Archive for February, 2013

Victory: Athletic Trainer in AP Stylebook

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

After more than a decade of perseverance, the National Athletic Trainers’ Association is celebrating the inclusion of a specific definition of Athletic Trainers (ATs) in the Associated Press Stylebook – the definitive resource and gold standard for media when it comes to proper punctuation and general grammatical style and reference.

The entry will appear in the online version/sports guidelines section in the next few weeks and in the hard copy book in May. The definition has been approved by the AP Stylebook editors and will read as follows:

athletic trainers

Health care professionals who are licensed or otherwise regulated to work with athletes and physically active people to prevent, diagnose and treat injuries and other emergency, acute and chronic medical conditions including cardiac abnormalities and heat stroke. Specify where necessary to distinguish from personal trainers, who focus primarily on fitness.

Why is this a big deal? The AP Stylebook is the go-to reference for members of the media when they need to understand certain terminology.  Giving ATs an official definition in the stylebook heightens the profession’s credibility while expanding awareness of ATs as health care professionals.

Further, the NATA 2013 Board of Directors earlier this year revised and approved its own definition of ATs. Based upon the work of the NATA’s Nomenclature Work Group 2012, the definition is as follows:

Athletic Trainers (ATs) are health care professionals who collaborate with physicians. The services provided by ATs comprise prevention, emergency care, clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions.

These milestones serve to publicly recognize the hard work and professionalism of ATs. Those in the field are confident that these new definitions will change the landscape of the profession and how it is referenced.

For more information about the definition and athletic training, visit the BOC website.

Written By:

Melissa Breazile

An In Depth Look with an AT at the US Navy SMART Center Naval Hospital

Friday, February 22nd, 2013


Shoulder evaluation of Dustin Miller.

An In Depth Look with… Greg Marr, MS, LAT, ATC,  at the United States Navy, SMART Center Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

Describe your setting:  We are a satellite sports medicine clinic.  The treatment area is utilized as an athletic training (AT) facility similar to one at the collegiate or high school level from 5:30am until 7:00am.  Then from 8:00am until 10:00am, the room is utilized as an open bay physician setting, where the sports medicine physicians evaluate patients both new and for follow-up appointments.  Then from 1:00pm until 3:30pm we have afternoon rehabilitation.

How long have you worked in this setting?  Since June 2009

Describe your typical day:  The typical day begins for me by opening the training room for morning rehabilitation, where I may have on average between 20-25 patients per day.  The AT facility opens at 5:30am and my last patient is at 7:00am. The AT facility is then utilized beginning at approximately 8:00am for Warrior Call.

Bridging exercises with Ben Wilson.

This is where active duty Marines and Sailors see the physicians for either new patient appointments or follow-up appointments.  The staff Athletic Trainers (ATs) then perform initial intake on the patients and assist in physician extender duties.  These duties may include getting injections ready, printing off previous notes and reports from outside physician offices and rehabilitation facilities, showing patient exercises for home programs and fitting proper braces.  When Warrior Call is finished, this is the time to complete morning treatment notes.  We keep two types of notes: a paper chart and a chart in the computer system.  Also, three days of the week after the morning AT facility hours are finished, I go out to a Group Aid Station on base and have a schedule of 8-10 patients.  I complete an evaluation just as if an athlete would come into the AT facility for an injury evaluation.  I then make sure they are instructed on how to start rehabilitation and follow up with our sports medicine physicians.   I also take part in tracking injuries to help identify which commands have the greatest number of injuries each month.  This allows us to go out and speak with the leadership, just as you would speak to a coach on a team about injuries, and how to possibly reduce the rate and keep the Marines in the fight.

What do you like about your position?  The satisfaction of helping these warrior athletes get better and return to the field able to do their job.  One of my most memorable happenings was when a Marine returned from having shoulder surgery and thanked me for pushing him to complete his rehab program.  He stated that it was instrumental in having an accelerated recovery after surgery, which allowed him to deploy with his unit on time.

What do you dislike about your position?  The Marines or Sailors who expect to be healed with one treatment.  Patients not keeping their scheduled appointments and delaying treatment, thus delaying getting better.

What advice do you have about your practice setting for a young Athletic Trainer looking at this setting?  To be patient.  When applying for a job with the federal government, there is a process that you have to go through and it takes time.

Athletic Training: Why I Love My Job

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

It is Valentine’s Day, a day that you can reflect on what you love, and for Athletic Trainers it is the profession. Here is a repost from the blog "I Train Therefore I Eat" written by Stephanie d’Orsay, MS, LAT, ATC, CSCS.

I’m an Athletic Trainer.
Oh, so you’re a gym teacher? NO.
Oh, so you’re a personal trainer? NO
Oh, so you’re a strength coach? NO
Wait, so what do you do?

Believe it or not, this type of exchange actually happens a lot. It’s funny, because Athletic Trainers (ATs) are everywhere. Most high schools, colleges, semi-pro teams, Olympic teams, professional teams, and basically any organized athletic association has them. ATs work for corporations, for the military, as physician extenders, and in the performing arts (Yes, Cirque du Soleil employs ATs for the performers).

ATs are on TV all the time. Although they’re usually being called “trainers” by the talent at ESPN or your local news organization, so I don’t blame you if you don’t know who we are.

I work at a small Division III college in Boston, and along with my colleagues, am responsible for the medical care of our student athletes. We have a team physician who directly oversees us, but we are on the front lines. We evaluate, assess, and rehabilitate injuries. We provide preventative care in order to avoid injuries. We provide manual therapy, corrective exercises, and we utilize modalities when necessary. We participate in continuing education and utilize evidence-based practice based on current medical and scientific research.

We do all of this (and more), and we do it because we love it. There is so much more to athletic training than taping ankles and stretching hamstrings, although that is all that many people see us as. When people ask me why I got into Athletic Training, or what I love about it, I’m often at a loss for words. It can be difficult to explain why I love a profession that is so drastically overworked and underpaid (when compared to other medical professionals), but I thought today I would give it a shot. Let’s see if I can put into words why I do what I do. (and why I love it so gosh darn much)

1. My workday is NEVER the same. The human body is an amazing thing. The same injury on two different people could (and usually will) have two very different healing times and potential for complications. Even something as common as an ankle sprain is going to vary so much from person to person, depending on their physical limitations, structural integrity, movement patterns, etc. Along those same lines, a general return-to-play time after an ACL reconstruction is 6-9 months, but that doesn’t mean that everyone will fall into that timeline, or will do so in the same way. Case in point: last year, we had a week from Hell in which 3 athletes ruptured their ACL within a 7 day period. They all had surgery around the same time, but do you think they all returned to play at the same time, and at the same level? Not a chance. It’s that variation that keeps this job exciting, and always keeps us on our toes.

Even the smaller day-to-day activities of athletic training vary. New injuries happen every day, improvements in rehab status, new rehab progressions, etc. All of these keep each day different than the last, which leads to a job that is anything but boring.

2. We are always learning. If you are an AT who is not continuously learning, than you’re doing something wrong. And I’m not just talking about structured, organized Continuing Education programs; I’m talking about doing your best to stay on top of your game every day. To be successful as an AT you have to be hungry for knowledge, because the world of medicine and science changes on a daily basis, and there is research coming out continuously on just about every topic you can think of. True, it’s impossible to read every new research article that is published, but working your hardest to stay on top of new research that is relevant to your practice is imperative. As someone who can’t stand just staying still, I love this about this profession. We are always (hopefully) moving forward, becoming better every day.

3. Connecting with amazing people. I would be lying if I didn’t say that (a big) part of the reason I love my job is because of the connections I make with people. Working closely with student-athletes day in and day out helps me get to know them well, and helps me get to learn who they are beyond just a student-athlete. I have been in this profession for close to 8 years now, and have worked with hundreds of student athletes, many of whom I keep in touch with to this day.

4. We’re appreciated. No, we may not always feel appreciated, and sometimes AT’s feel downright ignored. But there are always those student athletes, coaches, and parents who go out of their way to tell us how much they appreciate us, and they make all the difference. I know it sounds cheesy, but it’s true. I got an email from a coach at my last job that I’ve kept to this day, and read it on those days when I just need a reminder that what I do is important. I’ve gotten cards, tweets, emails, and messages from athletes and coaches that have literally brought tears to my eyes.

5. We witness miracles. Ok, that’s a stretch, because most “miracles” we see come from hard work on the part of ATs, doctors, surgeons, PAs, and mostly from the athletes themselves. But some moments feel like miracles anyway.

Imagine watching an athlete go down on the court, and knowing instantly that she’s ruptured her ACL. Imagine sitting with her on the sideline, staying calm and comforting her as she cries, knowing that her season is over. Now imagine that same athlete, after you and she have worked incredibly hard day in and day out for months on end. Imagine watching her battle through the ups and downs of a post-operative rehab program, doing your best to keep her motivated and positive throughout the process. Her next season begins 9 months after her surgery. She not only plays the entire season, injury free, but she leads her team to a conference championship. It gives me chills just thinking about it now.

Those are the moments that make me love this profession. Those are the moments that keep me going, through the late nights, early mornings, and long days. Those are the moments that make it all worth it, and that keep me coming back for more. The world of athletic training is a crazy one. In this job, you never know what tomorrow will bring, or what type of injury will walk through the door next. This profession brings with it crazy highs and crazy lows, and everything in between. But at this point in my life, I can’t imagine doing anything else.

Read the complete blog with images here

Do you know any Athletic Trainers? Do you love what you do for work, and why?

Written by:

Stephanie Dorsay, MS, LAT, ATC, CSCS

Coordinating Medical Coverage for the U.S. Figure Skating Championships

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

“Oh, it shouldn’t be that involved of a process.”  These were the first words that I heard used to describe the charge of coordinating the medical coverage for the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, held in Omaha Nebraska January 19th-27th 2013, which I had just accepted.  However, as we looked not only at the U.S. Figure Skating requirements, but also combined with our own internal expectations that we have as an organization, it became very clear that there was a little more to this than it initially appeared.  So began what would be nine of the most enjoyable days of my professional career.

When all was said and done, 128 volunteers provided over 1,100 hours of medical staffing for the athletes, coaches and staffs participating in the championships.  Providers from seven healthcare professions, representing the Nebraska Medical Center, the University of Nebraska Medical Center Physicians, the UNMC College of Pharmacy, the UNMC College of Nursing, the UNO Athletic Training Education and other private providers came together as a team to accomplish one goal.  A term so often heard in healthcare education is “interdisciplinary,” and the medical room at this event was a perfect example of multiple disciplines working together to provide optimal outcomes for the patients that we were serving.  The following were the professions represented on our medical team:  Athletic Training, Family Medicine and Orthopaedic Surgery, Nursing, Nurse Practitioners, Physical Therapy and Pharmacy.

The athletic training staffing was provided by myself and a team of nine other BOC Certified Athletic Trainers (ATs) and 18 AT students who all volunteered their time to provide over 450 hours of AT staffing during the event.  Anytime an athlete was on the ice, whether it was practice, competition or the skating spectacular on the final day, an AT and a student were rink side ensuring that should something happen, proper medical care was available and could be provided.

From a professional standpoint, this event proved to be mutually beneficial and educational for all who were involved.  However, I think that it was extremely beneficial for some of the professions and professionals who are not used to working in an environment like an athletic training clinic, and alongside ATs, to see exactly what we do.  Two statements that really stuck out that were made by other professionals who had not spent a great deal of time in and around ATs or an athletic training clinic were “Wow, I didn’t realize exactly what Athletic Trainers did or how in depth their education and training obviously is,” and “It was apparent how much the physicians relied upon you in your role as an Athletic Trainer.”  These statements reinforced the professional pride not only in what we do, but the diversity of what we do and the level to which we are accustomed to doing it.  However, it also reinforced the fact that there is a great deal of education that remains to be done, and that embracing any opportunity that we have to share our expertise with others and allowing them to share theirs with us will be invaluable and essential as we continue to grow as a profession.

Personally, having never observed this caliber of figure skating in person, one thing that I was immediately impressed with was the lack of justice that television does for what these athletes are doing.  The speed, strength, control and athleticism that is seen up close is not visible or apparent through a television screen.  The pairs skating in particular required a large number of very technical (and what, at least to my untrained eye, appeared to be technically very dangerous) skills that really left me appreciating the words trust and teamwork.

The nine days went by very quickly and while the days were long, they were filled with experiences that I’ll never forget.  One thing that I reinforced to all of the students from all of the professions that were staffing the medical room: it is not every day that you get the chance to work with National Champions, World Champions and Olympic Medalists.  Never get so busy doing, whatever it is you are doing, that you forget to appreciate and make the most of the opportunities that you are afforded.

Written By:

Rusty McKune, MS, ATC

The BOC is proud to have Rusty serving as BOC Athletic Trainer Director - Elect on the BOC Board of Directors.

Every Body Needs an Athletic Trainer: NATM Coming Soon

Monday, February 11th, 2013

For Athletic Trainers, March will be an exciting month to promote and celebrate the athletic training profession. National Athletic Training Month (NATM) is organized by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association with this year’s theme being “Every Body Needs an Athletic Trainer.” It is important to promote the profession and the knowledge and skill of ATs on a daily and weekly basis, but the month of March provides the opportunity to really reach out to communities both in the general public and healthcare communities.

Last year, the BOC posted blogs with ideas on how to make the most of NATM.

Spreading #NATM on social media

Requesting a Proclamation for NATM

Create Displays to Promote NATM

6 Word Declaration: Shout It Out!

Put the AT Face with a Name at Sporting Events

Public Service Announcements for NATM

The Power of Gratitude During NATM

Use the 2013 NATA PR Toolkit. We would like to hear what you or your employer/organization is planning for National Athletic Training Month. Please share any photos and stories from your events.

Written By:

Brittney Ryba

Young Professional Brief

Friday, February 8th, 2013

These question(s) identify and address the interests, needs and concerns of young athletic training professionals. Young professional Mike Hopper, ATC, has teamed up with the experience of Danielle Kleber, ATC, to highlight some of the issues young professionals find themselves dealing with early in their careers.

How do you incorporate social media into your professional life and what tips do you have for protecting yourself on social media?

Social media – what a tangled web of professional and personal presence we weave!

When I worked at the high school, I always took a very conservative approach to social media.  I never allowed “friends” until a student-athlete graduated and I really wasn’t all that active on Facebook or Twitter from a personal standpoint.  The photos I shared were always appropriate and never showed me with a drink in hand or doing anything that could be misinterpreted.

I also never stored student-athletes’ phone numbers on my phone or texted them unless it was absolutely necessary.

Here are some tips you can consider when thinking about social media and protecting your professional image:

  • Your Facebook is set to private – so what?!?!  You would be surprised by the amount of information that ends up in Google searches, feeds, or in places you wouldn’t expect, even if your profile is set to private.
  • Know your employee handbook.  Most schools and companies have policies on social media, so make sure you know the rules.
  • Twitter and Facebook ARE NOT small, private networks and are in fact far and wide reaching venues of information that are immediate.  There is a reason it is referred to as viral.
  • Be careful uploading photos of injuries and absolutely don’t tag the person’s name in the photo! This can be a violation of patient privacy/confidentiality.
  • Don’t complain or whine about your employer, a client/patient/athlete, or make other immature comments about the people you interact with on a daily basis on social media forums.
  • If you are applying for jobs, clean up your social media accounts.  After your resume makes it to my “keep” pile, my next step is to check Facebook.  Many resumes have moved from my “keep” pile to my “no” pile after this step.

In my current position, it is a big part of what I do to promote our business and market our events through social media.   And, on the flip side, social media can be a powerful tool for young professionals.  You can set up Google Alerts to stay on top of hot topics or follow tweets or blogs of others with useful information.  When I worked at the high school setting, our scheduling system could text me anytime a change was made to a game or event.  That was huge in keeping me in the loop for game coverage.

Our motto in practice is always to error on the side of caution and it seems to me that would be a great way to approach social media.


Michael Hopper, ATC, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Health Management: Athletic Training Concentration from Southeast Missouri State University in 2010. He is a current graduate student through the University of South Florida working towards a Master’s Degree in Medical Sciences with a concentration in Athletic Training. Hopper has worked with athletes of all ages from youth sports all the way up to professional baseball and currently works for Monroe Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine in Waterloo, IL.



Danielle Kleber, ATC, attended the University of Nebraska at Kearney where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Fitness and Leisure Management with emphasis in Athletic Training and went on to complete her master’s coursework at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) in Fitness and Wellness Promotion. Her professional experience includes collegiate and high school experience and she has worked with athletes at all levels of competition. Currently she works at the Director of Operations at Athletes’ Training Center, a sports performance and physical therapy facility in Omaha, NE.



4 Ways to Develop Professionally

Monday, February 4th, 2013

Do you want to have a successful career instead of just having a job? Do you want to be taken seriously by your colleagues, supervisors, parents and athletes? To achieve these goals, you must look and act professionally as a healthcare expert in athletic training.

1.)    Continue to learn and improve your knowledge and skills. All ATs need to complete Continuing Education requirements by December 31, 2013. The BOC offers a FREE tool called the Professional Development Needs Assessment (PDNA) that can help you identify what areas you may need more knowledge and skills in to determine your continuing education needs.

2.)    Dress for Success. Are you dressed in a way that shows the profession in a good light?

3.)    Digital Professionalism. Social media participation is an essential tool in networking with professional contacts, making new contacts and keeping in touch with the world. Be Certain.™ you are representing yourself and the profession in a respectable manner both in person and online.

4.)    Market yourself, your certification and the profession. Some ideas to get you started:

  1. Order a plaque or graphically designed certificate with gold embossed BOC logo and seal of certification to proudly display your BOC certification.
  2. Publicize your status as an AT by sending a press release to your local newspaper. Please call (877) 262-3926 ext. 117 or email if you wish to request an official press release on BOC letterhead.
  3. Announce your accomplishment to friends, family and followers via Twitter and other social media.
  4. Purchase or download the Role Delineation Study/Practice Analysis, Sixth Edition.
  5. 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.

If you are a Young Professional working in a high school setting, you might find this Young Professional Brief to be helpful.

Written By:

Brittney Ryba

An In Depth Look with...David App, MS, LAT, ATC, CES

Friday, February 1st, 2013

An In Depth Look with David App, MS, LAT, ATC, CES

Describe your setting:

I work in a 3A high school as the Athletic Trainer and Assistant Athletic Director.

Describe your typical day:

My typical day involves Assistant Athletic Director duties.  I am in charge of checking daily attendance to make sure our athletes arrive to school on time, or have the proper medical excuse if they arrive late.  I also am in charge of eligibility for grades.  Each week, usually on Wednesday, I get grade reports of athletes who are failing a class for the week.  I notify the coaches and athletes of the grades. A student has until Friday to bring their grade up to passing.  If not, they become ineligible for the following week. The second part of my day is your typical day of a high school athletic trainer, which include getting water out to fields, rehab, taping, and treatments of the athletes, and event coverage.  As the Assistant Athletic Director I have a little extra responsibility in making sure events are running smoothly or dealing with parent complaints, setting fields or gyms up for an event, and making sure the game officials and game staff get their pay slips signed.

What do you like about your position?

There are two things that I like most about my job.  First, every day is a new day.  We all know in athletic training each injury we see and each rehab we do is different from each other.  It keeps you on your toes.  My day is never the same, and therefore never mundane.  The second thing I like most is that I am not stuck behind a desk all day punching numbers.  Where I work is constantly changing.  One day I’m out on the football field, the next it’s watching a soccer game and then moving to a volleyball match.

What do you not like about your position?

Having duties of an athletic director I’ve gotten to see an uglier side of sports.  Listening and hearing parents blaming coaches and everyone under the sun as to why their kid isn’t playing or their kid is failing is not my idea of a good day.

What advice do you have about your practice setting for a young Athletic Trainer looking at this setting?

Athletic training can be a very rewarding career.  Being able to be part of an athlete overcome obstacles and setbacks, such as a severe injury, is extremely gratifying.  This career will be forever moving forward, making you better yourself daily in staying on top of the newest techniques and education.