signs and symptoms associated with EAMC. Outline treatment options that can be used for EAMC patients. Recommend prevention strategies associated with the most common etiologies.

  • Exertional Heat Exhaustion and Heat SyncopeChapter 3

    Differentiate between the two common etiologies of exertional heat exhaustion. Identify key signs and symptoms associated with exertional heat exhaustion and syncope. Outline the basic treatment course for exertional heat exhaustion and syncope patients. Recommend prevention strategies for exertional heat exhaustion.

  • Exertional Heat StrokeChapter 4

    Differentiate between exertional and classical heat stroke definitions. Explain the physiological etiology of exertional heat stroke. Compare the key signs and symptoms associated with exertional heat stroke as opposed to exertional heat exhaustion. Judge exertional heat stroke treatment options to determine the best patient outcome. Propose prevention strategies based on the predisposing factors associated with exertional heat stroke. Generalize return to activity guidelines for exertional heat stroke victims.

  • Exertional SicklingChapter 5

    Recognize etiologies commonly involved with exertional sickling events. Differentiate key signs and symptoms associated with exertional sickling events as compared to other heat illnesses. List basic treatments for patients experiencing an exertional sickling event. Recommend prevention strategies for exercising sickle cell trait individuals.

  • View full course details »
Danny Smith


Susan Yeargin


CEU Approved

6 total hours* of accredited coursework.
MedBridge accredits each course individually so you can earn CEUs as you progress.

      Our clinic could not be happier with MedBridge.

Amy Lee, MPT, OCS
Physical Therapy Central

       MedBridge has allowed us to create a culture of learning that we were previously unable to attain with traditional coursework.

Zach Steele, PT, DPT, OCS
Outpatient Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Services

    MedBridge has created a cost-effective and quality platform that is the future of online education.

Grant R. Koster, PT, ATC, FACHE
Vice President of Clinical Operations, Athletico Physical Therapy

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I get CEU credit?
Each course is individually accredited. Please check each course for your state and discipline. You can receive CEU credit after each course is completed.

When do I get my certificate?
You will receive accredited certificates of completion for each course as you complete them. Once you have completed the entire Certificate Program you will receive your certificate for the program.

*Accreditation Hours
Each course is individually accredited and exact hours will vary by state and discipline. Check each course for specific accreditation for your license.

Do I have to complete the courses in order?
It is not required that you complete the courses in order. Each Certificate Program's content is built to be completed sequentially but it is not forced to be completed this way.

How long do I have access to the Certificate Program?
You will have access to this Certificate Program for as long as you are a subscriber. Your initial subscription will last for one year from the date you purchase.

Sample Certificate

Sample Certificate

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