Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Organ Donation Saves Lives

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

By Mackenzie Simmons, ATC

Cameron Lyle, Tom Walter, Paco Rodriquez and Brian Batta all come from an athletic background but have something else in common. They have all saved at least one life through organ donation.

Lyle is a former collegiate track athlete who ended his career early to donate bone marrow to someone in need.  Walter, a Wake Forest coach, donated a kidney to one of his baseball players who was experiencing kidney failure.  Rodriguez went into a coma after repeated blows to the head, which led to death; he saved 5 lives by being an organ donor.  Batta, Michigan State University’s Athletic Trainer, donated a kidney to 1 of his college friends in need.  The heroic and selfless acts of these individuals have blessed those in need with the ultimate gift—life.

National Donate Life Month was in April, with the goal of encouraging people to register as eye, organ and tissue donors.  In addition, it is important to celebrate and remember those who have helped save lives through organ donations.  In 2014, more than 24,000 patients began new lives; however, about 124,000 people are still waiting at this moment for a life-saving miracle.

While becoming an organ donor is the fastest and most direct way to save a life, there are other ways a person can contribute to this cause.  You can donate money, get involved in local or national organizations or create a fundraiser in your community or workplace.  Donate Life America benefits from any and all contributions.

Consider becoming an organ donor, or donating to this cause. You could help save someone’s life.

To make a donation or get more information, go to




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



Education in the Heat Index Policy

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

With the summer months and temperatures upon us, special care must be taken to ensure that athletes practicing and working out in hot, humid conditions properly hydrate. The Southwestern Conference (SWC), a high school conference in the St. Louis Metro East area with athletics and activities in the IHSA Illinois High School Association, uses the following policy to determine how to handle situations when the heat index rises to potentially unsafe levels. This policy will be used to advise on all extracurricular activities within the SWC.

This policy uses a progressive system of recommendations, warnings and limitations that increase as the heat index rises. The amount of limitations and recommendations for the heat index values, hydration amounts and overall safety for the student-athletes involved in all extracurricular activities are taken from other state high school associations, National Federation of State High School Associations standards and the NATA. Additionally this policy was reviewed and approved by the SWC attorney.

Heat index is an index that combines air temperature and relative humidity in an attempt to determine the human-perceived equivalent temperature — "how hot it feels."


Provide ample amounts of water for all athletes and make sure it is readily available.

BLUE ZONE BETWEEN 95 – 99 Heat Index

Provide ample amounts of water for all athletes and make sure that it is readily available. Allow athletes to consume as much water as desired. Re-check the temperature and humidity every 30 – 45 minutes or as needed to make decisions on games or practices. Have cool down methods available for athletes as needed. Monitor athletes carefully for signs of Heat Illness. Water breaks at a minimum every 20 30 minutes.

YELLOW ZONE BETWEEN 100 – 104 Heat Index

Games - When the heat index is between 100 and 104, administrators, coaches, Athletic Trainers and officials will work together to allow additional breaks for water and cooling during game play as needed.

Practices –If possible, consider changing practice times to allow for a safer level of play. If practice times can not be altered, then non-necessary practice equipment (i.e. shoulder pads, helmets, etc.) should be removed when not needed for safety. Also, consider moving outdoor practices inside if possible. Water breaks should occur at a minimum every 15-20 minutes. White and Blue zones guidelines apply.


When the heat index is at or above 105, all outdoor games and practices should be postponed or suspended until the HI has dropped to an acceptable level for return. The same considerations should be made for indoor activities when A/C is not available.


There are a few different testing methods available for determining when it’s "too hot." There are a multitude of options, so budget should not be a limiting factor in whether you can have a policy in place or not. Each tool has its benefits, but finding one that works best for your situation is important.

  • Digital Sling Psychrometer
  • Hand-held device used to take temperature and humidity readings on the playing surface or a comparable location.
  • Use Online or Web-Based Resources
  • Oregon High School Athletic Association
  • This allows you to type in your zip code and check the exact HI for that time and specific recommendations for practices and games.
  • or other online websites
  • It also allows you to see a timeline and predictions for the HI at your specific zip code.

Why did we implement this policy?

The purpose of Heat Index policy is to protect our student athletes from the potential for heat illnesses, but developing one unified policy would do this and much more. This policy would allow all eight high schools who make up the SWC to have one unified policy that all eight school administrators and athletic directors voted unanimously on. This would allow the SWC high schools to have the same policy for cancelling or changing game times / practices as needed, an increased level of protection from liability situations since all eight area schools have the same policy (previously there was six different policies in place out of the eight area schools).

Common Questions / Issues

Does this policy apply to all sports, i.e. golf?

– Yes, we applied this policy to all extracurricular activities on the campuses at the eight area high schools in the SWC. Football, tennis, band, golf… They all follow the same policy so that we don’t set ourselves up to be liable for making different recommendations based on the perceived toughness of any given sport.

Does this policy apply to all playing surfaces?

Yes, this policy was adopted for all playing surfaces whether it be turf on a football or baseball field, grass or tennis courts. The Heat Index values remain the same.

What about when you are the away or traveling team?

This policy is in place for the SWC schools whether or not we are the home or away team. Each school talks to the teams on their schedule and lets them know ‘our’ policy and tries to work with and accommodate the home team’s respective policy.

Exception- For post-season events we follow the IHSA policy and will not follow the SWC guidelines. We leave that decision up to the IHSA and how they want to handle the specific event(s) in question.

Negative Feedback – Because the SWC instituted our policy we have forced area high schools to follow our policy during certain games or events because the SWC schools refuse to travel to away events when the potential heat index will be over 105. Also, parents / fans become upset when games or events are cancelled or postponed because of the 105 heat index value.

Positive Feedback – Taking a unified stand puts the safety of our student athletes at the utmost importance in the SWC and provides a stepping off point for our area schools and conference to develop and work on programs together to improve the safety and well-being of our student-athletes.

Written By:

Aaron Kremmel, MS, ATC, LAT, CSCS
Belleville East High School - Athletic Trainer  


Increased Ankle Mobility

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. When evaluating athletes for lower extremity injuries, it is remarkable how many have tight calves and lack range of motion in dorsiflexion. This lack of mobility is an adaptation that our athletes’ bodies have made in response to requirements of running and cutting. It can lead to changes in force absorption that can contribute to shin pain, foot pain or even anterior knee pain. A lot of these athletes can benefit from some mobility work to improve their active range of motion.

Here are a couple of resources with simple, self-performed exercises that athletes can do on their own to improve that motion: Mike Boyle and Sports Medicine Research Blog.

The first involves driving the knee forward over the ankle as a self-mobilization technique, and the second is a PNF contract/relax technique to increase overall range of motion. Both can be performed quickly and simply and can assist with improving motion at the ankle.

Though athletes likely do not spend much time thinking about ankles, increasing their mobility — along with using proper equipment — will have a positive impact.

Written By:

Physical Fitness Can Help Decrease Burnout in Athletic Trainers

Monday, May 19th, 2014

Every Athletic Trainer (AT) knows the benefits of physical activity (reduce risk of heart disease and diabetes, reduce blood pressure, maintain healthy bones, muscles, and joints, etc.). A recent study has shown that there also is a relationship between exercising and decreasing the symptoms of burnout, something that an estimated one-third of ATs deal with.

Participants in this 2013 study, who exercised for up to one hour, 2-3 times a week for 12 weeks, showed a decrease in feeling emotional exhaustion and expressing less depersonalization. They also had an increase in personal accomplishment and a decrease in perceived stress and depression.  All of these are issues that ATs deal with while coping with burnout.

May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. ATs should try to incorporate aerobic activity into their life. It isn’t always easy to do, but here are a few ways to do it.

  • Schedule exercise time into your daily schedule (Example, 8-10 Treatments, 10-11 Off/Exercise Time, 11-12 Pre-practice, 12-2 Practice, etc.)
  • Find a workout partner who will keep you motivated and keep you on track
  • Utilize your surroundings. Use the campus recreational center or go for a run around campus
  • Use your planning/lunch period to workout
  • Don’t sacrifice this time; say no to things

Not only will engaging in physical activity make you healthier, it could also make you better AT and keep you from getting burnt out.

How do you find time to work out?

Written By:
Brian Bradley, MS, ATC, LAT, CSCS


Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

Athletic Trainers (ATs) have very little personal time and are typically considered (at least historically) to be on call at all times. ATs are bound by the NATA Code of Ethics and BOC Standards of Professional Practice.  Each of these documents either explicitly or tacitly expresses that ATs should not partake in illegal drugs.

Consider these issues in light of the case below.

As an AT in a collegiate setting, you are aware that one of your colleagues partakes in marijuana on his free time.  He has never come to work impaired nor has he ever utilized the drug on a workday.  Since this colleague has not been impaired during the time in which he performs his job duties, it is difficult to judge whether or not it is within the scope of your duties to report social drug use.  The other challenge is to determine if this should be reported exclusively to the boss and/or to the BOC and other regulatory agencies.  Do you report him for unethical behavior as an AT?

  • Do you report him?  If so, to whom and why?
  • Which of your personal, professional and organizational values led you to the decision to report or not report?
  • Would it be any different if the drug were heroin or cocaine rather than marijuana?
  • Is there a line between personal and professional activities when you are in a profession (and setting) that requires 24/7 access to the patients?

Written By:
Kimberly S. Peer, EdD, ATC, FNATA

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.


Motherhood and Athletic Training

Sunday, May 11th, 2014

Happy Mother’s Day to those who are BOC Certified Athletic Trainers (ATs) while carrying the Mother credential! In 1908, Anna Jarvis began a campaign to honor mothers nationally, and in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a bill declaring Mother's Day a national holiday, making this the 100th anniversary of Mother's Day.

Women working in the athletic training profession balance many roles, which may include mother, caretaker and spouse as well as Athletic Trainer. Many times, as ATs, you may act as a mother to student athletes or those studying to become an AT. Mothers in the profession provide support and care to both their own children and extended family of patients.

Usually ATs know just as much about the team’s personal lives as they do of injuries. One of the most challenging situations an Athletic Trainer could face, is also a scenario of when an athlete tells you that she is pregnant. Do you have a policy to turn to for help in this case? This article from Training and Conditioning tackles questions with the expertise of several ATs, physicians and other specialists who have cared for pregnant athletes.

The BOC thanks AT mothers for your hard work and dedication to your families, patients and the profession.

Written By:

Brittney Ryba

This Baseball Season, Strike Out the Peanuts: Food Allergies Pose Real Threat

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

Matusz and Berardini are in the same league: Athletes with peanut allergy.

When Baltimore Orioles’ relief pitcher Brian Matusz bit into the tuna tartare he ordered for dinner March 9 at a Sarasota, Florida restaurant, he didn’t realize it had been prepared with peanut oil until his trachea began to swell.  A severe food allergy veteran (diagnosed as a child), Matusz immediately recognized he was experiencing an anaphylactic reaction, injected himself with epinephrine, took a Benadryl and called his mom.  The 27-year-old left-hander went to a local hospital, where he suffered a second, more severe reaction and required advanced care.

Matusz is one of an estimated 15 million Americans with food allergies, and his recent trip to a hospital was one of the more than 200,000 annual emergency room visits for food reactions.1 Because he didn’t delay treatment, Matusz recovered and returned for his next spring training appearance two days later.

National Food Allergy Awareness Week is May 11-17. As the nation is now well into baseball season, it’s a good time to re-think "buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack." Athletic Trainers must be prepared to recognize anaphylaxis and deliver life-saving care. We’re also critical to minimizing the risk of serious food reactions among the patients we serve.

Incidence is escalating and costly

With every potential to be deadly, food allergies are on the rise in developed countries worldwide. A 2013 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed food allergies among American children jumped 50% from 1997 to 2011. Today one in every 13 children in the US has one or more food allergies - an average of two kids in every classroom. Experts can’t explain this increase.

A JAMA Pediatrics survey shows the national financial impact of children’s food allergies is $25 billion each year, which includes hospital and doctor visits, medications, special foods and lost parental work productivity.

Anaphylaxis signs and symptoms

Typically occurring within minutes of ingesting a problem food, symptoms can involve the skin, airway and/or gastrointestinal tract:

  • Difficulty breathing (brohchospasm)
  • Wheezing, chest pain/tightness
  • Skin reaction: hives, itchiness, flushing
  • Swollen lips, itchy tongue/mouth
  • Reduced blood pressure, weak pulse
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramping
  • Dizziness, confusion, loss of consciousness

Less frequently, the onset of symptoms occurs hours later. As Brian Matusz experienced, 20 to 25% of patients suffer biphasic anaphylaxis - a second "reaction wave" hours after initial symptoms have subsided.

Ninety percent of all food reactions are attributed to eight foods: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat, fish and shellfish. Even trace amounts of a food allergen can cause a reaction. Cross contamination of foods during preparation or packaging and "hidden" sources of food allergens (in food or non-food items) also pose a threat.

Using the Epi-Pen

Do you know that an auto-injector does not cure anaphylaxis? It reduces symptoms for 10 to 15 minutes, during which you must access definitive hospital emergency care. Administration of an epinephrine auto-injector is a required competency for all entry-level certified Athletic Trainers. Depending on the type of injector prescribed, you should review the manufacturer’s demo video (Epi-Pen, Auvi-Q, Adrenaclick) and practice with a trainer injector.


Matusz and Berardini are in the same league: Athletes with peanut allergy.

My 5-year-old son, a rising T-Ball star with the Orange Phillies, has severe peanut allergy. Could I trust you to be his Athletic Trainer?

  • How do you prepare for team travel with a food-allergic athlete? Consider airline and restaurant risk management tactics.
  • What are some of the hidden sources of peanuts and tree nuts?
  • What is your emergency action plan for athletes with severe food allergies? Do you review and practice your plan? Who should approve your plan?
  • Are you aware of state and federal laws, including your athletic training practice act, regulating the storage, transportation and administration of epinephrine auto-injectors?


1 Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE). Provides downloadable education/tools for healthcare providers, schools, colleges, etc. Sample Anaphylaxis EAP.

Bastic, Jordan. Allergies a concern for athletic trainers. NATA News. October 2009.

Profit, Amy. Stay a step ahead of food allergies. NATA News. October 2009.

Peanut allergy links Orioles reliever Brian Matusz with young fan (Baltimore Sun)

Orioles’ Matusz gets a scare (Herald-Tribune)

Feeding a Traveling Youth Sports Team with Food Allergies (Outside the Lines blog)

Celebrities with food allergies (ABC News)


Written by:

Kelly Berardini, MHA, ATC


Program Director Highlights: Jackie Williams

Monday, May 5th, 2014

Program Director Highlights from the Spring 2014 PD Update Program Director – Jackie Williams
Slippery Rock University in Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania

1) What is the name of your institution?

Slippery Rock University in Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania

2) How long have you been a PD at this institution?
I have been the PD for 4 1/2 years at Slippery Rock University.

3) How many students are currently in your program(s)?
There are 68 in the professional clinical strand of the athletic training program, which includes sophomores, juniors and seniors.

4) Do you teach any class(es)? If so, which one(s)?

I teach a variety of the athletic training major courses including:

  • ERS 427 Mastery in Athletic Training
  • ERS 407 Healthcare Administration in Athletic Training
  • ERS 317 Therapeutic Modalities Theory & Technique
  • ERS 497 Clinical Synthesis in Athletic Training
  • INDS 101 FYRST Seminar

5) Do you use the BOC Self-Assessment Exam(s) as tools to assist your students in preparing for the exam? How?

In ERS 427 Mastery in Athletic Training, one activity I do is to have each student purchase and complete one of the BOC Self Assessment Exams.  This activity is tied into program and university assessment.  While taking the exam, students are asked to develop questions about the process, how the questions are written and any topic they are unsure of after reviewing the questions posed in the exam.

Prior to this activity, we spend a considerable amount of time visiting the BOC website.  As a group, we review the various exam preparation tools, work through the sample exam questions and review how the exam is developed and scored.  I try to reduce any fear they might have about the process and set-up of the exam. This activity helps them when they do take the self assessment exam.

Students are further encouraged to purchase more exams closer to when they sit for the examination.

6) How do you prepare your students for the BOC exam?

The students begin preparing for the BOC exam during their first athletic training major courses. The curriculum allows for sequenced courses to build on each other, providing reinforcement of the knowledge and skills necessary to be an Athletic Trainer (AT).

At SRU, each of our clinical experience courses have cumulative final examinations that are given via an online learning management system. The examinations are leveled according to the specific clinical experience course and what previous athletic training courses the students have completed.  Several other athletic training major course final examinations utilize this system. Allowing students to become familiarized with a computerized examination helps reduce some of the anxiety when taking the BOC exam.

ERS 427 Mastery in Athletic Training is a capstone course that prepares students to enter the next phase of their career. Part of the course is used to review the content areas and prepare the students for the BOC examination.  We review the content outline in the BOC Role Delineation Study/Practice Analysis. Students participate in multiple activities that expose them to questions that reinforce ways to review topics.  Small and large group discussions occur throughout the activities to help identify any weaknesses in content knowledge. A final cumulative examination of all content areas is given prior to any student taking the BOC examination.

7) What study materials do you recommend to your students? 

Currently, we use Van Ost’s Athletic Training Exam Review and the NATA Statements for ERS 427 Mastery in Athletic Training for practice questions. The class also uses all of the textbooks from previous courses.  I also literally haul many of my personal office library textbooks to each class depending on the topic of the day. Many of the textbooks we use to study are listed on the BOC website.

8) Please provide some tips for how you prepare your students for entering the real world (e.g. completing the BOC paperwork post-exam; state licensure/registration/certification; NPI numbers).

The second half of the capstone course is used to prepare students for the real world. Class activities have included polishing cover letters and resumes, completing mock interviews, identifying what is needed for job/graduate school applications, and examining the various state licensure/registration/certification process (BOC website used extensively for this). In regard to the process of reporting CEUs, I show them how to actually report CEUs using my BOC account.

Because of the lengthy process that students encounter when completing all of the necessary state licensure paperwork, the "pink paper" was created. Students are strongly encouraged to keep the "pink paper" accessible after they graduate.  This handout assists students when completing the state licensure application, obtaining an NPI number and completing self-queries. When I receive emails and phone calls asking for assistance in the licensure process, the first question I ask is, "Do you have your pink paper?" This document has helped many former students go through the process.

9) Do you have any tips, suggestions or questions for other PDs?

Utilize your resources! Contact other PDs to ask for insight. Use the BOC, NATA and CAATE websites. Spend the extra time with the students going through real life situations, especially CEU reporting and licensure/registration/certification.

If you are a PD who would like to be considered for inclusion in the Featured Program Highlights, please submit an email with your interest to


Be a Bench Leader, Not a Bench Warmer

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

As a young and relatively new full-time employee of the athletic training profession, I’ve begun to pay more attention to the news blurbs from the NATA and my state organization about supporting bills and government initiatives that impact the profession.  My first experience with and exposure to the political side of athletic training was when I attended the Hit the Hill Day in 2008 to advocate for the ATEAM Bill.  Going into the event I knew absolutely nothing about the bill, and furthermore I did not know what law (if any) existed for Athletic Trainers (ATs).  As I listened to others talk, the importance of the bill was all a foreign language to me.  However, being a participant and a body in Washington, DC, that Monday meant one thing: I was no longer a bench warmer, but I was becoming a bench leader.

It is easy to sit back and let others take the lead on matters that we, as healthcare professionals, may not be as well-versed or familiar with.  Politics, and understanding how progress is made on the legislative front of our profession, has never been a particular interest of mine; however, the more involved you become the more you begin to understand why it is so important.  Without the support of our state and federal legislators, our profession would be at an endless stalemate within the healthcare world.  The laws and face of healthcare in our country are changing daily, and guess what . . .  we need to do the same.

Regardless of the amount of credentials behind a name, experience on a resume or awards hanging on the wall, people know one thing: ATs are hard workers.  Our hard work can often go unnoticed as we are the people quietly sitting on the end of the bench just waiting for something to happen or finding the right moment to step in and help others.  The bench has been kept warm and toasty since before 1950.  It doesn’t matter if you are a young professional or someone who has been in the profession for 40 years, we can all take those small but ever important steps to becoming a leader for our profession.


Here is one small and easy way to start: show up.  Attending and being an active body at an event is probably one of the most underestimated means of support any group can have.  Numbers matter.  After attending and listening, it will be easier to understand what your role might be in order to be the biggest bench supporter and leader the profession can have.  Even if your role is to just show up, at least you are doing your part. Learn more about Governmental Affairs and find resources on the BOC website.

Written by:

Elizabeth Wolfe