Archive for November, 2011

Specialization in Athletic Training

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

The purpose of specialization in healthcare is to improve the quality of care provided to patients, to enhance clinical outcomes, and ultimately, to improve the patient’s health related quality of life. Specialties within a discipline arise in response to the development of new knowledge and skills in a clearly defined area of clinical practice that can.  Rapid increases in healthcare knowledge and the expansion of athletic training into new and emerging settings has created a clear need for athletic training practitioners who specialize in obtaining the best outcomes possible in specific patient populations and for specific types of injuries and illnesses.  Specialization in healthcare requires significant clinical experience in a prescribed content area, a sustained training effort, and culminates in a valid credential denoting clinical expertise.  The most common form of specialty credential in healthcare is specialty certification. The purpose of specialty certification in athletic training is to provide an advanced clinical practice credential that demonstrates the attainment of specialized knowledge and skills.

The NATA Post-Professional Education Committee has developed the framework for specialization in athletic training. Prior to development of a specialty certification credential, approved areas of specialization within the profession need to be developed. This will begin with a comprehensive petitioning process. Approval of an athletic training petition for an area of specialization will denote the formal recognition by the profession that athletic trainers exhibit specialized knowledge and skills in a defined area of clinical practice. This petition was modeled after the Board of Pharmaceutical Specialties petition with their approval and support.

Currently, it is not clear to what degree the athletic training community is prepared to pursue the rigorous approval process for specialty recognition.  Your thoughts and opinions on this are most welcome. 

Subsequent development of a specialty certification credential within an approved area of specialization will follow best practices for health professions certification development and will include the completion of a job analysis (i.e., role delineation study) and the development of a valid credentialing exam.  A cost-benefit analysis will be a requisite prior to the pursuit of a specialty certification exam to ensure that an appropriate number of applicants will seek the credential to offset the costs associated with exam development and administration. Only about 3% of pharmacists hold one of the six different specialty certifications in their profession. Read more in the Board of Pharmacy Specialties Annual Report. Despite the development of a well grounded approach to specialty certification aimed to improve patient care, it remains to be seen if this degree of success can be successfully implemented and sustained in a profession roughly 1/10th the size of the pharmacy profession.

Written By: Eric L. Sauers, PhD, ATC, FNATA

Reflecting on the BOC Standards of Professional Practice

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

This weekend brought the opportunity to attend the first Athletic Training Student Symposium  sponsored by the Athletic Trainers of Massachusetts and attended by over 50 college athletic training students representing Massachusetts programs.  I was on the professional panel speaking about the “Overview of the professional organizations and pathways into leadership” along with other volunteers Marcia Anderson, BOC Athletic Trainer Director, Paul Ullucci, NATA District 1 Director, and Charlie Redmond of the Research and Education Foundation. Watching the professional socialization process in our future colleagues is always affirming. Also affirming was a key message that professional service begins close to home by demonstrating a commitment to understanding and complying with the BOC Standards of Professional Practice and the Code of Professional Responsibility. Rereading and reflecting on this document from time to time reminds us of our basic responsibilities and of the need for each of us to hold all Athletic Trainers accountable to these basic standards. Those practicing Athletic Trainers who breach these standards reflect poorly on the profession as a whole. It is our individual responsibility to ensure that we all practice as health care providers.

What are your thoughts? Review and select items from the Code of Professional Responsibility and respond in comments. For example, discuss maintaining patient privacy in today’s digital age.

Written By: Sara D. Brown, MS, ATC

Welcome to the BOC’s Home: 100 Years of History

Monday, November 21st, 2011

Three years ago today, the BOC moved into our current office on 1415 Harney Street in Omaha. Boy, time sure flies.The BOC purchased the property on January 11, 2008 and did a complete renovation with a modern-urban style on the second floor of the building, leaving 3200 square feet of tenant space on the first floor.

The building itself was constructed sometime between 1911 and 1912. The address is first mentioned in the City Directories in 1912 with the property being owned by John F. Morrison, who operated a saloon, billiard and bowling alley in 1913 at 1413-15 Harney. A 1914 photograph, shows the building with the billiards hall at that time. 

Over the past 100 years, the building was home to a variety of businesses. It housed the Continental Feature Film Company in late 1914. Continental Feature Film Co. was owned and operated by the same person (their name unknown) who managed the Omaha office of Mutual Film Co., listed as neighbor 1413 Harney. Mutual Film Co. is best remembered today as the producer of some of Charlie Chaplin's greatest comedies.

Other businesses that operated at 1415 Harney included: Loch-Leonard & Ford Billiards in 1918 and 1919 and William A. Ramser Hattery in 1925 until it was vacant in 1931. Records show the building as the location for Orpheum Gardens Soft Drinks in 1935 and then Two Jays Bar Beverages in 1940. In 1945, the building occupied Brains Sporting Goods and Stationary Company as well as Central Carnival and Novelty Company. The building has ties to the Standard Blue Company, which sold architectural supplies, in 1945 until the sale of the building in 1995.

Stylistically the building has borrowed a couple of elements from a few different veins of design, but nothing to define it by a particular style.  The State Historic Preservation Office has categorized similar buildings as Commercial Vernacular structure, which is a method of construction which uses locally available resources and traditions to address local needs. This type of architecture tends to evolve over time to reflect the environmental culture and historical context in which it exists.  

We’ve enjoyed hosting tours, receptions and committee meetings of our office home. If you are in the neighborhood, make sure to pop in and say hello.

Kudos for Completing Continuing Education

Friday, November 18th, 2011

Kudos to the 61% of Athletic Trainers (ATs) with continuing education (CE) due the end of the year who have completed and submitted their CE before December 31st.  This is a significant increase to the percentage that completed CE at the same time last year. Way to go in staying on top of things! We know how busy you are. 

Also, 26% of ATs have taken care of paying the annual BOC recertification fee, which is due November 30, 2011. 

These numbers show the determination and pride that ATs have about their careers. Be Certain.™ to stay on target with your recertification goals.  Read more about the recertification information new for 2012 in the Certification Update, which will be in your mailbox early December.

Thankful for Professionals Outside Athletic Training

Monday, November 14th, 2011

November is a time for Americans to pause and reflect on all that we have been blessed with.  As an Athletic Trainer, one of the things that I am thankful for is people from other professions who promote the work of Athletic Trainers.

I am thankful for writers like Burgetta Eplin Wheeler who wrote an outstanding article on Athletic Trainer Aaron Minger and the work he does for Broughton High School in North Carolina.  This article may be the best description of the role of the Athletic Trainer at a high school that I have read.

I am thankful for State Legislators like Tim Briggs of Pennsylvania who worked to get my state to adopt a Youth Sports Safety Act (S.B. 200).  There are 30 states who have adopted these laws and many of these laws identify Athletic Trainers as health care providers who are well educated and skilled in concussion management.  Each of these states have a state legislator who has worked countless hours to protect athletes and promote the profession of athletic training.

I am thankful for mothers like Beth Mallon who founded Advocates for Injured Athletes (AIA).  At the forefront of this foundation is the push to get Athletic Trainers on the sidelines and in the lives of young athletes.  Many of you have probably seen this video on YouTube produced by AIA.

Finally, I am thankful for the hundreds of team physicians across the country who work side-by-side with Athletic Trainers.  These doctors are often resources and advocates for Athletic Trainers.  The doctors who work side-by -side with Athletic Trainers know our value and worth to the student athletes.  Many will lend their experiences to Athletic Trainers to fight for our cause to have an Athletic Trainer in every high school.

Written by: Paul LaDuke, MSS, ATC, CSCS

11 Ways to Market the BOC Credential

Friday, November 11th, 2011

You’ve worked hard to earn your credential, now show it off and promote the profession with others. In recognition of 11/11/2011, the BOC has eleven ways to help you market the BOC credential. You can Be Certain.™ that we are here to support you and answer your questions. We stand behind you and your ATC® credential.

1.) Publicize your status as an AT by sending a press release to your local newspaper. Visit the BOC website to see a sample. Please call (877) 262-3926 ext. 117 or email if you wish to request an official press release on BOC letterhead.

2.) Announce your accomplishment to friends, family and followers via Twitter and other social media. Be Certain.™ to connect with the BOC on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.

3.) Read and comment on the BOC blog.

4.) Purchase or download the Role Delineation Study/Practice Analysis, Sixth Edition.

5.) Learn about NCCA accreditation. The BOC is the only accredited AT certification program in the US. The BOC has been accredited by the NCCA since 1982 by demonstrating compliance with strict accreditation standards.

6.) Utilize NATA reference documents about the profession such as Tips for the New Secondary School Athletic Trainer.

7.) Purchase a plaque or graphically certificate with gold embossed BOC logo and seal of certification to proudly display your BOC certification by December 8th to get just in time for the holidays.

8.) Use proper terminology when talking about the profession with the public, such as using Certified Athletic Trainer instead of “Trainer” and Athletic Training Facility instead of Athletic Training Room. Also read about the proper treatment of degrees, licenses and credentials.

9.) Speak at a high school career fair and educate prospective students about the profession.

10.) Present to Parent Teacher Organizations, Booster Clubs etc. about the expertise ATs have in reducing risk and saving lives.

11.) Invite students to shadow you to experience a typical day in the life of an AT.

Being Thankful for Athletic Trainers

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

Athletic trainers (ATs) save lives. While ATs have extensive training in handling life-threatening injuries, thankfully not all injuries are catastrophic.  When a major injury occurs, they are often first on the scene, and it is their professional preparation and decisions that can prevent permanent damage.

ATs are medical professionals who are extensively trained to deal with the specific challenges that accompany working with teams or individuals. They are the first to administer medical care and to provide injury follow-up and recovery. ATs are called upon for everything from emergency triage to return-to-play evaluation. They identify the psychological challenges of being injured and communicate with the appropriate members of the sports medicine team about a care management plan that is in best interest of the patient.  ATs work with patients to prevent injury, but are available if an injury occurs to provide immediate care and follow up progression to safely return the patient to activity.  It is their training and decision-making that protects the public. ATs are committed to helping people and take pride in their work; however, the role of an AT is often misunderstood and they seldom receive the recognition that is due.

With Thanksgiving approaching, I think it’s important to remember to give thanks to an AT. Whether you are an patient, athlete, parent or fan, Be Certain.™ to give thanks to an AT for providing quality health care everyday.

Please share a story of how an AT supported you or someone you know.