Winter 2017 Newsletter
Our professional, college, high school and younger athletes entrust their lives to athletic trainers daily but the profession remains unlicensed in California – the only state in the nation without regulation. Every day, unqualified athletic trainers or those who have lost their license in other states are coming here to work, putting all of us at serious risk.
Qualified athletic trainers play a vital role in protecting the physically active and athletes of all ages. We hope you find the news and information in this newsletter on our industry and the newly introduced Assembly Bill 1510 – legislation introduced to license the profession - helpful and informative.
American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, Pro Sports Teams, Division One Universities and Others Ask Governor Brown to License Athletic Trainers in California
The American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM), American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM) and the NCAA have joined a chorus of others asking Governor Brown to license athletic trainers. They cite the serious risks posed to athletes, athletic trainers and their employers due to the unlicensed status of athletic trainers in California.
“An increasing number of states have made it illegal for an unregulated athletic trainer to practice for any period of time within the state,” says the NCAA and others. As a result, athletic trainers who treat their athletes while in those states, as well as their employers, expose themselves to legal and financial consequences because they’re practicing outside the law. Read more.
Support for Athletic Training Licensure
Citing the serious risks posed to athletes, athletic trainers and their employers due to the unlicensed status of athletic trainers in the state, the following organizations have asked Governor Brown to license athletic trainers in California:
- NFHS (National Federation of State High School Associations)
- CIF (California Interscholastic Federation)
Athletic Trainer Spotlight: Reggie Scott
In a $13 billion industry that hinges its success on the health and fitness of its players, certified athletic trainers play a critical role in the NFL. Reggie Scott, director of sports medicine and performance with the Los Angeles Rams, understands the serious responsibility placed on ATs more than most. He’s spent the majority of his career working as an AT with the NFL – first with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, then the Carolina Panthers and the Rams starting in 2010.
Scott oversees the athletic training department for the Rams, managing and facilitating the medical care of the players through daily evaluation, treatment, rehabilitation, prevention and education.
We sat down with Scott recently to find out what it’s like being an AT in the NFL… Read more.
Concussion Management Law to Protect Youth Athletes Takes Effect
At the end of 2016, Governor Brown signed Assembly Bill 2007 – a bipartisan-supported law that will require youth sports participants undergo the same safety protocols as high school athletes in order to protect them from injury. Fully sponsored by the California Athletic Trainers’ Association (CATA) and written by Assemblymember McCarty (D-Sacramento), the law marks an important step forward in closing loopholes in concussion management at the youth sports level, says Mike Chisar, governmental affairs committee chair for the CATA.
“Concussions can happen at any age, so it’s imperative that proper prevention strategies and post injury protocols be observed at the youth sports level,” said Chisar. “This law is a step in the right direction, and coincides with CATA’s ongoing efforts to protect all athletes and physically active individuals.” Read more.
Mental Health and Athletes
Student-athletes are often perceived as being in top physical shape and the epitome of health. Yet, underneath that façade can lie a scary truth.
Approximately one in every five youths in America meets the criteria for a mental health disorder, with the rate more than twice as high for those between the ages of 18 and 25 as those aged 50 and older.
Athletic trainers play a significant role in the lives student-athletes and are in a unique position to identify potential red flags, and refer athletes to mental health professionals earlier than they may have been otherwise.
For example, ATs know their athletes’ medical histories, and have been trained to look for signs of depression – an issue that often arises following an injury. For some athletes, taking time away from the sport they love can result in feelings of aimlessness and as though a part of their core identity has been stripped away. Read more.
A Matter of Life and Death
Athletic trainers play a vital role in protecting the active and saving lives, since they’re often the first health care professionals to prevent and treat injuries at school and professional sports practices and games. In addition to managing injury prevention, rehab and common sports injuries like concussions, sprains, strains and dislocations, athletic trainers also execute on-site emergency care at the scene of an accident or catastrophic event.
Given the gravity of the circumstances they’re charged with overseeing, it’s critical that athletic trainers are prepared to make the right decision at a moment’s notice.
Here, we highlight Niki Dehner, a certified athletic trainer with Francis W. Parker School in San Diego, who was directly involved in a lifesaving event – one that could have gone terribly wrong had she not had the proper education and training. Read more.