What does spine board training include?

There is training on how to spine board properly. Several branches of healthcare providers undergo training on using a spine board to immobilize an individual in the event of a possible spinal injury. Athletic trainers have spine board procedures included in their formal education and spine board training is included in the coursework for paramedics, emergency medical technicians, first responders, and lifeguards. These professionals regularly practice the skill of spine boarding and potential scenarios where spine boarding may be used. Training for spine board immobilization includes learning to recognize the conditions that require immobilization of the spine, and how to properly and safely transfer a person on to a rigid spine board. In most cases, a rigid neck collar is used to immobilize the head and neck. Techniques such as a log roll or a lift-and-slide are taught to physically transfer a person on to a spine board. These techniques are taught to move the injured person from the position he is in to a secure position on the spine board, with minimal movement of the spine. This involves one professional securing the person’s head and neck and other professionals securing and moving the person’s body. The proper way to secure the person to the spine board using straps and tape is also learned in training.

(This answer provided for NATA by Chad Krawiec, MS, ATC.)

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