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Feedback From the Field: Participant Injuries

In a previous issue of Inner IDEA Body-Mind-Spirit Review, we asked: Has a client or participant ever been injured while taking a class or private session with you? How did you handle the situation?

“During my 28 years educating and training students and clients in fitness and exercise I have had a student become injured only on rare occasion. Prior to the incident I try to minimize risks through precautions and planning as well as pre-screening and progression.

“If an injury does occur I immediately demonstrate my caring and concern for the individual. Since injuries can and do occur in all settings, my reaction is always the same. I follow my emergency plan. My emergency plan is a written reminder of the appropriate process in the event of an injury. An appropriate plan is dynamic and adaptable to various settings. The final steps of this ‘what to do if someone gets injured’ process includes calling the client in the days that follow and a personal evaluation of my teaching methods, equipment, and environment to determine if I should adapt or modify my future classes to make them even safer for my participants.

“I acknowledge that any time I ask a client to leave his/her comfort zone there is always a chance, calculated though it may be, that this participant may become injured. What is important is that prior to conducting the class or session I have done all of the necessary risk identification, assessment and planning. I must be confident in my abilities, training and emergency management skills to be professional and competent.

“I must be assured that the goal and objectives associated with conducting the activity are worth the risk potential and that the client is informed of these risks. This safety process stands as an example to my clients and students that lifelong fitness involves more than going to the gym or studio. It includes realistic goal setting, appropriate objectives, adherence to a program, evaluation and adaptation, and becoming a part of their own safety and risk management process.”

— Duane A. Crider, PhD, Hamburg, Pennsylvania

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