It appears, without explicit language, administrators are less likely to hire Athletic Trainers. But shouldn’t they define who is ‘qualified’ or ‘appropriate’? Wouldn’t specific language compel employers to fill the void in their organizations. For now, they will continue to refer their students and student-athletes directly to physicians for clearance. The more cost effective measure for the students or more accurately the student’s parents is to allow the on-site qualified medical professional to be empowered to make these return to play decisions in consultation with their supervising physician. These relationships create a conduit for improved care and access.
Parents already recognize the importance of Athletic Trainers during game safety. Two-thirds polled in a 2010 study at the University of Michigan supported the mandate for Athletic Trainers at all practices and games. So, while the states passing legislation are making strides to improved patient care, we need legislators to define ‘qualified’ or ‘appropriate’ medical providers and Athletic Trainers need to be included.
Justin Police LAT, ATC