Preparing Sports Medicine Professionals:
Palm Springs High School’s PALM Academy
The Palm Springs High School Academy for Learning Medicine (PALM) offers its students the opportunity to explore medical careers, but the work of the students in the academy is not limited to just the traditional school year.
Academy students take Sports Medicine I and II as juniors and seniors, respectively. Throughout this course, the students are exposed to a wide variety of sports-related injuries and illnesses. Some of the skills the students learn in this course are recognizing symptoms of concussions and managing athletes who have potential concussions. In real-world application, PALM students practice identifying potentially concussed athletes in both practice and game situations. They are often the first ones to begin treating injured athletes in conjunction with a certified athletic trainer. To keep students aware of their environment and its potential hazards for athletes, academy students are also well-versed in heat illness and heat stroke. Students learn about hydration and the necessity for student athletes to be hydrated. Consequently, academy students can encourage and aid in hydrating Palm Springs High School’s athletic population. The athletic training student aides are taught to quickly notify the athletic trainer of their suspicions regarding the health of the student athlete and assist in monitoring those students.
To qualify to be an athletic training student aide and help with an athlete’s basic needs (taping ankles and wrists, etc.), students must first successfully complete a minimum of one year of the “Introduction to Sports Medicine” course. They then attend most high school sports practices throughout the summer, giving up their vacation time to work with the athletic trainer and athletes. At times, the student trainers are required to attend summer practices as early as 6:00 a.m., even bright and early on some Saturdays. The PALM students are consistently giving the athletic training program their time and energy; they are required to work 5 hours a week, but many perform in excess of that.
PALM students’ dedication to learning sports medicine ensures that Palm Springs High School’s athletes are well taken care of should the need for medical attention present itself.
For more information on this program, contact OneFuture at (760) 625-0422 or www.OneFutureCV.org.