Concussion Management Teams
The Brain Injury Alliance of New Jersey has developed guidelines for schools to establish Concussion Management Teams to assist with return to learn and return to school following a diagnosis of concussion. Concussion Management Teams have been shown to provide emotional support for students as they recover, better monitor symptoms, and ensure that communication about a student’s progress during recovery is shared among physicians, parents, educators, and the student; all of this facilitates the recovery process.
The Four Steps to Develop a Concussion Management Team in your school:
Most established protocols for Concussion Management Teams suggest an academic monitor and a symptoms monitor, so the team can be two members or more depending on a schools preference and needs. Each school has the flexibility to decide which staff members fit best into the role of academic monitor based on their interest, availability, and what roles they currently play in the system. The symptoms monitor is typically the school nurse or atc depending on whether or not the student participates in interscholastic sports.
The goal of the communication plan is to make it as easy as possible to share information among the physician, family, student and Team regarding the students’ recovery progress. Chances are that your school already has a communication network in place that is used for other purposes among staff.
Your school may already have forms developed to monitor a student athlete’s recovery from concussion. The same form can be used by the Team for any student; if the forms do not include cognitive symptoms they can most likely be adapted. The treating physician may have a symptom tracking chart or other form that they like to use. The Alliance developed a comprehensive format in an excel spreadsheet (link to pdf of chart) that might meet the needs of your Team.
Team members need to be aware of the most current understanding of and recommendations for managing concussions so that they can adapt their process as new information becomes available. The Brain Injury Primer is a FREE online course on the Rutgers professional development online learning platform. The course takes approximately ten hours to complete and provides ten professional development hours and one Rutgers University CEU. The course includes information about concussion, and return to learn. It also provides information and solutions for addressing the challenges particular to working with students with more severe brain injury. The Alliance can also arrange an in-service for school personnel and there are a variety of recorded presentations available on the bianj.org website.
For more detailed information about Concussion Management Teams view the archived webinar linked on the sidebar.
Click Here to view any of the webinars listed below.
Return to Learn: Concussion Management Teams is appropriate for school personnel, physicians, and parents to help them learn how to develop a Concussion Management Team to assist students get back to their lives following a concussion diagnosis.
Concussion in Younger Children provides an overview of concussion with younger children in mind.
Visual changes in Post-Concussion Syndrome and Mild Traumatic Brain Injury provides information about vestibular dysfunction which can manifest as dizziness, imbalance, and disorientation issues following concussion.
Concussion and the School Nurse addresses managing concussion in elementary, middle and high school regardless of how the concussion was sustained.