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Featured BOC Approved Provider: Eastern Athletic Trainers’ Association

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The BOC regularly features BOC Approved Providers for notable efforts to enhance its continuing education programs for Athletic Trainers (ATs). Featured organizations follow the guidelines set forth in the “BOC Approved Provider Maintenance Requirements.” Eastern Athletic Trainers’ Association (EATA) Evidence Based Practice (EBP) Coordinator Jennifer McKeon PhD, ATC, CSCS shares her organization’s experience as they adapted their procedures to comply with the BOC standards.

Why does your organization choose to participate in the BOC Approved Provider Program?

The EATA is committed to providing high-quality education programs that enhance clinical decision-making, contribute to research that benefits ATs and our patients, and enrich the ways we prepare athletic training students.

This is the culture and history of the EATA – it is tasked with the advancement of ATs and the athletic training profession. The EATA is actually older than the National Athletic Trainers’ Association by one year. In a way, that seems like a bit of curious trivia, but it is also something in which the members of District 1 and District 2 take pride. The EATA community is strong and long-standing.

You’ve offered EBP Category CEUs for a few years now. What impact has this made on your educational programs?

We’ve offered EBP programming for six years now. I think the biggest impact was in actually helping to expand what is considered “evidence-based practice.” There were many myths and misconceptions about EBP in the beginning, when really EBP is about applying a multi-sourced approach to patient care. All the information we gather is evidence, whether it comes from a research paper or it comes from the patient. It is all evidence. ATs have been practicing evidence-based practice for a long time. Offering EBP continuing education units (CEUs) to our membership was very important. From the beginning of 2014, we felt that including EBP in the conference programming was a service that the EATA should absolutely be offering to its members.

How have the current “BOC Approved Provider Maintenance Requirements” impacted your program development and administrative processes to offer continuing education programs for Athletic Trainers?

EATA volunteers have worked very hard to ensure that the EATA is purposefully and intentionally meeting the BOC requirements. This is impactful to programming, as we work diligently to make sure we are meeting the requirements, and also the spirit of the BOC.

How do you design your curriculum to help participants improve outcomes in the patients they serve?

We rely very heavily on the expertise of our program faculty. Their proposals are reviewed and vetted to determine the appropriateness of the content and the speaker’s knowledge to be included in the program. EATA members work hard to ensure that the proposed material is evidence-based and that the program faculty is able to provide appropriate content along with current best practices including correct learning objectives and recognized knowledge gap. Updated evidence is provided to fill that gap and the focus of the presentations is on improving patient outcomes.

What advice do you have for organizations looking to be on the cutting edge and maintain compliance, as they develop education programs?

Start small and develop a system. Revise the system carefully, as needed, while recognizing that changes have a ripple effect. When I look at what we did in the first years, the EBP programming was very small with 6 EBP CEUs overall. We’re now offering 43 EBP CEUs, on top of the Category A programming. The EATA has a great number of people who are very involved and are continually trying to improve on what we did last year. Finally, we use the BOC as a resource. Call and talk to the staff members there. They can help answer questions about program development that meets the particular needs and limitations of an individual organization.

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