Archive for October, 2013

Reflection on "Coach Makes the Call"

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

The article published in the Chronicle of Higher Education on September 2, 2013, titled “Coach Makes the Call” brought the profession of athletic training into a new light.  The story examined whether Athletic Trainers (ATs) experience pressure from coaches to return injured athletes to play too soon.

The day this article was published, social medial took hold and it spread like wildfire.  However, now the fire has been lit, it is time to take action and work to solve for a solution. What is this solution?

This article should make every single AT take a moment, step back, reflect and ask a few questions regarding their current position, employer and reporting structure – regardless if one works in a collegiate setting or not.  These questions may include:

1.)    What is my job description? Does it fit within my scope of practice?

2.)    What is my reporting structure, and why?

3.)    Do I report to someone who has the knowledge to evaluate my skill, knowledge and performance within sports medicine?

4.)    Is my job reliant on the success of the team(s) I work with?

5.)    How is my performance evaluated?

6.)    Do those I work with (coaches, co-workers, athletes, etc.) truly understand my knowledge and skillset?

Recognizing the answers to the above may be unsettling to some, but realizing the facts will better equip ATs to work towards a healthy working environment for not only the provider, but the athletes as well.  Remember, this topic is now in the public eye.  The fire has been lit; it is time to take action and work to solve for a solution. The question still remains: What is this solution?

Written By:
Jenna Street, MS, ATC

An In Depth Look with… Ireliam "Cookie" Guadalupe, ATC

Friday, October 18th, 2013

Describe your setting:

Working on the movie set of 42 was unlike any other experience I’ve had in athletic training.  Since it was a historical movie it was almost like being in the Twilight Zone. I reported to work, and we had zapped back in time to 1947.  It was very exciting to be on set and watch how a movie is made.

How long have you worked in this setting?

Working on the set of 42 was a great opportunity passed along to me by a former graduate school professor at Georgia State University.  The original plan was for me to work during the three weeks of “training camp,” when the extras and actors got into baseball shape and practiced scenes.  The three weeks turned into three months when I was asked to join the crew for the filming of the entire movie.  Filming started in Birmingham, Alabama, where the Negro league scenes were filmed at the historic Rickwood Field.  We then moved onto Chattanooga, where the bulk of the baseball scenes were filmed, and finished up in Macon and Atlanta.

Describe your typical day:

A typical day working on the film started with an early wakeup call around 5:30-6:00am.  Shuttles and vans took cast and crew members to set, where we all reported in and went to breakfast.  Filming typically started around 7:30-8:00am. Before then we met as a medical staff, which consisted of our medical coordinator, myself and a couple of EMTs.  We were split into Unit 1 (dialogue/non-baseball scenes) and Unit 2 (a.k.a., “baseball unit,” for baseball scenes).  Due to my credentials and sports medicine background, my priority and responsibilities were with the baseball unit.  I led the baseball unit through warm-ups and stretches, evaluated and provided treatment for injuries, and was the liaison for services such as chiropractic work and massage therapy.  At about noon we would break for lunch and resume work until sundown.  The days were long but very enjoyable.  We were able to interact with cast and crew members and develop friendships over the three month period.

What do you like about your position?

Being behind the scenes and really experiencing how a movie is made was a really cool experience.  What made it even more special was that it was an important piece of American history being told.  Jackie Robinson endured the pressures and courageously challenged the deep-rooted customs of racial segregation.  By wearing that #42 Dodgers jersey, he broke the color barrier and pioneered integration not only in baseball but in all professional sports in America.

What do you dislike about your position?

Honestly, this will always be one of the most memorable experiences of my career!  The only negative aspect I can think of is that Athletic Trainers (ATs) have not been exposed to the film industry.  I would love for ATs to read this and be motivated to seek out opportunities in the film industry.

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

The film industry utilizes unionized workers.  Each state or region has its own governing bodies, or local unions  For example, Georgia’s film production local is called IASTE 479.  If you follow this link,, it is a page that lists production locals by state (i.e. Florida is IATSE 477).  If you click on a specific state, it will take you to that respective state’s “official website of professional film workers.” By navigating to each website you can find application information and the contact page.

As of now, the medical aspect of the film industry is heavily populated by EMTs.  They have a tight grip on the industry; however, I believe ATs should make a push and become more involved.  This can include movies, TV shows, concerts, etc.

Athletic training has opened up so many doors and opportunities for me. I hope this encourages ATs to look outside the box and pursue a variety of settings to gain extraordinary experiences.

Editor’s note:  After her experience working on the movie set of 42, Cookie landed another full-time job, and she is the director of sports medicine at Ave Maria University, near Naples, Fla. Learn more about Cookie Guadalupe and her experience in an article from The

ETHICS IN ACTION: Moral Courage - Do You Have It?

Monday, October 14th, 2013

The BOC is beginning a monthly blog series called Ethics in Action, led by Kim Peer, EdD, AT, FNATA. Ethics is defined as “what is right…what is good.”  From Kidder’s perspective in Moral Courage (2003), it involves three elements:  values, moral reasoning/ethical decision making and moral courage.  Our values are personal, professional and organizational.  Personal and professional values impart exclusiveness, affect professional behaviors, activate during decision-making and stand as the mark of professional excellence (Weiss, 2002).  Moral reasoning and ethical decision making considers alternatives in the discovery process.  It requires that the decision maker consider facts in light of important values. Lastly, moral courage is comprises those traits that enable you to stand strong in your decisions and behave in a consistent, predictable manner.  Moral courage considers:

Using Kidder’s model, consider the following case:

An athlete with a concussion is the starting shortstop for a baseball team.  The concussion is mild yet is still causing considerable headache.  A major game is pending and the parents are pushing to allow the athlete to play.  Their neighbor, a cardiologist, says he will sign off for him to play.

  1. Is it appropriate for a cardiologist to sign off on an athlete for return to play (RTP) in concussion protocols?
  2. Is it your role to discuss the perceived limitations of having a cardiologist sign off on a concussion release – after all, a cardiologist is a physician with advanced training?
  3. Would it be different if the physician were a chiropractor?  OB/GYN?  Dermatologist?
  4. What are the values that are present in this case?  Are they personal values or professional values?
  5. What are the risks/personal loss issues associated with addressing your thoughts about a cardiologist’s training relative to RTP for concussion management?
  6. What are the public exposure and/or reputation risks associated with refusing to or allowing a cardiologist to clear a concussion case?
  7. What role did the fact that the cardiologist is a neighbor play in your decision?  Why would this be a factor?

Dr. Peer is the Athletic Training Education Program Coordinator and Associate Professor at Kent State University.  She serves on the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education Ethics Committee and the NATA Ethics Education Project Team.  She is a BOC volunteer and recently completed terms as the Chair of the BOC Standards Committee and as the OATA Past President. 

She served on the NATA Research and Education Foundation's Research Committee, is the associate editor for the Athletic Training Education Journal and is on the editorial board for the Journal of Athletic Training.   Learn more about Dr. Peer.

National Customer Service Week

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

National Customer Service Week is October 7 – 13, 2013. BOC staff takes pride in providing a high level of customer service. We are available via phone and email, and inquiries can also be sent through BOC Central. The BOC website offers CE resources and other athletic training resources as well.

The BOC has a goal to call all ATs (excluding new ATs certified in 2012 and 2013) to educate them about the recent recertification changes.  Since March 2012, BOC staff members have called 25,000+ ATs to update them on the status of their recertification progress and review the recertification changes. Information provided includes the current reporting period and required number of CEUs, instruction in using CE203 and AT203 Continuing Education Forms in BOC Central, and 2012 and 2013 Recertification Fee payment updates.  BOC staff also follows up with an email that provides information and resources for ATs to complete their recertification by December 31, 2013.

How do you provide great service to your students and patients every day?

An In Depth Look with…Elaine Winslow-Redmond MS, ATC, EMT-b, CKTP, ART

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

An In Depth Look with… Elaine Winslow-Redmond MS, ATC, EMT-b, CKTP, ART

Describe your setting:

The stage is our playing field and the Rockettes are our athletes.

We have a new state-of-the-art facility designed by Collins Sports Medicine.  We are fully equipped with a full gym, sprung dance floor and ample space for rehabilitation.

All rehearsals and shows are staffed by Athletic Trainers (ATs) the same way you would staff traditional sports practices and games. I currently have five ATs in New York and two additional ATs who tour with our Rockette shows across the country.

Prevention is paramount.  The majority of the Rockettes’ injuries are caused from repetitive stress or overuse.  As a result, we are able to significantly reduce injury and overall cost of medical care.

The intensity of the Rockettes’ schedule surpasses that of most professional athletic teams, and the nature of the work is no less physically challenging.  The athletic ability required to perform 200 eye-high kicks up to four times daily is tremendous.

The athletic training profession is perfectly suited to handle the challenges this group of performers face.

How long have you worked in this setting?

I have been the Head AT for 10 years.

Describe your typical day:

Typically we begin at 9:00 or 9:30 a.m., one hour prior to rehearsals or shows.

  • Pre-show: Performers come into the athletic training facility for prevention which usually includes taping, moist heat and active warm-up on the cardio equipment.
  • Half-hour call (30 minutes prior to show start): We document all morning treatments.
  • Show time: The AT reports to stage right with a walkie talkie (used for communication with stage management if an injury occurs).
  • During the show: The AT is strategically positioned backstage in order to avoid being injured themselves by moving props and scenery but also to allow the AT to provide water for the performers as they exit the stage and proceed to their next costume quick change.
  • Post-show: We return to the athletic training facility to provide between-show treatment, including cold whirlpools, modalities, assessments and rehabilitation.

We repeat this entire process anywhere from 2-4 times in one day.

What do you like about your position?

Radio City Music Hall is a very exciting place to be.  The theater is truly the showplace of the nation, and the Rockettes are New York icons.  I am so proud to be a part of this rich history and honored to be caring for these performing athletes.  They are extremely appreciative of the care they receive and are proactive about injury prevention.  This makes the athletic training position truly rewarding.

What do you dislike about your position?

As the AT for this elite group of athletes and as a former Rockette myself, I understand what it takes for these performers to get and keep this job. It is heartbreaking to see a performer suffer a career-ending injury.

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

This setting is very tough to get into.  Often, it requires creating a position that does not exist.  It requires a tremendous amount of work and dedication, and you must be prepared for many disappointments along the way. It is no different than the performers themselves, who may have had multiple rejections before they became successful.

There is tremendous room for growth.  I believe we are still on the forefront of a breakthrough in this community.  The athletic training profession has an incredible opportunity to bring prevention to these performing athletes.  It is about believing in the profession and moving it forward through education and perseverance.

October Health Literacy Month: Effective Communication

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

Is it a fracture or a break?  Athletic training students and BOC Certified Athletic Trainers (ATs) have all heard our patients ask similar diagnostic interpretation questions so much so that “is it a fracture or a break?” has become an inside joke among those in our profession.  The ability to effectively communicate to patients is a skill - translating medical knowledge into a language that is easily understood by our patients.  Similarly, as members of the interprofessional healthcare team, this skill includes the ability to seamlessly transition to using effective and appropriate medical terminology when communicating medical information to other professionals.

Effective communication is not a new concept and is frequently reviewed in athletic training courses.  While this concept is widely understood, I continue to hear athletic training students and ATs inappropriately communicating to both patients and other members of the interprofessional team.   Directing a patient to “lay prone on the table” may not be understood. What is “prone” to that population?

However, informal language – like, “Their knee really swelled up right after they were injured” – may not be appropriate when speaking to a physician.  You are showcasing the athletic training profession.  Be proud of what you know, and represent your profession well by speaking appropriately to your audience.  For example, saying, “The patient presented with moderate knee joint effusion immediately following their acute injury.” demonstrates language another healthcare provider can understand, and it certainly showcases the knowledge and professionalism involved in athletic training!  Do it EVERY time.

October is Health Literacy Month and a time for organizations and individuals to promote the importance of audience-specific health information.   As a profession, let’s use this month as a challenge to elevate our clinical practice by making a conscious effort to appropriately communicate at ALL times to our various audiences

Step 1: Actively engage in continued learning related to health literacy.  A great place to investigate best practices for effective communication is through the numerous podcasts found at

Step 2: Continue the conversation on Twitter by following @HealthLitMonth and in your own practice settings, where we can share ideas and experiences related to health literacy.  Sometimes it takes more time, can be frustrating and requires critical thought, but ultimately, appropriate communication is one of the few things we as ATs have complete control over.

Be proud, be accurate and be aware that you are the voice of this profession.

Information on the author:

Kristin Tivener, ATC, is an Instructor in the Department of Sports Medicine and Athletic Training at Missouri State University.  She may be reached at


BOC Blogaversary: Top 13 Blogs in 2013

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

This week marks the third anniversary of the BOC blog. Thank you to our volunteer bloggers for their contributions and readers for your comments, support and ideas for new blogs. We want to share the most popular blogs from the past year. If you enjoy making a difference to the athletic training profession through writing, photography and sharing your ideas, join the BOC blog team today by emailing

AAN Releases New Guidelines for Managing Concussions posted September 4th.

NPI Numbers Essential for All Healthcare Providers posted August 28th.

Promoting Awareness for Athletic Trainers posted July 30th.

An In Depth Look with….Larry Heck, ATC posted July 3rd.

College World Series: Meet the Athletic Trainer posted June 20th.

Happy Mother’s Day posted May 12th.

Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and the Athletic Trainer posted April 18th.

National Athletic Training Month Challenge posted March 5th.

Victory: Athletic Trainer in AP Stylebook posted February 27th.

An In Depth Look with an AT at the US Navy SMART Center Naval Hospital posted February 22nd.

Athletic Training: Why I Love My Job posted February 14th.

Every Body Needs an Athletic Trainer: NATM Coming Soon posted February 11th.

Athletic Trainers Fight MRSA posted January 30th.