Coaching in the United States: High School Coaches’ Knowledge and Confidence Regarding Athlete Safety and Injury Management

in International Sport Coaching Journal
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  • 1 North Dakota State University
  • | 2 Minnesota State University Minnesota
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The purpose of this original research was to survey high school coaches in four states in the Midwest region of the United States regarding their knowledge of first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and use of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) as well as confidence in managing/treating emergency situations. Responses to general knowledge inquiries revealed that coaches were able to accurately answer questions related to return to play, level of consciousness, external bleeding, and cardiac arrest. However, coaches were unable to correctly answer questions specific to rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE) and also misidentified information related to pediatric AED use. Because sudden cardiac death is the leading cause of death and has been linked to lack of bystander intervention, the results of this project should be considered by coaches and administrators to implement certification and continuing education for high school coaches. Finally, coaches who were certified in first aid, CPR, and AED were more confident in treating an individual who required care compared with coaches not certified. Therefore, individuals who coach at all levels of sport and recreational activities should consider formal training and certification.

Bradford Strand is a professor in the Department of Health, Nutrition and Exercise Sciences at North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND. He has published over 100 articles and presented nationally and internationally. He is a past president of the Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE America).

Shannon David is an assistant professor in the Health, Nutrition, and Exercise Science Department at North Dakota State University in Fargo, North Dakota. She is an athletic trainer and has worked with a variety of levels and groups.

Katie J. Lyman is an assistant professor of athletic training at North Dakota State University. She obtained the Nationally Registered Emergency Medical Technician (NREMT) certification and licensure in 2002. Since that time, she has incorporated emergency medicine into her roles as an athletic trainer, instructor, and researcher. She continues to investigate cardiopulmonary resuscitation cognitive and psychomotor competencies in allied health professionals, lay public, and coaches.

Jay M. Albrecht is an associate professor in Department of Physical Education at Minnesota State University Moorhead in Moorhead, MN. He is a member of the National Athletic Trainer’s Association (NATA) and is a Board-of-Certification (BOC) Certified Athletic Trainer. He has been an Emergency Medical Responder instructor, a Health Care Provider instructor, and Lay Responder instructor with the American Red Cross for 22 years.

Address author correspondence to Bradford Strand at
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