Random Thoughts – Every AT is a Valuable PR Tool

12 Feb

I received the article below forwarded to me via email from an AT colleague in my region of PA. When I got the email, I immediately forwarded it to all the ATCs in my area and then I thought I would post it to my blog.  I first wanted to get permission, so I emailed the author to get it.  I had met him several years ago while he was in his role of President of PATS.  His perspective is telling of the character of the past generation of athletic trainers. This is character that I hope that our current generation can carry on and build upon.  They fought many great battles for us, and we must continue to fight old battles and new battles to continue to forge ahead.

Of course, tonight my thoughts were still on that Allentown Morning-Call columnist and his recent article.  (Editors note: I refuse to think the article again, I just can’t give the author any more web hits.)

I think today provides us a great opportunity…as many key issues or crisis tend to provide.   If I had to speak at a senior class seminar before they graduated into the real world or at a student symposium or better yet..a PATS state meeting…I’d put that article up on the screen and make everyone in attendance read it first.  Then pause and say:

“This is exactly why our profession does not come free….or without a price to pay”.

We sometimes sit back and think that the generation before us fought all the important battles.   Friends, this article is from Feb. 2011…..not 1981.

Each of us, as Pennsylvania athletic trainers, who practice our skill in this state MUST contribute to the common good of the very profession that has provided us so much satisfaction & joy.

Our Successes Do NOT Come Free.

They have been paid for by others and today we must each do our own part, small or large, to ensure we have a strong, vibrant profession in the future.

I urge you to think about an article like this, read by thousands, written by an uninformed writer…hurtful to our profession.

We must at all times & in all places……educate, promote, defend and celebrate the career path we chose and worked so hard to secure.

Be informed, read the PATS website regularly, seek out and know who your county & regional PATS representatives are…and above all else…….ASK QUESTIONS & SEEK the ANSWERS.

As an athletic trainer, you are an Advocate whether you like it or not……by being in the public eye…so be informed on the issues that effect your own career.

Tomorrow always brings new opportunities to educate & inform others.   I maintain that a single athletic trainer, doing his/her job on a daily basis, professional in their demenaor, dress, thought & deed….is the best Public Relations tool we could ever have at the local grassroots level……now multiply that by 3,000 and you see how important being actively involved is to the profession we love.

Keep the Faith,

Steve Heckler, AT Retired

PATS Past-President (1998-2000)

Thanks for your perspective Steve!  It is greatly appreciated and I am humbled to get a glimpse of what was fought for years ago so that I can reap the benefits in my present AT position.

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