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In order for the athletic department to assume responsibility for payment of services, the injury must be a reported injury, the injury incurred during a UH sponsored event, and deemed "athletic related". All medical services must be approved by a staff trainer or a team physician. Authorization form and staff signature are required.
The team physician is the final authority concerning when an athlete should be removed from participation, referred to another doctor, and when they may return to participation.
All athletes needing to see a doctor are granted this opportunity. We have a doctor at our facility every Monday morning (with exceptions) and 4 nights a week on average. The on-campus clinics will vary upon the physician's personal practice. Team physicians will also see our athletes at their own local clinics. The staff will make arrangements with the team physicians on the day and time for both on-campus and off-campus clinics. An appointment must be approved by a staff trainer. An appropriate physician referral form must be completed and the athlete must be signed up on the Physician Clinic list. An authorization form may need to be filled out for the off-campus visits.
Each student must have staff trainer approval and have a signed authorization form in order to receive treatment. Below are a few of the reasons and benefits offered through the health center:
Physician's when team internist is not available
Each student must have a team physician's approval in order to receive testing. Authorization form and staff signature are required.
Second Opinions and Specialist
Occasionally our team doctors will refer to doctors outside our team group. Student athletes or coaches may inquire about outside doctors as well. All student athletes can see doctors outside our team but must first be seen by our team physicians and have the team physician's approval. Authorization form and staff signature are required.
All student athletes needing optical care will be referred to our school of optometry. Each student must have staff trainer approval and have a signed authorization form in order to receive treatment. Sports specific eyewear is the only type of eyewear provided for student athletes, e.g. contacts or sports goggles.
- Report to staff trainer
- Refer UH Athletics Nutritionist
5th Year Student-Athletes
The athletics department will only assume financial costs of 5th year student athletes still competing. Exception is an injury still being treated as a result of competition.
NON-ATHLETIC RELATED INJURY OR ILLNESS - SERVICES
All student athletes needing medical care will be referred to our designated team physicians. However, there will be situations in which the athlete's injury or illness is determined to not be athletic related or sport specific.
The sports medicine department's first goal is to provide a path for immediate referral e.g. emergency room, physician or specialist, to determine a diagnosis. The sports medicine department will assist with the referral, pay for the immediate cost of care e.g. pay for emergency room visit and/or pay for a physician visit, in determining a diagnosis. The remainder of all non-athletic injury and illness cost will be placed on the student athlete (Example - Sexually Transmitted Disease).
There are a number of ways to resolve the balance of the initial care and/or further cost of dealing with diagnosis, on-going treatment and medications.
- Athlete and their family have the ability to pay for the continued cost.
- Athlete may ask for the athletic department and NCAA for assistance in handling the continued cost. This requires approvals from: Sports Medicine, Compliance and Athletics Administrative Staff i.e., Athletic Director.
DENTAL CARE SERVICES
All student athletes needing dental care will be referred to our designated team dentist. Each student must have staff trainer approval in order to receive treatment. The University of Houston is only permitted to pay for:
Dental issue as a result of an injury during a university sponsored sport activity. All cost will be through the university and their designated insurance and claims procedures. The sports medicine department and their designated dentist will work together in deciding treatment, insurance and payment.
Temporary treatment of a tooth as a result of pain or decay. The university will only be responsible for this pre-existing issue up to a $500.00 cap in coordination with the compliance office. This cap only applies to the athletes that are considered to be "full time enrolled" students and qualify for the Student Athlete Opportunity Fund. The sports medicine staff and their designated dentist will work together in deciding treatment and payment. The dentist office will charge according to their codes and discounts available in their office. No extra benefits are allowed to ANY student athlete in accordance to NCAA guidelines. All charges and follow up care that fall above the $500.00 cap are the responsibility of the student athlete. The student athlete will coordinate a payment plan (e.g. insurance, monthly, etc.) with the dentist office.
DISPENSING OF MEDICATION
Over-the-counter (OTC) Medication
University of Houston Sports Medicine provides over the counter medication to student athletes for immediate care only. We do not distribute for the entire treatment duration.
- Student athletes will not help themselves to medication. They must gain permission from a staff athletic trainer.
- Student athletes will be given single day dosage only, with the exception of weekends and holidays.
- All student athletes will be asked about drug allergies before medication will be given out.
- Proper instructions on dosage, interactions, and side effects will be given to the student athlete before the medication is distributed.
- Athletic training students must have permission of a staff athletic trainer to distribute medications.
- All OTC medication will be administered in single dose packaging.
- All OTC medication will be administered in single dose packaging.
- Small amounts of OTC medications will be stored in a secure area at Cougar Field, Cougar Softball Field, Hofheinz Pavilion, and the UH Natatorium athletic training rooms. All OTC medication will be in dose-packaged form.
- Full dose prescription medications are not kept in the University of Houston athletic training room.
- To acquire full dose prescription medication, a student athlete must have a prescription signed by a University of Houston team doctor as well as an authorization sheet. These are then taken by the student athlete to the University Health Center pharmacy.
- A doctor's bag will be kept locked in the athletic training room doctor's office and will only be handled by a University of Houston team doctor.
- Sample prescription medications will be kept in locked medicine cabinets in the athletic training room doctor's office.
- Only University of Houston team doctors will have access to medicine cabinet keys.
- Sample medications will be brought into the athletic training room exclusively by either Dr. Lowe, University of Houston Director of Sports Medicine, or by a courier designated by Dr. Lowe.
- It shall be up to the discretion of the Director of Sports Medicine to inventory sample medication as per State of Texas law. No Class A drugs will be stored in the athletic training room at any time.
Mental health is a key component of student-athlete wellness, and the athletics department can play a pivotal role in providing an environment that supports wellness while also providing resources so that student-athletes can obtain referrals to mental health services. The sport environment is an important venue for establishing mental health promotion practices, destigmatizing mental health challenges, normalizing care seeking, facilitating early identification of mental health disorders and ensuring that all student-athletes in need receive care from a licensed practitioner who is qualified to provide mental health services. It is also an important venue to learn about the role that mental well-being plays in total health and the ability to thrive, both on and off the field of play. Indeed, sport can provide an exceptional opportunity to promote and develop mental wellness for life. NCAA Sports Science Institute
Student-athlete mental well-being is best served through a collaborative process of engaging the full complement of available campus and community resources, which may include athletics, campus health, counseling services, disability services and community agencies. Identifying the resources that are available and integrating strong professional working relationships across these areas are critical to ensure that professionals are informed and respond quickly and effectively. Such integration links professionals in a collaborative model of care that can enhance the ability of individual service providers and maximize support of student-athlete wellness. NCAA Sports Science Institute
Mental and physical health are inextricably linked. For example, there is evidence suggesting an elevated risk of injury among athletes who experience anxiety or depression, who abuse alcohol or who have an eating disorder. Furthermore, the athlete's psychological response to injury has the potential to exacerbate existing vulnerabilities to depression or anxiety, substance abuse or disordered eating behaviors. Insomnia and sleep disorders can be an indicator or risk factor for mental health challenges, and can compromise academic and athletic performance through direct or indirect pathways. NCAA Sports Science Institute
UH Athletics Interdisciplinary TEam
Athletic Trainers (ATC)
Academic Center for Excellence (ACE) - Student Support Services
CAPS (Counseling and Psychological Services)
Legacy Community Health
Important to note that NOT ALL of the team is needed on each case. However, the team should be formed with at least two to three from this group e.g. ATC, ACE, Head coach and Psychological professional.
Routine Mental Health Referral
Best Practices do not provide specific details about the clinical care to be provided to student-athletes. As such, care is individualized for the needs of each student-athlete and is based on evidence-based care that is within the scope of practice for the primary athletics health care provider's i.e. athletic trainers and team physicians, and the mental licensed practitioner who is qualified to provide mental health services consistent with the standards for ongoing licensure in their profession. NCAA Sports Science Institute
Student-athletes are encouraged to report mental health issues or concerns. It is important to create an environment for open communication. Student-athletes seldom reach out with these issues and everyone on the interdisciplinary team should be cognizant to important signs, symptoms, behaviors and student-athletes expressions as they relate to mental health issues and reflect psychological concerns. Some of these mental health issues are learning disabilities (ADD/ADHD), depression, anxiety, sleep apnea, insomnia, alcohol or substance abuse and disordered eating.
Behaviors to monitor
Changes in eating and sleeping habits
Unexplained weight loss
Drug and/or alcohol abuse
Withdrawing from social contact
Decreased interest in enjoyable activities
Taking up risky behavior
Talking about death
Loss of emotion
Problems concentrating, focusing or remembering
Frequent complaints of fatigue, illness or being injured
Becoming more irritable or problems managing anger
NCAA Sports Medicine Handbook
Poor or "perceived" poor performance
Conflicts with coaches or teammates
Lack of playing time
Family and relationship issues
Change in importance of sport due to self or family expectations
Adapting to college life
Death of family ore close friend
History of physical or sexual abuse
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
NCAA Sports Medicine Handbook
Confidentiality and the student-athlete's privacy must be respected unless he/she is at risk for self-harm or harm to others. The student-athlete may be encouraged to inform others i.e. interdisciplinary team, about his/her care as appropriate. If the student-athlete is under age, then refer to your institutional general counsel and student affairs office for guidance in informing the parents or guardians. NCAA Sports Medicine Handbook
- Early recognition
- Integrated services and care
- Speak with the student privately
- Allow time for the conversation
- Express your concerns if you have witnessed behaviors
- Be empathic and listen to their thoughts and feelings
- Ask about student-athlete's intensions
- Discuss the importance of confidentiality and the student-athlete's privacy
- Encourage informing and developing a small interdisciplinary team
- Offer hope through discussing options:
- Interdisciplinary team and ACE
- Resources: "Let's Talk" and CAPS
|ACE||The Academic Center for Excellence (ACE) or Student Support Services has a number of academic advisors that can assist the student-athlete with the resources for mental health.|
|"Let's Talk"||This program provides easy access to informal confidential consultations with therapist's from the Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS). The athletic department walk-in hours are held on Mondays in the Academic Center for Excellence (ACE) from 1:30p to 3:30p. No appointment or fee is necessary.
Student athletes can meet with these counselors and the counselors can in-turn refer the student-athletes back to CAPS for a more in-depth consultation.
|Legacy Community Health||Federally Qualified Health Center
|Chanderbhan Psychological Services||Dr. Susan Chanderbhan-Forde