We’ve all been there or we’ve heard the stories– A kid goes down and as we’re trying to assist and there’s a parent RIGHT there…and they’re upset. How you react in the next few seconds will impact the rest of the afternoon. Here are some tips on How to Have a Conversation with a Parent about their Injured Child

  • Introduce yourself to the parent/guardian. A simple “Hi, are you [kid’s name]’s parent(s)? I’m [your name], the certified athletic trainer for today’s [tournament/game/contest/event]. I’m here to help,” can go a long way in easing a worried parent’s mind. 
  • Ask for consent. After you’ve introduced yourself to the patient and parent, ask for their consent to begin your evaluation. “I’d like to take a look at your [injured body part], is that okay?”
  • Enlist the coach’s help. Sometimes an intro isn’t enough and a parent may brush you off to tend to little Johnny themselves…but a coach that the parent already has a relationship with isn’t as likely to receive this treatment. See if the coach will gently reiterate on your behalf that you’re the professional and that you’re there to help their kid. 
  • Keep your cool. If responses to your questions and assistance are heated, don’t return fire. Calmly state that you are a healthcare professional hired to evaluate and treat injuries and how/where to find you should they change their minds about accepting your care. 
  • Document and let the event contact know what happened. In the event that all attempts to assist the patient were refused, remember to CYA. Document what happened, what you saw/were told, who you spoke to, date and time. A great way to document and share the record is through the Go4 EMR! Finally, reach out to the event contact and let them know what happened. 

Don’t take it personally. Remember, we can’t help everyone and everyone is entitled to make their own decisions (even if we don’t agree with them).