Archive for February, 2011

BOC at AT Educators Conference

Sunday, February 27th, 2011

The Athletic Trainers Educators Conference (ATEC) in Washington, DC is starting to wrap up. BOC Board members attending have been networking with program directors, faculty and clinical instructors throughout the weekend. Many very good questions  have been asked, some answered and others taken back to the Board for discussion. In addition many suggestions have been made and we will be talking about how to implement many of them soon. This type of conference provides a great one-on-one opportunity to dialogue with individuals and we hope as questions come up everyone will continue to call or email the BOC to share their questions and ideas with us.

The Program Director page on the BOC web site will be updated by the end of March with many new resources for educators. Let us know what other resources you need so we can make this YOUR resource center.

Brain Donation to Science Brings MTBI Awareness to Communities and Legislation

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

The ABC morning show Good Morning America had a piece today about former NFL player Dave Duerson. Mr. Duerson donated his brain to science. He specifically asked that to study the long-term effects of football on the brain.

It's difficult to open a newspaper, website, or magazine related to sports and NOT see something about concussion. Multiple state legislatures have bills pending designed to regulate the safety of interscholastic athletes who receive a concussion or mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI). The NFL and the NATA have partnered to bring this issue to the forefront of all legislators.
 
The guidelines and recommendations for treating this injury continue to evolve. Once pertinent position statements and guidelines are becoming -of-date as new research on the evaluation and treatment programs for individuals with MTBI emerge. ATs are continually educating themselves through local and national continuing education programs in order to stay abreast of the most current evidence-based practice. The continuing competence requirement to hold the ATC® credential is just one reason the AT is invaluable to parent, patients, students and the community. Athletic trainers (ATs) are often the healthcare professional on-site when the initial injury occurs. They make the first assessment and diagnosis keeping the patients best interests in mind at all times.

What is your community doing to increase the number of ATs serving the active population in your area?

It's Quiet for Now at the BOC

Friday, February 18th, 2011

Wow! You might not exactly hear a pin drop, but it’s a little quieter in the office after many athletic training candidates and Athletic Trainers (ATs) have been working with the BOC to keep current with their credential while advancing as healthcare professionals.

Since January, 88.6% of Athletic Trainers (ATs) have successfully completed their continuing education (CE) reports for the 2008-2010 CE reporting period.  99.9% have reported CE online using the BOC’s online reporting system in BOC Central™.

As of January 15, 2011, 87.2% of ATs  who were billed, paid the annual certification fee  invoiced in October 2010. Every ATC® credential holder is required to pay an annual certification fee to the BOC, which is an administrative fee that supports the activities required of the BOC.   ATs who failed to pay the fee had his/her certification suspended for non-payment of their annual certification fee.

Congratulations to Jesse Abeler, ATC, and Ralph Krugler, ATC, who each won the $150 Visa gift card incentive drawing for completing both their CE reporting and paying their 2010 certification fee before the end of November 2010. Thanks to all ATs for completing the CE reporting and paying certification fees in a timely manner!

Candidates will see that the February BOC exam is over and registration for the April BOC exam is currently open. The rate for early exam registration is $300 until March 8th. It will reopen at the $375 registration rate from March 11th-15th.

The BOC also completed the 2009 CE audit, which began on February 15, 2010 and involved reviewing documentation for 1,007 CE files. 12 ATs were suspended for non-submission of audit materials and 19 ATs were suspended for non-compliance with the audit. It appears that the most common audit deficiency continues to be in the area of Emergency Cardiac Care (ECC). 

The BOC is here for you, now make some noise!

Behind the Scenes of the BOC Exam as a Young Professional Volunteer

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

Pictured (L to R) Dominic Vincentini, Janie Herrema, Kristin Thompson, Stephen Johnson, Matt Donahue, Tim Weesner, Chad Kinart, Melanie McGrath, Brian Brewster, Jenna Street, Mike Neumann and Lora Atchison

When I explained to my friends and family what I would be doing at the BOC Cut Score/Standard Setting meeting, the first question they asked me was: “You accepted and volunteered to take an exam and analyze it over and over again?”  Yes.  Yes I did, and I was honored and excited to be one of 10 individuals to help set the Cut Score for the BOC for the next 5-6 years. 

The BOC Cut Score Standard/Setting meeting occurs once every 5-6 years, when the new RD is released.  Once the RD is released, the BOC gathers 10 Athletic Trainers (ATs) who have been certified for 3-7 years from a wide variety of backgrounds.  This year, this meeting was held in Omaha, NE for the first time at the new location for the BOC headquarters.  The BOC Cut Score Standard Setting panel was comprised of ATs from Florida, Michigan, Indiana, Nebraska, Ohio, Idaho, Rhode Island, Iowa, Colorado, and Virginia who worked in a variety of settings including college, military, high school, Olympic, and clinic/outreach. 

We gathered in the loft meeting room in the historic building (which used to be a bowling alley at one time) that serves as the BOC headquarters.  This is where we spent the next 3 days sitting around a table, working to establish three different standards by assessing two different exams and reviewing, scoring, debating, rescoring, and debating some more.  Prior to my arrival, I was expecting the committee to be a significantly larger group, but I found the small size allowed for great discussions. 

Day 1 consisted of becoming familiar with the first exam and setting a standard of “minimally proficient” and “minimally advanced."  We were presented with the task of identifying which question out of 125 would be the point where 2 out of 3 minimally proficient athletic trainers would start getting the questions wrong.  And then we had to determine at which point 2 out of 3 minimally advanced athletic trainers would start to answer the questions wrong.  We engaged in group breakouts, full group discussions, individual analysis, and hearty debate to guide ourselves to a consensus, allowing us to set both standards.  At the end of day 1, we were told to get a good night’s rest because over the next two days, we would be setting the Cut Score Standard for the national exam.  The night was rounded out with a group dinner with the staff from the BOC at a local restaurant.

Day 2 started off with an instant flashback to sitting for the exam and being in class.  We were given the BOC exam to take in order to get a feel for the content and language used.  We were instructed to take breaks, walk around, and talk, as it was not being graded and it was not an official test.  But 5 minutes into looking at the exam, and you could hear a pin drop in the room.  We all automatically went into test-taking mode: no talking, no restroom breaks—we even delayed going to lunch until we had completed…it was test taking time!  After we finished “taking” the exam, we were handed the answers and the debate began!  We went through the exam a total of 4 times on day 2, and by the end of the day, we were all pretty well spent.

Day 3 mimicked the previous day, with the exception that we did not have to “take” the exam; rather, we picked up where we left off.  We went through one more solid analysis of each question, debating language, answers, and whether or not an entry-level athletic trainer WOULD get the answer correct, not SHOULD get the answer correct.  We adjourned early on day 3 once we had completed the task.  With half a day free to do whatever we wanted, we all went our separate ways for the afternoon and met up for dinner that evening.  Once at dinner, I asked around to see what everyone did with their free afternoon.  The answer, more often than not, was: “I took a nap! I can’t remember the last time I had time to take a nap…and it was wonderful!”  A nap: the perfect reward for staring at, thinking about, debating, and assessing 250 test questions and formats for 3 straight days!

Reflecting back upon this trip and experience, I am extremely honored that I was asked to and happy that I was able to participate in this process.  I met colleagues from all over the US and was able to immerse myself in an environment filled with consistent high-level thinking and discussion revolving around our profession.  Knowing the behind-the-scenes of what an individual question goes through in order to be able to appear on the exam is astounding!  If asked again, there would be no hesitation: yes, I will volunteer to sit and take, analysis, debate, and do it all over again for an exam!

Written By: Jenna Street, MS, ATC, PES
Jenna.Street@usoc.org