Random Thoughts – AT mandate in CT and CA?

22 Feb

The profession of athletic training has received a lot of positive press over the last year and a tiny bit of poorly written negative press (ahem, Paul Carpenter of the Morning Call).  Much of the positive press is directly due to individual AT’s professional actions in the line of duty and from our expertise in concussion management.  Many of the articles written about ATs saving lives of referees, recreational athletes and fans have been mentioned in this blog.

One incident that hasn’t been covered in this blog is an incident in California at Sante Fe Christian High School.  AT Riki Kirchhoff’s on-field assessment quickly recognized that the injury Tommy Mallon suffered was more than his 3rd concussion.  He had neck pain and she correctly called for an ambulance and spine board.  Tommy was diagnosed with a concussion and cervical fractures.  It should be stated that California is way behind the rest of the country when it comes to athletic training services in the high schools, not due to any lack of effort through the CATA.  California passed an Athletic Training Practice Act bill in 2006 aimed at ensuring public health, but it was vetoed by the Govenor.  CA is currently 1 of 6 states who doesn’t have a practice act (Source).  But a resurgence to not only get AT Legislation passed in the CA State Legislature but also get an AT in every public school is under way.   The resurgence is largely due to Tommy Mallon’s mother and her cause, Advocates for Injured Athletes.  (Source)

On the other side of the country, Connecticut has an athletic training practice act but a movement is under way to require a full-time AT in every public high school in the state.  (Source)  As a full time AT at a large public high school in PA, I know that my situation is an ideal situation.  My position provides stability for the health care of the athletes throughout their years of study.  Full time ATs can solidify a great relationship with team physicians allowing great access for the athletes often on a moments notice.  Additionally, the ATs get to develop relationships with the athletes and build an important trust as the injured athlete’s advocate.

Yes, there is movement towards getting a paid AT position in every high school in CA and CT.  Hopefully, that will begin a trend throughout the country.  But ATs and the NATA have a lot of collective work to do to get to that point!

2 Responses to “Random Thoughts – AT mandate in CT and CA?”

  1. Michael Hopper February 22, 2011 at 12:51 pm #

    Paul, I recently wrote about The Advocates for Injured Athletes organization over at The Concussion Blog. I have been in contact with Beth Mallon of AIA and will be spreading their message through TCB. She and I are trying to work together to take their cause nationwide right now..

  2. Paul LaDuke, ATC February 22, 2011 at 12:55 pm #

    Let me know if there is anyway that I can help. I hope this blog is a tool that you can use in the cause.

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