Football Helmet Facemask Removal Skill Development in Novice Athletic Training Students

in International Journal of Athletic Therapy and Training
Cynthia J. Wright PhD, ATC * , 1 , Nico G. Silva BS * , 1 , Erik E. Swartz PhD, ATC, LAT, FNATA * , 2 and Brent L. Arnold PhD, ATC, FNATA * , 3
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  • 1 Whitworth University
  • 2 University of Massachusetts Lowell
  • 3 Indiana University
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Facemask removal is an emergency skill to gain airway access in football athletes with potential cervical injury. While facemask removal performance has been reported in experienced athletic trainers, initial skill acquisition is undocumented. Therefore, the purpose was to document skill development in novice athletic training students. After instruction, student performance was documented during six consecutive facemask removal trials. From first to last trials, there were significant improvements in time, confidence, and rating of perceived exertion. Induced head motion did not improve. While overall skill performance began to approximate previously reported norms, improvements in success rate, consistency, and motion are needed.

Wright is with the Department of Health Science, Whitworth University, Spokane, WA. Silva is with Whitworth University, Spokane, WA. Swartz is with the Zuckerberg College of Health Sciences, University of Massachusetts Lowell, Lowell, MA. Arnold is with the School of Health and Rehabilitation Science, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN.

Address author correspondence to Cynthia J. Wright at cwright@whitworth.edu.
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