Recognizing the Value of Certified Athletic Trainers

For Athletic Training Month we wanted to highlight the unique work done by athletic trainers in CU Medicine clinics and how they improve patient care. We talked with athletic trainer, Eric Mann, and the physician he works closely with, Dr. Braden Mayer.

You’ve come out of surgery, might still be a little out of it, but you are welcomed by a friendly face who is there for you and ready to explain everything in a way you can understand. In orthopedic and sports medicine clinics, that person will likely be a certified athletic trainer.

The certified athletic trainers that work in CU Medicine Orthopedics and Sports Medicine clinics play a major role in a patient’s surgery and care – a role that differs from a traditional athletic setting where you might typically think of finding an athletic trainer.

“We get to have our own provider care with these patients as we see them day one and day 14, post operatively. We help with dressing changes, brace fittings, sling fittings, as well as go over surgery photos – everything else performed – in as much detail as they need to make sure they understand everything that just happened,” explained Eric Mann, a certified athletic trainer at the CU Medicine Orthopedics and Sports Medicine clinic inside the Steadman Hawkins Clinic Denver.

For National Athletic Training Month, we spoke with Mann and the orthopedic sports medicine physician he works closely with, Dr. Braden Mayer.



How do certified athletic trainers improve patient care?

Athletic trainers are one piece of the multidisciplinary team patients will encounter when having an orthopedic or sports medicine procedure. For these patients, it’s important to them to get back to doing the activities and sports they love – and it’s part of the athletic trainers job to help them do that. “Having an athletic trainer like Eric involved, he becomes a little bit more the leader of the team because he’s kind of the front line person for all the communication between the team members. He knows the injury, he knows the patient, and he knows the rehab,” said Mayer.

The athletic trainers help prep patients before their surgery, some assist physicians during surgery, and then they’re there for patients after surgery to make sure the patient understands what happened, the next steps, and beyond. “It is nice for me having that background where I worked athletics for years and I can say, ‘These are a couple of exercises I want you to start right away, I want you to do a couple times a day,’ just things that really can help with pain management, decrease swelling, and hopefully – depending on the protocols – help improve range of motion a little earlier which can help with everything as well,” added Mann.

It’s also about making sure the patients know how to prevent hurting themselves again, and Mann provides exercises and techniques as part of a patient’s care plan. “In the long term he also gets to discuss how to prevent re-injury. I think the prevention side of that is huge,” added Mayer. “It’s added so much value to our clinic having an athletic trainer like Eric involved.”

You will find Dr. Braden Mayer and Eric Mann at the CU Medicine Orthopedics and Sports Medicine clinic inside the Steadman Hawkins Clinic Denver. Click/tap here to learn about the care provided at this clinic.

We will feature different athletic trainers, and the great work they do, on our social media throughout March. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.



This post was originally posted on March 1, 2022