Archive for July, 2013

Promoting Awareness for Athletic Trainers

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

The BOC is working to raise awareness of the work that Athletic Trainers (ATs) do every day to keep people healthy and active. An advertising campaign is just one way the BOC is helping increase the profession’s visibility.  Current ads highlight the role of the AT in keeping young athletes safe, particularly as youth sports grow increasingly demanding and competitive.

Visit the BOC’s website to order FREE advertisements for your use to promote awareness in your publications, place of employment and online. Current ads feature young athletes playing baseball and soccer. The BOC will be adding new designs periodically.

You’ve worked hard to earn your credential – now show it off and promote the profession with the Promoting Awareness artwork and utilize the Market Your Certification resources. Spread the word about the athletic training healthcare profession and how being an AT positively impacts the world.

You can Be Certain.™ that we are here to support you and answer your questions. We stand behind you and your ATC® credential.

Check out the Promoting Awareness ads and let us know what you think. Contact MelissaB@bocatc.org for the artwork to use in your own publications.

An In Depth Look with....Kate Mayhew, ATC

Friday, July 19th, 2013

An In Depth Look with…Kate Mayhew, ATC 

Describe your setting:

I am a physiotherapy consultant working for a non-governmental organization (NGO) in Afghanistan.  Through this NGO, I am working with the Physiotherapy Institute of Kabul and the Afghan Association of Physiotherapists to work on integrating sports medicine into the existing physiotherapy education.

How long have you worked in this setting?

So far, I have only been in this position for two months, but getting to this job has been years in the making.  I graduated from Bethel University not expecting to go into a traditional athletic training role.  A few years later, I found myself doing short-term development work in Afghanistan.  By the end of my first week in Afghanistan I was asked to work with the Olympic team, so my husband and I moved to Afghanistan in September 2012.  Before starting work, I completed a 6-month Persian language and cultural orientation course to prepare for my assignment.  Now I have started working on developing the curriculum, and soon I will also start with the women’s Olympic soccer team.

Describe your typical day:

In Afghanistan, there is no typical day.  But in general, I work on three main projects.  First, I write curriculum for the Physiotherapy Institute, working to integrate sports medicine into their 3-year general physiotherapy curriculum.  Sometimes I also substitute teach for classes at the Physiotherapy Institute, which is quite a challenge to teach undergraduate classes with my language skills.  Second, I develop and teach continuing education classes to physiotherapists throughout the country.  Lastly, I also will work with the women’s Olympic program, giving athletic training services and teaching graduates of the physiotherapy institute how to do this work.

What do you like about your position?

I love working in such an environment where my skills and expertise are really needed.  When I first came to Afghanistan, one of the most skilled physiotherapists in the country told me he was invited to the London 2012 Olympics to work with the athletes.  He told me that he didn’t know what he would do, since he had never worked with an athletic population, so he declined.  Right now there is no knowledge in sports medicine, but the level of sports participation and interest is rapidly growing.  I am so excited to see Afghan physiotherapists learn to connect their skills with the new athletic population.

What do you dislike about your position?

Things here move at a different speed than in the West since everything is so unpredictable.  Sometimes we have no power for days, sometimes the Internet goes out and sometimes we have security scares that leave us unable to leave our homes.  I would love to go at the same pace I could in the United States, but that is not possible here.  Things are just a bit slower and a bit more unpredictable.  But I am learning to make the best of whatever resources I might have at any given point in time.

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

I would tell a young Athletic Trainer to not be afraid to go to places with real need.  Sports can have such an impact in low-income areas or third world countries.  In Afghanistan, I’ve seen sports bring warring tribes together!  It is a tough job but it is so fulfilling.

I would also say to go for your dreams.  I knew I wasn’t made for a traditional athletic training role, and people had told me doing athletic training in the third world wasn’t quite practical.  But somehow a way was made!

The BOC Celebrates 24th Birthday

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

Twenty-four years ago this week, the Board of Certification (BOC) was born in North Carolina as an independent, non-profit organization.

It was actually a rebirth of sorts. The BOC had been certifying Athletic Trainers (ATs) since 1969 – but as an arm of the National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA). In 1989, the BOC was incorporated as a separate entity.

The new status enabled the BOC to form its own Board of Directors and concentrate on improving the quality of the BOC Exam and high standards for the profession. It is not typical that the membership association also acts as the certifying body for a profession, so it made sense that BOC separately incorporate and be its own entity for the future of Athletic Training certification.

“Over the last 24 years the BOC has made strides in Athletic Trainer (AT) certification through the Board’s vision and full time staff appointed and initiated in Omaha, NE in July of 1997. The number of BOC certified Athletic Trainers is at the all time high of 44,326 and rising. The BOC hosted its sixth State Regulatory Conference in July 2013 and so far 48 states recognize the BOC exam for licensure and regulation,” said BOC Assistant Executive Director Anne Minton.

Just like any 24-year-old, the BOC has grown and changed over the years. It also has celebrated some remarkable achievements that are central to its mission: “To provide exceptional credentialing programs for healthcare professionals to assure protection of the public.”

Here are just a few milestones:

The BOC’s greatest achievement in its 24 years, however, is the certification of 44,326 ATs. As a growing number of credentialed ATs enter the profession, the public stands only to benefit from improved access to and quality of athletic training services.

That’s what the BOC is all about – keeping the public safe and continuing to protecting the public for the next 24 years, and beyond.

Written By:
Melissa Breazile
MelissaB@bocatc.org

Congratulations to the 2013 Public Advocacy Award Recipients

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

Public Advocacy Award for Joni Jenkins accepted by Greg Rose, member of the Kentucky Athletic Trainers’ Society.

Recently, the BOC hosted the 2013 Athletic Trainer Regulatory Conference and convened a reception and awards ceremony for the Public Advocacy Award recipients. The Public Advocacy Award recognizes individuals demonstrating leadership in protecting athletic training consumers.  Public Advocacy Award recipients are leaders in the conception, construction and/or modification of Athletic Trainer (AT) regulation that protects the public.

Congratulations to the 2013 Public Advocacy Award recipients:

Joni Jenkins
Lisa Walker
Hawaii Athletic Trainers’ Association

Joni Jenkins, a representative to the Kentucky legislature, was nominated by the Kentucky Athletic Trainers’ Society (KATS). Her support of ATs and KATS started in 2009, as a result of the tragic heat-related death of a young man participating in football conditioning. The death occurred at a high school in her legislative district where no AT was present.

That same year, Rep. Jenkins introduced student-athlete safety legislation that resulted in mandatory safety training for all coaches. During the session, several members of KATS had an opportunity to meet with her and discuss the advantages of having an AT at the school where the tragedy occurred.  As a result of that meeting, she recognized the role that ATs could play in all aspects of student-athlete safety. She has since supported efforts to expand availability of athletic training services to all middle and high schools in the state.

Jenkins has successfully passed legislation mandating concussion care, while in the process recognizing ATs as one of the four groups of medical professionals who can evaluate a concussion. KATS’s most recent legislative victory was again led by Jenkins. She sponsored a bill that requires ATs to be licensed by the state, rather than certified. Greg Rose, ATC, a member of KATS accepted the award on behalf of Jenkins.

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Lisa Walker accepts her Public Advocacy Award.

Lisa Walker is an AT from Utah who was nominated by Valerie Herzog, vice president of the Utah Athletic Trainers’ Association (UATA). Walker has worked tirelessly for many years on behalf of the state of Utah.

When Herzog arrived in Utah in 2004, Walker was serving as UATA president and aggressively pursuing licensure for ATs. With support from others, Walker had been working on this initiative for several years, meeting with legislators to build support, finding a bill sponsor and creating a promotional video. The licensure law passed in February of 2006 and is a strong piece of legislation that significantly benefits the ATs in Utah.

After completing her second term as UATA President, Walker served as president of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Trainers’ Association (District 7) and now serves as a member at large on the UATA Board of Directors. In 2011, she was instrumental in the passage of concussion legislation in Utah, working closely with the Utah High School Activities Association. She has served as the AT representative with that organization for several years. After the concussion legislation was passed, she organized and ran several sessions around the state of Utah to educate ATs on the new requirements and their implementation.

In 2012, she was instrumental in introducing another bill in Utah, Insurance Billing for ATs (HB 242). The bill did not pass, as was expected, but Walker spent countless hours meeting with UATA’s lobbyist, ATs in Utah, legislators and insurance executives. These discussions led to formal negotiations and eventual billing agreements with multiple insurance companies in Utah who have agreed to reimburse for services provided by ATs.

In 2013, she was instrumental in drafting and building support for another bill in Utah, H.B. 146 Health Care Provider Amendments.

“When we initially sought legislative support for third-party reimbursement for ATs in Utah in 2012, we realized that a law already existed in the Utah code that we had intended to introduce: nondiscrimination among healthcare professionals,” said Herzog. “However, we quickly realized that we had neglected to identify ATs in the licensure law as healthcare providers. This excluded us not just from the nondiscrimination law, but other laws that serve to protect athletic trainers and other healthcare providers, such as liability protections and protections against assault by others. To identify athletic trainers, officially, as healthcare providers, Lisa was able to build enough support to pass H.B. 146.”

Walker doesn’t work in a clinic, nor does she stand to personally benefit from third-party reimbursement. However, it doesn’t matter what the issue at hand is, if UATA decides to pursue legislation, Walker is always the first one to take the bull by the horns, build support and get things done. She has spent hundreds of hours at the Utah State Capitol testifying before committees, meeting with legislators, meeting with UATA’s lobbyist, organizing other ATs and doing whatever it takes to advocate for ATs in Utah.

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Louise Inafuku, the President of Hawaii Athletic Trainers’ Association (HATA), accepts the award on behalf of HATA.

Louise Inafuku, the President of Hawaii Athletic Trainers’ Association (HATA) accepted the award on behalf of HATA. Cindy Clivio, a member of HATA, nominated the association. Clivio said HATA is deserving due to the successful passages of ACT 198, which regulates the profession of athletic training, and an athlete safety bill that creates a concussion awareness program for high school student athletes, parents, coaches, officials, school staff and ATs.

Last year marked the end of a long and arduous pathway to regulation for ATs in Hawaii. ACT 198 is a registration bill that is equivalent to licensure in terms of public protection. For many years Hawaii was an “exemption” state. The exemption served HATA well, as the association had a small membership and most members were in traditional settings. As HATA grew, it began seeing the need for legislation that would provide for appropriate public protection. Through the generous support of NATA legislative grants, HATA was able to hire a lobbyist who was instrumental in helping the association move forward.

Meanwhile, HATA was asked to contribute to a concussion bill. Instead of letting others define this, HATA took ownership of it and created a bill that not only has all the components of most other states’ bills (removal from play, physician clearance, etc.), but also an educational program for all those associated with high school athletics. Annual education is required for coaches, parents, students, officials, ATs and school staff. The bill also says that students must be removed from play when exhibiting signs and symptoms of concussion, must be cleared by a medical provider trained in the management of concussions, and must be monitored by an AT, when available, during a gradual return to play. This bill sailed through the legislative process with no opposition.

 

College World Series: Meet the Athletic Trainer

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

During the College World Series, we talked with the Athletic Trainers (ATs) who traveled the Road to Omaha to keep their baseball teams healthy during the Series. In this edition, we talked with Carl Stocklin, who provides care for UCLA’s team.

Describe the athletic training team that was at the College World Series.

The medical services for the College World Series were provided by Creighton University. Medical Coordinator Curtis Self and the support staff did a superb job of hosting the series this year. I gained tremendous respect for Creighton’s sports medicine program from their professionalism and hospitality.

This was my first involvement with the event, and I was able to travel with all three of my undergraduate interns (Alan Hwang, Justin Oka and Alanna Salituro). Additionally, the Bruins traveled with sport psychologist Ken Ravizza and strength and conditioning coach Bobby Andrade.

Once you found out your team was in, how did you start preparing for the College World Series?

The preparation began with receiving information regarding services that would be provided at the College World Series, and the venue’s emergency action plan. Next, the travel party was established. Lastly, supplies were packed for the maximal duration of the trip. These included athletic training materials and items for the team’s fueling plan.

What were your days like during the College World Series?

The Bruins practiced daily at local fields when the team did not have a game. A practice at Boys Town, a non-profit child service agency, was inspirational for the children and the team. The Bruins also had several weight-lifting sessions during the trip, at Creighton University. The team was appreciative of the hospitality of head strength and conditioning coach, Dan Bailey, for making his facility available. The team also took part in a visit to the Children’s Hospital of Omaha.

What are the challenges of an Athletic Trainer (AT) during this event?

A challenge for an AT at the CWS is managing an athlete’s level of function after 60+ games. This involves athletes continuing their rehabilitation progression while on the road for an extended time. It is important for an AT to not let his/her approach be compromised in transition from regular season to post-season. In the post-season, an AT should not focus on extra effort, but continued discipline toward managing athletes’ cases.

What do you enjoy most about being an AT?

The aspect of the profession that I enjoy most is identifying and treating dysfunction. It is challenging to intervene for behavioral patterns that may have occurred improperly for years. Improvement of the athlete’s quality of life and performance is rewarding for an AT. The athletes under my care know that, ‘Dysfunction will not be ignored.’

An In Depth Look with....Larry Heck, ATC

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

An In Depth Look with… Larry Heck, ATC

Photos provided as courtesy by the WWE and are owned by the WWE.

Describe your setting:  I am currently one of two Athletic Trainers (ATs) for World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (WWE).  WWE is a family-friendly, global entertainment company that creates and delivers original content.  WWE programming is broadcast in more than 150 countries and 30 languages and reaches more than 650 million homes worldwide. Each week, WWE creates seven hours of original programming that is watched by approximately 14 million fans in the U.S.

WWE performs more than 320 shows per year in the U.S. and overseas.  WWE Superstars and Divas travel with a physician and AT that are present at every show.

Photos provided as courtesy by the WWE and are owned by the WWE.

How long have you worked in this setting?

This is my 12th year as an AT for WWE.  Prior to this, I was an Outreach Coordinator for HealthSouth in San Antonio, TX for 12 years.  Through HealthSouth I was AT for the San Antonio Dragons IHL Hockey team, San Antonio Texans of the Canadian Football League, World League of American football Amsterdam Admiral, San Antonio Iguanas CHL Hockey, and the San Antonio Tejano’s of the Texas-Louisiana Independent baseball league.  I think most of my life I have been traveling.

Describe your typical day:  Each day brings something new.  We are typically in a different city each day sometimes even a different country.  I arrive at the venue and follow signs to where my training room will be located.  Since we are a traveling show, I have to have everything in road cases.  So I unpack all my supplies, fill my hydrocollator, and set up our portable table.  We do all the normal taping that you would expect such as ankles, knees, wrist and elbows, along with any pregame treatments.  I am also a Fascial Stretch Therapist, so I tend to do more stretching with my talent.  Before the show starts, I will find the Paramedic Ambulance crew and go over the emergency route to the ring and where they will be for the show. During the show, I am in the training room getting the talent ready for the second half of the show.  I do have a radio with me in case of an injury in the ring I can meet my doctor and paramedics.  After the show, we finish treatments and pack up all the supplies into the road cases and drive on to the next city.

Photos provided as courtesy by the WWE and are owned by the WWE.

What do you like about your position?

Getting to travel and seeing the world.  One thing that stands out for me is getting the opportunity to go over to Bagdad, Iraq twice for shows for our men and women in the military.  Visiting with the soldiers and hearing their stories of how much it means to them for us to be over there was very rewarding. I also enjoy hearing the crowd at WrestleMania, which we call the grandest stage of all.  Hearing 85,000(sometimes more) people cheering, and knowing you had a part of keeping the talent healthy, means a lot to me.

What do you dislike about your position?

At times the travel does catch up to you. For example, each April and November we travel to  Europe for 11 days and we are in 11 different cities.  It’s hard sometimes to remember what city you are in and what day it is.  Working for a touring company also means being away from family and missing important things like birthdays, but at the end of the day, it’s very rewarding work.

What advice do you have about your practice setting for a young Athletic Trainer looking at this setting?   My advice to a young AT is to always try and better yourself, professionally or educationally. Never settle for average.  Also try and meet as many ATs as you can. The AT community is very small.  You never know when someone from your past will be able to help you or even give you free wrestling tickets.

Read more about Larry's career path in an article published on the The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register.