Why promote the profession?
Is access to an AT a necessity or a luxury?
Are the 42% of American high schools that provide access to an AT providing a luxury for their athletes or are they providing for their basic needs as an athlete?
Lets turn the tables – Is access to a school nurse a necessity or a luxury?
It is my opinion that school nurses are a necessity not a luxury. Why? Because the nurse provides many valuable services to the entire school student body. They give eye exams, hearing tests, keep updated immunization records, provide medicine as needed (with parental permission), educate students in health topics, etc. The school nurse is a valuable resource for the student’s health needs. All schools should have the services of a school nurse.
It is also my opinion that an AT is a necessity not a luxury. Why? Because the AT provides many valuable services to every single athlete within the athletic department. They provide expert taping and wrapping services, injury recognition and rehabilitation, access to qualified medical care (i.e. team physician), proper concussion management, etc. All athletic departments should provide the services of an athletic trainer.
I also firmly believe that if all high schools and middle schools in the United States provided full time access to an AT that most of the concussion legislation being passed throughout the country would not be needed at all. Much of the laws are aimed at proper recognition and managment of a concussed athlete. The laws also often mandate that the concussed athlete have access to a qualified health care professional (hopefully an MD/DO). Access to an AT fulfills all those needs!