You’ve decided to set up a concussion care practice and you know you can’t do it alone, but you don’t know who to include in your care team. Let’s talk about the disciplines commonly involved in concussion care. When you’re creating your concussion medical practice, it’s important to keep in mind the scopes of practice each professional covers to make sure there are no gaps in your team:
First, the Point Person: this is a qualified healthcare provider who serves as the point person on the concussion care team and makes return to activity decisions.
Athletic Trainer: Athletic trainers get specific education in recognizing signs and symptoms of concussion at the point of injury. They also serve as an important liaison between family members, school, and other healthcare providers.
Physical Therapist: Physical therapists work in vestibular therapy, active rehabilitation, or target specific deficits identified by the point person. Every patient’s needs are different and PTs are trained to assess and treat the individual problems a person might experience after concussion.
I want to comment on Physiotherapists working outside the US: Their scopes of practice depends on country laws. But they might be involved in concussion assessment, concussion treatment, and concussion rehabilitation.
Occupational Therapist: OTs help restore occupational function (or activities of daily living) after concussion. Folks that need help driving, performing daily tasks, or even restoring full visual function can benefit from an OT.
Optometrist: If a patient is experiencing severe vision issues after concussion, an optometrist is a great resource.
School Nurse: School nurses are a cornerstone in concussion care at the school level. They help concussed students return to school safely and avoid activities they shouldn’t engage in. They also pay attention to the appropriate academic workload for a student returning to school after concussion.
Speech Language Pathologists, School Psychologists, other multi-disciplinary team members: There are SO MANY disciplines that add value to a concussion care team. It’s up to you to decide the folks you have the resources for. These additional care team members may participate in return to school, anxiety/mood issues while recovering from a concussion, or other areas as needed.
OTHER FLASH BRIEFINGS YOU MIGHT FIND HELPFUL: