Why is BLS Training Crucial for Athletic Trainers?

Why is BLS Training Crucial for Athletic Trainers

The role of athletic trainers is integral in ensuring the well-being of athletes. They play a pivotal part in injury management, prevention, and immediate response in the sports arena. However, a facet of their training that is often underrated and underemphasized is Basic Life Support (BLS). This article aims to highlight the significance of BLS training for athletic trainers in a professional context.

The Athletic Trainer’s Universe

Before we get down to brass tacks, let’s talk about what athletic trainers do. These folks are like the guardian angels of the sports world. They’re the ones who tape up those sprained ankles, guide athletes through rehab, and make sure nobody keels over from a heart attack on the field. It’s a high-pressure gig, and every second counts.

The Athletic Trainer’s Role

Athletic trainers wear many hats, from injury prevention to rehabilitation. They:


  • Evaluate injuries and determine their severity.
  • Create and implement injury prevention programs.
  • Provide first aid and immediate care in case of injuries.
  • Design and oversee rehabilitation exercises.
  • Collaborate with healthcare professionals for comprehensive care.

Basic Life Support: Not Just for Docs and Nurses

You’ve probably seen those dramatic scenes on TV where a doctor or nurse performs CPR to save a life. Well, BLS is the foundation of that life-saving skill, and it’s not exclusive to medical pros. It’s like a superhero’s cape – it can be worn by anyone, including athletic trainers.

What is BLS?

BLS, or Basic Life Support, is a set of life-saving techniques that anyone can use to aid a person in a life-threatening situation. These techniques include:


Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR): The art of chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth breathing that keeps oxygen flowing to the brain.

Automated External Defibrillator (AED) operation: Using a device to shock a heart back to its normal rhythm in the case of cardiac arrest.

Choking response: Techniques to help someone who’s choking on food or a foreign object.

Now, here’s the twist – athletic trainers are often the first responders on the scene when an athlete takes a dive, whether from a sprained ankle or a more serious incident. Having BLS skills in their toolkit is like having a magic wand when every second counts.

BLS in the Athletic World

So, why should athletic trainers go beyond the sidelines and dive into BLS training? Let’s break it down.

  1. Rapid Response Wins the Game

In sports, every second counts, and injuries can range from minor to life-threatening. An athlete might suddenly go into cardiac arrest, and having an athletic trainer who can immediately start CPR while waiting for the paramedics could be the difference between life and death.

  1. AED Access

Athletic trainers often have quick access to an Automated External Defibrillator (AED). These devices can be a game-changer during cardiac emergencies. Knowing how to use an AED can increase an athlete’s chances of survival.

  1. It’s the Legal Play

In the litigious world of sports, having a well-trained athletic trainer with BLS skills is a strong defense. It shows that you’re committed to the safety and well-being of your athletes, reducing the risk of legal trouble.

BLS Training: The Nuts and Bolts

Now that we’ve got the why, let’s dive into the how. How does BLS training work, and what’s the nitty-gritty?

Who Provides BLS Training?

BLS training is offered by organizations like the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American Red Cross. These courses are typically available both in-person and online, so you can choose what suits your schedule. You can contact CPR Classes Near me for your training, we provide both American Heart Association (AHA) and the American Red Cross CPR Certifications.

The Training Process

Here’s what you can expect during your BLS training:

Theoretical Knowledge: You’ll learn the basics of BLS, including when and how to use CPR and AED, as well as how to respond to choking incidents.

Practical Training: Hands-on practice is essential. You’ll learn the correct techniques for chest compressions, rescue breaths, and AED operation.

Assessment: You’ll have to demonstrate your skills through simulations and examinations to prove you’ve got what it takes to save a life.

Certification: Once you pass the course, you’ll receive a BLS certification, which is usually valid for two years. It’s your golden ticket to confident life-saving.

The BLS and Athletic Training Duo

Now that you’re equipped with BLS skills, let’s see how they complement the world of athletic training.

BLS and Ankle Sprains

Ankle sprains are as common in sports as hotdogs at a baseball game. They can be painful and frustrating, but they’re rarely life-threatening. So, you might wonder why BLS is relevant here.

Here’s the thing: not all injuries are as straightforward as they seem. A simple ankle sprain could mask a more severe injury or medical condition. Knowing BLS means you can quickly assess the situation. If the athlete goes into shock or has underlying health issues, your BLS training can make all the difference.

BLS and Concussions

Concussions are another sneaky beast in the athletic world. Sometimes, the signs aren’t immediately obvious, and it’s crucial to keep an eye on an athlete after a head injury. Knowing BLS doesn’t make you a neurologist, but it does give you the tools to act swiftly if the situation turns critical.

BLS and Cardiovascular Emergencies

Now, this is where BLS truly shines. Cardiovascular issues are a real threat in the athletic world. Athletes can experience sudden cardiac arrest or other heart-related problems during strenuous activities. In such cases, every second is priceless.

Imagine this scenario: an athlete collapses during a game, clutching their chest. You rush to their aid, assess the situation, and start CPR while someone fetches the AED. Your BLS skills can bring that athlete back into the game, or even save their life. It’s a superpower that every athletic trainer should have in their utility belt.

The Proof is in the Pudding

You might be thinking, “Is all this BLS training worth it for athletic trainers?” Well, let’s put some icing on the cake with some real-life stories.

The Chris Bussell Story

Chris Bussell was an athletic trainer working with the Ohio University football team. During a practice session, one of the players, Eddie Tillitz, collapsed and went into cardiac arrest. Bussell sprang into action, performing CPR and using an AED to revive Tillitz before paramedics arrived. Thanks to Bussell’s quick response and BLS training, Eddie survived.

The Joe Becker Story

Joe Becker, a high school athletic trainer in Wisconsin, was attending a wrestling meet. During a match, one of the athletes, Elijah, collapsed. Joe’s BLS training kicked in, and he immediately began CPR. Thanks to his quick thinking and BLS skills, he saved Elijah’s life.

These real-life heroes demonstrate that BLS isn’t just a box to check; it’s a lifeline that every athletic trainer should have in their toolbox.


In the world of athletic training, BLS training isn’t just a bonus – it’s a game-changer. It’s the difference between being a good trainer and being a lifesaver. From rapid response to handling cardiovascular emergencies, BLS skills are the ace up your sleeve.

Aspiring athletic trainers and seasoned professionals are urged to seek out BLS courses available in their proximity. It is not a mere checkbox on the training list but a profound commitment to athlete safety and well-being. In the athletic world, BLS training takes the center stage, elevating the stature of athletic trainers to being true life-savers.