Archive for June, 2014

Ethics In Action: Going the Extra Mile – At What Cost?

Monday, June 30th, 2014

By Kimberly S. Peer, EdD, ATC, FNATA

Athletic Trainers (ATs) are challenged by contractual constraints in some settings.  Although they would like to provide care to all athletes in all sports, clearly coverage is prioritized to meet the needs of the contract rather than the needs of the athletes necessarily.  As a profession, we are striving to improve work-life balance and salaries.  We have initiatives in place to emphasize the need for ATs in high schools across the country.  Yet in most school districts, funds are limited and contracted services for athletic training is the best they can do.  Consider this current state in the profession against the case below.

As an AT at a local high school, you are asked to create a strength training plan for the football team.  You are hired part-time (1,000 hours/year) and you are responsible primarily for football, soccer, basketball, baseball and softball.  When the basketball coach asks you to help him set up a strength training plan for his athletes in the winter, you disclose that you “don’t have time left in your contract to do this for his team” without using up spring hours that you are assigned.   Is this ethical?

1. Should you, as an AT, provide equitable services (for the sake of fairness and justice) to all athletes?

2. Is it better for the profession to simply not contract for limited services to emphasize the need for full-time athletic training coverage?

3. Does part-time coverage really provide equitable access to all athletes?

4. How do you in this case try to balance the willingness to help the athletes and coaches without compromising your own time?  How do you do this without perpetuating the old adage of “giving our services away for free”?

Dr. Peer is an Associate Professor at Kent State University. She holds a Doctorate in Higher Education Administration with a Cognate in Health Care Management. Kimberly was recently appointed as the editor-in-chief for the Athletic Training Education Journal and serves on the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education Ethics Committee as well as the NATA Committee on Professional Ethics. Her national contributions include service to the BOC, NATA, JAT and REF in multiple capacities. Her statewide service includes the Governor’s appointment to the Ohio licensure board and over 12 years of service to the OATA.

Self-Evaluation Time: Are You a Safety Role Model?

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

Warning sign

By Beth Wolfe

Athletic Trainers are stewards of safety in many facets.  From protecting our patients from potential harm to educating and providing care to the community, safety promotion is deeply rooted within our scope of practice.  National Safety Month is upon us and it is time to do a quick self-evaluation: are you a safety role model?  As an AT, are you embodying and exemplifying the practices that you preach/teach or are you the exemption to the rule?

The topics for this year’s National Safety Month are: prevention of prescription drug abuse, stopping slips/trips/falls, being aware of your surroundings, putting an end to distracted driving and promoting summer safety.  These topics do relate to the daily tasks and job settings of Athletic Trainers. Here is another quick self-evaluation:

- Are all medications kept behind at least two locked doors?  Is a patient exhibiting behaviors that might suggest prescription drug abuse or misuse?

- Is your athletic training facility compliant with the BOC Facility Principles to help prevent patients from slipping, tripping and falling?

- Be a sponge to your environment and take notice of any suspicious persons, someone who may be in distress or if inclement weather may be approaching.  Are you a tunnel vision AT in need of being more observant?

- ATs are attached to cell phones, walkie-talkies and other forms of technology that ARE distractions while driving ANY vehicle.  Are you multitasking behind the wheel (ATV, Gator, Golf cart, van, etc.)?  What are your state laws about distracted driving or using an electronic device while operating a motor vehicle?

Pre-season will be here before you know it. Are you prepared to put on your sunscreen every day, wear your sunglasses and hat, and stay just as hydrated and fed as your patients?

Behavior change and safety compliance from your patients can be difficult to achieve; at times it can be a constant uphill battle.  However, hypocrisy and setting double standards are destructive in promoting change.  Our patients are very observant, and in some cases idolize their Athletic Trainer. Are your actions, behaviors and habits worth replicating?

Arving Devalia, an Amazon best-selling author, says that you must “help yourself before helping the world.”  For a healthcare provider, this quote is a friendly reminder that it is OK to be a little selfish with your time or daily priorities to ensure you are setting a good example, protecting yourself and, most importantly, placing yourself in a better position to help others.

Where will you start?  What safety habits do you need to break or change?  Not sure?  Here is a blog by Nozomi Morgan that gives some small, practical ways to motivate and guide your National Safety Month endeavors.

CWS: Meet a Texas Tech AT

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014
Texas Tech - Andy Reyes and Bryan Simpson

Graduate Assistant Andy Reyes, left, and Athletic Trainer Bryan Simpson of Texas Tech provided care for their team during the College World Series.

During the College World Series, we are talking 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 Bryan Simpson, MAT, ATC, LAT, of Texas Tech University.

Describe the athletic training team that is at the CWS.
Our sports medicine staff for the College World Series includes one of my graduate assistants, Andy Reyes, our team physician, Michael Phy, D.O., and myself, Bryan Simpson.

Throughout the year, I was assisted by another graduate assistant, Iain Mistrot, who is currently working with the San Francisco 49ers, and undergraduate student assistant Lyle Danley, who went to begin graduate school at Texas A&M.

Once you found out your team was in, how did you start preparing for the CWS?
We did everything the way we’ve been doing it all year. We stuck with the same routines. You can’t change anything at this point.

What will your days be like during the College World Series?
Hectic. We do our best to take care of each athlete. Thankfully, we do have some off days, but at this point in the season, the athletes are tired and some need more attention than in past weeks.

What are the challenges of an AT during this event?
For me, it’s new. We’ve never been here before and we plan to be here a while. We will have to figure out where to go for special needs. Curtis Self and his staff have been integral in pointing me in the right direction.

What do you enjoy most about being an AT?
Helping serve athletes and being able to be a part of a team. I really enjoy the competitive nature of baseball at this level. It pushes me to become a better Athletic Trainer, so I can better serve my athletes.

Are You Protecting Your Skin While You’re at Work?

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

By Mike Hopper

June is “Men’s Health Month.” As Athletic Trainers, many (all) of us are aware of many different health issues, but how often do we think about our own health? In recognition of “Men’s Health Month,” I encourage each of us to take the opportunity to think about some of those things that maybe we neglect each day.

Summer sun

For us guys, we should probably consider prostate exams when the time comes, colorectal cancer and heart disease. But those are things that often come later in life and are often related to family history. Are they important? ABSOLUTELY. But let’s also consider something we can prevent and we can play a role in reducing. Let’s think about skin cancer, melanoma and the sort.

Let’s be honest with ourselves here for a second. How many of us take appropriate precautions when it comes to the sun? Do you wear sunscreen every time you go outside? Hit the swimming pool? Play golf? Possibly more important—when you go outside for a sporting event at work? I think many of us are probably guilty more than once of not using sunscreen at work. Maybe when we go to the pool or go out to the golf course, we are prepared for that. But I’m going to guess we spend many more hours in a baseball/softball dugout or on the football practice field. Do you apply sunscreen for that? Do you have sunscreen with you to re-apply?

So while you think about health issues – and make sure you do take care of yourselves – let’s also consider the sun and the damage it can do to our bodies.

Announcing the BOC's 25th Anniversary Microsite!

Friday, June 20th, 2014

25 years of certainty for the Athletic Trainer

Today we are thrilled to announce our new 25th Anniversary Microsite, featuring photos and stories from the many amazing people who helped make the BOC what it is today.

Take a look at pictures from BOC events and NATA conventions over the years, and read first-hand accounts from fellow ATs of memorable moments in athletic training and exam-taking. You can even submit your own on the site!

Other highlights? Check out an infographic that shows the BOC then and now, a timeline with achievements and milestones, and a record of BOC honorees.

Visit the site today and be part of BOC history!

CWS: Meet the Ole Miss AT

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014
Dr. Kurre Luber and AT Josh Porter

Athletic Trainer Josh Porter, right, stands with team physician Dr. Kurre Luber

During the College World Series, we are talking 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 Josh Porter of Ole Miss.

Describe the athletic training team that is at the CWS.
The sports medicine team that Ole Miss has brought to the College World Series consists of practicum student Kevin Wells, team doctors Daniel Boyd and Kurre Luber, and myself.

Once you found out your team was in, how did you start preparing for the CWS?
The first thing I did was to look at the weather forecast.  Our super-regional was in Louisiana, where it was hot and humid.  I wanted to make sure we made the proper arrangements for our team to hydrate.  From there, I checked the kit and equipment to make sure we were stocked and ready to go.  It was a quick turnaround, so I wanted to make sure that everything was in order.

What will your days be like during the College World Series?
The days will consist of a round of morning treatments for any guys who need it and then another round of pre-practice or game treatments.  With the down time, I plan on taking my family to the zoo that is here and taking in all the sites.

What are the challenges of an AT during this event?
I think that the NCAA and the CWS staff make everything very easy on the Athletic Trainers during this event.  They have been doing this for so long and have covered every situation that could possibly occur.  I guess the biggest challenge is hoping that you don’t have anything that is new to everyone.

What do you enjoy most about being an AT?
The athletes I work with.  They are a great group of gentlemen.  I enjoy their work ethic and when injuries do occur, watching their desire to get better and get back on the field.

CWS: Meet the Louisville ATs

Monday, June 16th, 2014
Louisville sports medicine team

From left: Ian Crossett, Dr. Paul McKee and Pat Hassell

During the College World Series, we are talking 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 Pat Hassell of the University of Louisville.

Describe the athletic training team that is at the CWS.
I am the Associate Director of Sports Medicine at University of Louisville. This is my fifth season working at University of Louisville and my third trip to the CWS, once with Clemson in 2006, with Florida in 2012 and this year.

We've brought our certified intern AT, Ian Crossett. Ian comes to us from Utah and is only with us this year, as he is moving on to grad school at the University of Kentucky this fall.

We've also brought our team physician, Dr. Paul McKee. Dr. McKee has been with us since the 2010 season.

Once you found out your team was in, how did you start preparing for the CWS?
Sticky notes, lots of sticky notes … Within a few hours of the last pitch of the super-regional, I can't tell you how many reminders I had on my desk full of things that I wanted to make sure we got packed or taken care of before leaving.

What will your days be like during the College World Series?
Not too different from other road trips. Treatments, rehabs and trying to fit in a few quick runs through the city. Depending on the day, we also have a few team obligations to take care of.

What are the challenges of an AT during this event?
You try to treat a trip to the CWS like any other road trip, but if you win a few games in Omaha you can be out here for almost two full weeks. Factoring in multiple potential games and practices, we can run through our supplies in a hurry. Thankfully, Curtis Self from Creighton and his staff of volunteers do such a great job of hosting us and making sure that we have everything we need while we're out here.

What do you enjoy most about being an AT?
There's no doubt that I get a lot of satisfaction from seeing a guy who has come off of an injury who goes on to have success in big time situations. But ultimately, it's their hard work and dedication that gets them there. I just try to point them in the right direction.

Share your story on the BOC 25th anniversary microsite

Friday, June 13th, 2014

25 years of certainty for the Athletic Trainer

The BOC’s birthday is next month, and as an Athletic Trainer, you’re invited to help us celebrate!

Join fellow ATs in sharing your favorite stories, memories and photos from the time you were a candidate studying for the exam up until present day. These tidbits will be shared on a special anniversary microsite that launches June 20th.

Need some inspiration? ATs have already shared memories that range from touching to inspiring and from hilarious to cringe-worthy. Here are a few topics that have come in so far:

- A day in the life of an exam model
- Tribute to a friend and leader
- Exam-day blues
- Creative uses for paper towel rolls

Have something to add? Share your story via the BOC website – and help celebrate 25 years of certainty!

BOC Board Member Feature: Frank Walters

Friday, June 6th, 2014

Frank WaltersThe BOC is pleased to celebrate its silver anniversary, or ‘25 Years of Certainty’ for the Athletic Trainer (AT), in 2014. We are featuring BOC Athletic Trainer Director, Frank Walters, PhD, LAT, ATC, who serves as Vice President on the BOC board and also is the Director of the Sports Medicine and Wellness Programs at Broward Health Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

How did you become interested in athletic training?
Between my freshman and sophomore year at Brooklyn College I sustained an ankle injury and my girlfriend (now my wife Anne-Marie) suggested that I go see the AT.  That individual was Bill Chisolm.  I went to see him and the rest, as they say, is history.

How did you find out about the BOC?
I found out about the BOC as a part of my pursuit of certification.  However, more specifically, my involvement with the BOC as a volunteer was gradual over an extended period of time.  My early BOC activities were initially limited to serving as an oral/practical model and examiner.  I have always been very active within the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) throughout my career.  As many of my committee assignments and activities came to an end, around 2006, I took time off to attend to some purely personal matters, and after two years away from any active involvement in either association or BOC activities I decided to pursue becoming a BOC board member.

Why did you become an AT?
I became an AT because helping athletes/people was rewarding to me.  Athletic training gave a purpose to my college education, and it also added meaning to what I was doing.  I was also very highly influenced by my mentor Bill Chisolm.  I continue to enjoy helping people, but my focus appears to have shifted to helping the AT.  As an athletic training / healthcare / hospital administrator, I feel that helping young men and women who are entering the profession to gain early positive work experiences is very rewarding to me.  Although I am not involved in day-to-day patient care, I live and work vicariously through each of the Athletic Trainers who work with me here at Broward Health as well as the members of the District of Columbia Public Schools Athletic Health Care Services.  I believe that I have played a role in the care they provide to their patients, and that in the end is satisfying to me.  It’s not the same as actual day-to-day contact with a patient, but it is satisfying in a much broader way.  I know that my actions with these men and women have in some way touched and impacted the lives of thousands of individuals in Washington, DC, and here in South Florida.

What does the BOC's 25th anniversary mean to you as a member of the board?
The 25th anniversary of the BOC is significant to me as a board member because it serves as a reminder to me of the importance and sustainability of all that we do.  In the end “protecting the public” and ensuring that individuals who work in athletic healthcare and within the mainstream of healthcare as ATs are prepared to provide the highest quality care, in an ethical, caring and professional manner is of the utmost importance.  It will always be important and the fact that the BOC continues to exist and thrive is a testament to those individuals who had the foresight and courage to nurture the BOC so that we could become the organization that we are today.

What is your favorite moment/memory of being on the BOC Board of Directors?
I have two favorite moments and both are rather selfish and personal.  The first memory relates to my decision to seek out becoming a board member and actually being elected.  I really wasn’t sure if I would have enough support to be elected and when I got the call from our Executive Director, Denise Fandel, informing me that I was elected and welcoming me on as a Director-Elect I was very happy and very surprised at the same time.  My second memory of being on the board relates to my heart attack in July, 2012, during the summer board meeting.  Every member of the board including the BOC staff was so caring and concerned about me that I’ll never forget this.  I can say that if I hadn’t been at the board meeting in Omaha that day, I may well have died.  I’m forever grateful to my colleagues on the board for their advice and insistence that I seek immediate medical care.  Ultimately, their advice saved my life.  The care, concern and help that Denise Fandel and Anne Minton provided to me and my family during that time was tremendous.  I can never repay them for their acts of kindness.  Again, I will be forever grateful to them.

Please share how you've witnessed the transformation of the BOC and the credential for the Athletic Trainer?
During my career I have seen the BOC grow into an organization that is respected nationally and now internationally as the entity whose sole mission it is to assure the public that Athletic Trainers are qualified healthcare providers.  The BOC has remained true to this mission while expanding its reach to include a broader focus as the worldwide leader in credentialing Athletic Trainers.  In the process, the BOC has moved from being under the auspices of the member organization to becoming an independent entity with capable leadership to become the organization it is today.

What would you like to see happen for the athletic training profession or at the BOC in the next 25 years?
During the next 25 years I would like to see the BOC initiate a program that would focus on continued competence of the Athletic Trainer in a manner that is consistent with its mission but without causing too much consternation amongst the Athletic Trainers within the work place.  Additionally, I’d like us to continue our leadership in protecting the public by educating them on athletic healthcare facilities / clinics and developing standards for these facilities.  Finally, the BOC should continue to broaden its position as the worldwide leader in credentialing the AT.

In honor of the BOC’s 25th Anniversary, we have created a history microsite, which will launch at the NATA Annual Meeting. We invite you to share your memories and photos through the microsite and review the timeline of the BOC’s history of certifying ATs. You can also help us celebrate this milestone by sharing the microsite and/or memory with the #BOC25 hashtag in the social media platform. To share your memory, visit