Thursday, February 5, 2015

A Day in the Life of Coach Nussbaum

After a brief homeroom and advisory meeting , Jason Nussbuam, Westwood High School Head Athletic Trainer and Sports Medicine teacher, hurried to his classroom to prepare for the day. Most Wednesdays are late start days for high schools which means shorter classes. But "Coach Nuss" or "Nuss," as he affectionately called by his students, had a full day of activity and learning planned.

In Sports Medicine 1, he held up a stretched-out length of silly putty to demonstrate the elasticity of muscles and ligaments. Next, he blew up and popped a balloon to show how tissues respond to stress.

"A lot of our body tissues are elastic, but does that mean they can stand all the pressure we want to put on them?" he asked. "If we stretch them too far we get tears."

As he deftly walked the class through applying compression wraps to wrists, ankles and knees, he quizzed students. "What is the position of function for the ankle?" "Anybody know how to check for circulation in the fingers and toes?"

Before joining the Richland Two family three years ago, Coach Nuss spent several years as a civilian contractor at Fort Jackson where he took care of 1,300 new Basic Combat Training Soldiers every 10 weeks.

During the next period, Sports Medicine 2 students learned to properly adjust and get around on crutches. Each student then tackled walking up and down the stairs on crutches. "Uninjured leg first," he repeated as students took the challenge. Next, he taught the class about blood pressure. Coach Nuss circulated around the room, as students practiced checking each other's pressure.

For the final period of the day, Coach Nuss moved to the Athletic Training room. There, he and his students prepared to support wrestling practice that afternoon. That included folding towels, filling a tub with ice and reorganizing and restocking the medicine bag. Then it was time to practice wraps for the state HOSA competition next month in Charleston. Coach Nuss watched and critiqued as students practiced on each other.

"They would take off for this," he told a student pointing at wrinkles. "Do you know how you can fix it?"  

Finally, the school day wound to a close. Students headed to the wrestling practice. He and the nine students in the after school program support all the athletic teams, and he travels with the football team. Although, thanks to a partnership with Moore Center for Orthopedics, it was one of Coach Nuss's early days, not that he minds.

"Knowing that each day I have the opportunity to influence the leaders of our future makes the long days worthwhile!" he said.

Below is Coach Nuss's day in photos. Visit our A Day in the Life album on Flickr to see more of Coach's day.

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