The book “Switch. How to Change When Change is Hard“1 applied to changing the public perceptions of the profession of athletic training. Please make sure you have watched the previous blog entries as a prologue to this entry. It will help you as you process the ideas and hopefully contribute your own ideas in the comments.
Prologue Part 1 – A TED Talk on “Sweat the Small Stuff”
Prologue Part 2 – A review of Heath and Heath’s book “Switch How to Change When Change is Hard“.
The general public perceives ATs as a fitness professional, not a healthcare provider.
To shift the public perception of athletic trainers from a fitness professional to a healthcare provider.
Follow the Bright Spots. Our profession understands the athletes we interact with the most have the greatest understanding of who we are and what we do. Among NCAA Division 1 and Division 2 athletes there is a direct correlation between access and interaction to perception of healthcare professionals.2 Athletes with consistent access and regular interaction with the AT had a higher perception of the AT as a healthcare provider than those who didn’t access the AT. Access and interaction with the AT develops understanding of the healthcare provider role of the AT. For our professional identity to change, we must consistently accessible and regularly interact with our patients.
The Takeaway. Be accessible and be conscious of your accessibility and interactions. Every interaction you have effects the public perception of you AND the athletic training profession.
What bright spots have you observed in making change? Why do some recognize ATs as a healthcare provider while others perceive us as fitness professionals?
- Heath C, Heath D. Switch. How to Change Things When Change is Hard. New York: Broadway Books; 2010.
- Unruh S. Perceptions of athletic training services by collegiate student-athletes: a measurement of athlete satisfaction. J Athl Train. 1998;33(4):347-50.