Sports Medicine Nurse

A Sports Medicine Nurse?

Sports medicine is a sub-specialty of orthopedic medicine, largely involving injuries or traumas suffered as a result of training for or competing in an athletic event. Physicians in this field are primarily family medicine doctors and orthopedic surgeons (with many having completed a sports medicine fellowship) treat athletes and physically active people for acute and chronic injuries that cause various degrees of immobility.

Intro: What’s a Sports Medicine Nurse?

Sports medicine nurses are typically nurse practitioners (NP’s) that help physicians care for patients experiencing various musculoskeletal injures, including muscle strains, joint sprains, torn ligaments, bone fractures, and dislocations. Though not a “formal” or traditional specialty for nurses, sports medicine is a field that’s open mainly to advanced practice nurses with experience or a strong desire to work with an orthopedic surgery team.

Patients can range from recreational youth players to professional athletes. It’s the job of the sports medicine nurse to take a patient’s history, assist the doctor with his or her treatment plan, and educate the patient on how to avoid future injuries.

Work Settings and Job Duties

Sports medicine nurses usually are found working in orthopedic practices and clinics. Some nurses also work at first aid stations at various sporting events. They often function as part of a team with physicians, physician assistants and physical therapists.

In a private practice setting, a sports medicine nurse usually works 40 hours per week or less, typically Monday through Friday, during regular business hours. These nurses may escort patients to the exam rooms, taking health histories, brief screenings and answering any questions they might have. Duties can be as routine as taking blood pressure readings, interviewing patients about how they got their injuries, and recording what the physician says during patient examinations to being in the OR.

For example, after the doctor consults with the patient, the nurse may review everything the doctor told the patient, such as the diagnosis, the plan for treatment, and what he or she is supposed to do at home. This may also include providing samples of medication and explaining the side effects or if needed giving an injection or taking an x-ray. During the actual surgical procedure the nurse may also assist the orthopedic physician – in some aspects similar to how a physician assistant would.

It's Interesting

  • George Patrick Genereux (March 1, 1935 – April 10, 1989) was a Canadian Gold medal-winning trap shooter and physician.
    Genereux was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, the son of Catherine Mary (née Devine), a nurse who was originally from Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania, and Dr. Arthur George Genereux. He won the Gold medal in the Olympic Trap at the...

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