Pro, Manager

No Task Too Big: NAX Hockey Academy Case Study

How one Athletic Trainer stayed organized with each team’s concussion management protocol using HeadCheck Pro

Having played 13 years of hockey prior to becoming the Head Athletic Trainer/Equipment Manager for the Northern Alberta Xtreme (NAX) Hockey Academy, Nicole Wlasichuk understands the perspective of both athletes and medical staff when it comes to the game.

When Nicole joined the NAX staff last year, she knew that prioritizing player safety would be at the top of her list, especially being the only AT in charge of 80 athletes.

“My job is to ensure the players are safe and able to play to the best of their abilities with any circumstances they may face.”

And HeadCheck Pro enabled her to keep organized with all her teams while elevating athlete care.

Goals

  • Concussion education and awareness
  • Support athletes from a head injury to recovery
  • Conduct consistent concussion protocol for every athlete head injury

Solutions with HeadCheck

  • Easily access all documentation and tests from your phone
  • Real-time reports with data-driven insights on player head injuries
  • Quickly schedule symptom test reminders to athletes for updates during recovery

Results

  • Regular updates for each part of athlete RTP
  • All medical staff and athletes on the same page for every athlete injury
  • Easily managed and kept track of 80 athlete profiles in one place

Hockey Culture

Playing through the pain has become ingrained in hockey culture. However, the combination of a lack of concussion education with this ‘push through it’ mentality often leads to worse injuries and longer recoveries for athletes, especially when dealing with head traumas.

Typically, athletes that delay reporting average around three more days missed from sporting activities than the athletes who immediately reported their concussion. (Source: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0363546518757984)

Therefore implementing the right tools and resources like HeadCheck would equip organizations like NAX to move past the barriers of limited full time medical staff and lack of athlete knowledge about concussions to return athletes to play safely.

Organization is Key

Nicole is able to manage the health and concussion protocol for all four teams: Female U18, Male U18, Male U16, Male U15 Prep and Male U15 Varsity- including organizing, storing and communicating all necessary information to coaches, athletes, and consulting medical professionals immediately when she took over.

“It’s so much easier with the app.”

No longer was carrying huge binders to practices and games a part of Nicole’s routine, but instead, she could pull out her phone and use the HeadCheck app for tracking and updating athlete information. She found herself saving valuable time that she now put towards treating athletes rather than stumbling around organizing and finding the right binders and forms.

The biggest draw for Nicole using HeadCheck from the traditional pen and paper method of reporting was how convenient every step in managing a head trauma became. Whether it was recording an injury at the rink or analyzing graphs of athlete progress, Nicole now had a complete concussion history on every athlete whenever she needed at the convenience of her phone.

Additionally, the symptom test reminder notification provided her with the confidence that each athlete was completing every return to play stage without increasing in symptoms. This feature allowed Nicole to quickly schedule emails for athletes to complete their symptom questionnaire at home. Ultimately, the app reminders have “helped a lot with having day by day progress updates” on injured athletes.

Staying compliant with their concussion protocol by using HeadCheck, NAX has equipped their staff with a tool that ensures athletes can be successful at every stage of injury to gameplay.

Interested in adding HeadCheck to your toolkit? Contact us and let’s discuss.

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