Transition to Practice – How Can Athletic Trainers Expand Impact?
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As new Athletic Trainers (ATs) transition to practice, their immediate focus is on the details right in front of them – completing their BOC file, gaining their certification number, displaying their electronic certificate and certification card, and registering for a National Provider Identifier (NPI) number, along with other information about their newly acquired ATC® credential. Beyond checking off these requirements, ATs are looking ahead to the start of their personal career.
But how do newly certified ATs take this achievement and work to make a larger impact within the athletic training profession and beyond, into the communities in which they practice? The work of an AT improves the lives of those they treat, expanding opportunities for patients to continue to play, perform and compete. But each AT has an opportunity to give back, impacting the profession and society at large.
Impact on Profession
Over time, an AT gains experience and knowledge through their practice and completion of certification maintenance requirements. They can further enhance this experience and grow within the athletic training profession by being actively involved in the athletic training community.
As a credentialed AT, there are many opportunities to volunteer. Within the Board of Certification (BOC), ATs are able to impact and shape the development of the profession by volunteering in numerous ways. BOC volunteers serve as committee, advisory panel, task force and work group members, as well as contributors to exams and publications (BOC Volunteer Opportunities). In addition, the goal of many volunteers is to one day be a member of the BOC Board of Directors, which is the driving force of the credentialing organization.
Volunteering within the profession, either through the BOC, or other national and state AT organizations is a dynamic way to make an individual’s voice heard. Collaboration with other ATs from diverse backgrounds and experiences helps to project a unified voice that can be a power for change. The BOC encourages diverse representation, viewpoints and experiences to contribute to and guide the vision and work of the BOC.
Impact on Society
ATs also have an opportunity and responsibility to work to create a better society for all and become role models. It is important to be part of larger change in respect to issues like racial injustice, as well as professional conversation.
“While the BOC’s ultimate goal is to support the profession of athletic training and our credential holders, the BOC firmly believes it is also our duty to positively impact the lives of Athletic Trainers (ATs) and the communities in which they practice,” said Patrick Sexton, President, BOC Board of Directors. “We are working to provide a more balanced and culturally sensitive education platform for candidates and certified ATs as they enter and grow within their careers. Our hope is this translates into athletic training practice that is inclusive, reduces bias, and is sensitive to all races and cultures.”
As ATs look for opportunities to promote diversity and racial justice within their practices, it will have a long-term ripple effect on those they serve and their communities. It is vital for them to see how they can not only make the profession a better place to work, but the world a better place to be.