Archive | How to Promote the Profession RSS feed for this section

Change – Part 1

14 Oct

 

Introduction

The book “Switch.  How to Change When Change is Hard1 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 Issue

The general public perceives ATs as a fitness professional, not a healthcare provider.

The Goal

To shift the public perception of athletic trainers from a fitness professional to a healthcare provider.

The Plan

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.

Essential Questions

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?

References

  1. Heath C, Heath D. Switch. How to Change Things When Change is Hard. New York: Broadway Books; 2010.
  2. Unruh S. Perceptions of athletic training services by collegiate student-athletes: a measurement of athlete satisfaction. J Athl Train. 1998;33(4):347-50.

Change

6 Oct

I recently read Heath and Heath’s book on change titled “Switch. How to Change when Change is Hard”. It is available here on Amazon.  The book outlines change by appealing to the rational mind, motivating the emotional center, and shaping the situation.  Here is a video review of the book on YouTube.  If you are in any type of a leadership situation, or plan to be, I highly recommend spending $15 and purchasing the book.

How does this relate to this blog?  How does change relate to athletic training?  How does this book and idea about change have anything to do with promoting the profession of athletic training?  Great questions!

Our profession has long suffered from professional identity.  We have complained and whined among ourselves, many have quit the profession, few have worked hard to affect our identity on the national level, but still we suffer from a lack of professional identity.  We all want to do something, but what?

My previous blog entry highlighted a TED Talk with the idea that great change often comes from small adjustments.  Watch the talk if you haven’t.  Start thinking on what small changes we can make as professionals to make the Switch.

Change is hard.  We need to change our professional identity.  HOW?

Over the next few weeks, I will go through the outline in Switch to discuss my ideas on affecting a change in our professional identity.  I can’t do this alone and the more discussion we can have the greater affect we can have.

It is About Relationships

25 Mar

The mission of this blog is to Promote the Profession of athletic training.  The blogs are focused on skills and views that the AT has that promote the profession.  But the biggest strength we have, the biggest impact we have is in our interpersonal relationships.  The relationships aren’t just limited to the injured athletes.  It extends to Continue reading

A High School AT’s Lament

11 Oct

I love my job.  I really, really do.  I love working with high school athletes, they keep me young.  I love working with other professionals (teachers, coaches, physical therapists, MDs, DOs, DCs) who pour their lives into the lives of others.  I enjoy being a role model for student athletic trainers.  I enjoy being a CI for a local ATEP.  I like writing occasionally in this blog and giving back to the profession.  I enjoy the work I get to do for PATS and for the BOC.  But there are also things I don’t like about my job.  I don’t like the weird hours that took so much from my personal life.  I don’t like the mountains of paperwork that seem to grow through the years.  I don’t like the added stress of RTP decisions when Continue reading

The Athletic Trainer’s Role in Youth Sports

27 Mar

Wow, the month of February and March have been a flurry of activity for me.  I have been able to provide athletic training care to thousands of athletes at a youth soccer tournament, PIAA District Wrestling Championships, PIAA State Wrestling Championships, PA Junior Wrestling State Championships as well as my own athletes at my employer.  While providing these services to these groups, I was keenly aware of the amount of athletes who don’t get these services.

In an article on the Discovery Networks website, the author explores the possibility of “Smart Helmets” changing the future of youth sports.  The author quotes:

Identifying the injury is only the first step, the authors note. Smart helmets aren’t a diagnostic tool; rather, the technology could help make the connection between an athlete who may have an injury and a medical assessment. When a sensor is triggered, the athlete would need evaluation from a trained professional on-site or a referral for off-site medical evaluation.

This one paragraph clearly delineates our profession’s role in Youth Sports.  I am all for this smart technology that will clearly indicate when a possible concussive hit has been absorbed by an athlete of any age.  But a fancy LED display that indicates an excessive force is useless if their isn’t a medical professional there to clinically evaluate the athlete.  Youth football leagues need to provide athletic training services to these athletes.

Little Baseball is suffering a similar issue with pitch counts, curve ball debates and pitchers throwing with sore arms.  Pitch counts are a great tool, but they are limited in scope.  Many of the better players are playing on 2 or even 3 baseball teams at the same time.  Other youth baseball players are playing for 9 or 10 months of the year.  Research has shown that it isn’t the type of pitch that is thrown (i.e. curve ball), it is the volume of pitches that are thrown.  The volume of pitches thrown dramatically increase when you play for 2-3 teams a year.  Who is watching out for these young athletes?  Who can these young athletes approach to evaluate their arm pain without their parents making the first contact?

I firmly believe it is our profession of athletic training that can make a difference in these young athletes’ health and lives.  As my friend and colleague has in his email tagline “Every athlete deserves an athletic trainer.”  I wholeheartedly agree from ages 7 to 70 and up.  If you are involved in organized athletics, you not only deserve an athletic trainer; you need an athletic trainer.

Skill Set – Experience

6 Feb

The typical athletic trainer has a diverse skill set that they constantly develop.  This series of blog entries will seek to focus on the skill set that most athletic trainers possess in order to effectively do their job in the traditional setting.  Collectively, this skill set makes the AT a very valuable and unique resource to the athletes, coaches and administration that they serve.

Experience

February is an anniversary for me.  I passed the BOC test in February, 1995.  So, I have been an AT for 17 years now.  I remember thinking when I passed that test and got that packet with the ATC credential that I had arrived.  That I had all the skills necessary to be an AT for all athletes.  I was ready to take on anything and anyone with my expertise and had the credential to show it. Continue reading

Luxury or Necessity?

11 Jan

This morning, this article about a local to me high school caught my eye.  The title alone is thought provoking “Injury prompts Shanksville to reconsider athletic trainer.”  Somehow this school thought it prudent to cut $2,500 in spending and not provide basic athletic training services for the athletes of the school.  According to the PIAA, this school has an enrollment of 105 students in 9-12 grade and competes in 5 boys’ and 7 girls’ sports.  Basketball is the only contact sport listed, but in my experience baseball, softball, cross country, tennis and volleyball are all sports that keep the AT busy.

Today’s economy and lack of funding for public education has school districts, private schools and even public and private colleges and universities closely examining budgets.  The economic climate has administrations at every level attempting to answer the question “Is the provision of athletic training services a luxury that we provide our athletes or Continue reading

What do you do? What do you make?

7 Nov

I am sure you are asked this question all the time when you meet people for the first time in a casual setting and the conversation starts with your career.  I saw this posted on a fellow ATs Facebook today and I thought I would post it to my blog.  Please feel free to post this on your Facebook status!

..Oh.. you’re a trainer?? (NO! I’m an Athletic Trainer, not a trainer) Oh, that’s cool, I wanted to do that. What do you make?” “WHAT DO I MAKE?? I make an ankle sprain that some Continue reading

News – He is the injured athlete’s go to guy

28 Oct

Raleigh, NC – Burgetta Eplin Wheeler of th News Observer in North Carolina wrote an article about the work of Aaron Minger, AT at Boughton HS.  This isn’t a fluff piece of reporting touting the service Aaron provides to the athletes, this is an in depth article focusing primarily at the money he saves the parent’s of the school district.

Hours after the school day has ended, Aaron Minger, Broughton High’s athletic trainer, is idling in a golf cart in the middle of the football practice field, easily accessible to all 120 players. Not 60 seconds after mentioning he’s always on call for other sports, Minger picks up his ringing phone.

It’s the women’s tennis coach, and a player is down. Continue reading

Follow Up – Why ATs are needed

20 Sep

On August 31, 2011, I wrote this blog entry highlighting an unfortunate situation in Nokesville, VA.  In the entry I wrote:

The sad realization is this, that if a experienced athletic trainer was managing this football player’s concussion I firmly believe this young man would be alive today.  If the parents were instructed about cocoon therapy properly, then this young man may be a freshman in college today.  But, only 42% of this countries high schools provide an AT for their athletes!  We need to change this or there will be more sad stories, more grieving parents, more schools who will lose a bright student and a vibrant member of their community.

My blog entry was missing some major information – there was an athletic trainer present at the game.  Several AT who know the inside story not revealed in the original article highlighted in my post, informed me of this important fact. Continue reading