Do NFL teams have team nurses? How much are medical staff paid?



We all called him “Doc”. Before and after every practice, every game, we stood in line in front of his desk and our wrists or ankles were taped. I started this ritual when, in my second year in high school, I tore a tendon in my left thumb. A young student named Johnny followed him everywhere and buzzed among us in Friday night games, a belt containing water bottles, duct tape and scissors dangling around his waist. I once asked him what he wanted to do after high school and he told me categorically that he was going to study sports medicine and be a team coach. “You never wanted to play? ” I asked him. “No, that’s what interests me.” No hesitation in her voice, no hesitation in her gaze. He really meant it.

East Ascension High School was no different from any other in the country. There would have been tens of thousands of scenes like these performed all over North America. Back then, we footballers didn’t think too much about Johnny’s career prospects. We were going to get a scholarship to a Division 1 school and then enlisted in the NFL. It was our career path available to us. In the end, only around 20% of the team went on to play college football, only three at Division 1 level, and all the hundreds of guys that I’ve played with or against, only one reached the NFL. The rest of us drifted into other career options, other sports, and moved on with our lives. I lost contact with Johnny and never knew what happened to him. But if I were a betting man, I would put my money on him by getting closer to achieving his dream that any of us did on ours.

Sports medicine studies would certainly have put him on the right track. He might have wanted to work at the high school level or maybe for an NCAA program, but if we assume that Johnny wanted to practice sports medicine at the highest level, he would have sought to join the medical staff of a team of the NFL. According to the NFL Physician Society, each game will involve 29 health professionals, both on the sidelines and inside the stadium itself.

The team doctor

The roles involved may surprise you. For example, would you immediately involve NFL stadium medical staff in dentistry? No, me neither. But of course, if you’re the gamer who just got your teeth broken, you’d definitely want a dentist on hand. The same goes for the stage ophthalmologist or radiologist. In fact, over the 29-day match for medical staff, only four are definitely primary care physicians. The rest are highly specialized health professionals; two neurologists, a doctor specializing in respiratory tract management, two chiropractors, four orthopedists. And these team doctors, for the certified doctors that they are, can earn between $ 200,000 and $ 512,500 per year. If they work in an NFL medical facility, it can be even more. Of course, like any doctor in the country, NFL doctors must have completed four years of undergraduate study, four years of medical school, four to five years of residency, and normally at least one year of college education.

But what if you are not a doctor? Are there other openings for nurses, paramedics, physiotherapists? This is the fact that constitutes the largest group of medical personnel in the NFL. In any game are the ten sports coaches, four for each team and two independent.

What is a sports trainer?

A sports trainer is a health professional specializing in sports medicine, rehabilitation care, physiotherapy and preventive care. They may have a degree in athletic training, exercise physiology or kinesiology, or may have had initial training as a nurse. before moving on to sports medicine as a specialty. Generally, the sports coach will have a bachelor’s degree, or more commonly a master’s degree in nursing science and one or more specialties. If Johnny had decided to practice his trade for an NFL team, he would have expected earn between $ 75,000 and $ 100,000 per year.

Like all medical staff, athletic coaches are required to stay up to date in their skills, which means regular professional development classes and training are part of the job. They will often work 12 hours a day throughout the year and travel with the team throughout the season. And one thing that has changed, for the better I hasten to add, from my high school days talking to Johnny as a wrist-wrapped Doc, is that more and more women are occupying medical posts in the field.

The expected number of jobs is perhaps the biggest key indicator of career progression to an athletic trainer. The domain is expected to grow 23% over the next decade and the NFL is just a selling point. In addition to each professional sport using their skills, MLB, NBA and NHL for example, each of these sports needs staff at the college and high school level. And apart from team or league jobs, recreation and sports centers as well as public and private hospitals also employ sports coaches. It looks like Johnny’s career path was certainly more solid than our “push and hope” approach to reaching the NFL. If I counseled my child today, I would tell them to put away the shoulder pads and start focusing on sports medicine.

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