Dr. Martin's notes

Wednesday March 8, 2017

Primary Assessment

The Athletic Trainer, being the person that often is the first responder to injury, must make a primary assessment of the injury. This assessment is to determine what is the PROPER AID that is to be given to the injured athlete.


This is not a method of diagnosis, which is relegated to physicians (MD, DO, DC, DPM, DDS). It may seem like semantics, but it is very important to not diagnose. Athletic trainers in California may not diagnose under any condition.


There is no law for AT’s in California, therefore they receive their ‘scope of practice’ by COMMON KNOWLEDGE. Basically this means that the National Athletic Trainers Association sets forth what AT’s may do, and in California, this cannot conflict with other professionals licensing laws.


When performing a primary assessment, observation is very important. Remember W4H! (Who, What, When, Where & How). Describe the factors that were involved in the injury, such as anthropomorphic data, the mechanism of injury, protective equipment and the athlete’s skill level. Note the position of the athlete when you first approach him/her and remember the 3 C’s (Check, call care).

Study and practice palpation