In California, there is currently a licensure bill (AB 864) that would define the scope of athletic training and keep non-certified individuals from identifying themselves as athletic trainers.
Shane Stecyk, associate professor and director of CSUN’s athletic training education program said if the bill is signed into law, it could help students.
“This is a problem at some high schools in California because these non-certified individuals are not able to provide the level of care that an athletic trainer can.” Stecyk said. “And with concussions being a significant problem especially at the high school level, it is vitally important that the public understands who certified athletic trainers are.”
March marks National Athletic Training month for CSUN’s athletic training education program and is promoted by the National Athletic Training Association.
The education program will sell t-shirts during the month and put up posters around Redwood Hall, the kinesiology building.
“It is important because the more we can educate the public the more we can contribute to health care in general,” Stecyk said. “Although there is overlap of knowledge and skills between various allied health professions (athletic training, physical therapy, nursing) each profession is different and each profession provides healthcare to the public.”
Stecyk also added that athletic trainers have been recognized as allied health professionals by the American Medical Association since 1991.
The training program is involved in two off-campus events every March. These events are the St. Francis Sports Medicine Competition and the National Honors Society of Sports Medicine.
In the St. Francis Sports Medicine Competition, it is hosted by St. Francis High School and brings students from across the U.S. to test their knowledge in sports medicine and athletic training. At last year’s event nearly 550 students attended, according to Stecyk.
The National Honors Society of Sports Medicine, which was founded in 2007 by certified athletic trainers Eli Hallak and Cindy Kramer, is a organization with over 35 chapters across the United States.
Stecyk said an NHSSM event last year was held at Staples Center in conjunction with the Los Angeles Clippers with about 1,200 students in attendance.
“I think national training month will raise awareness about athletics trainers and help people learn about what athletic trainers actually do,” said Miguel Quintero, part-time CSUN faculty lecturer and certified athletic trainer.
CSUN has been in existence since 1974 and is presently accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) until the 2016-2017 academic year.
The program teaches athletic training majors classroom and clinical education components for five semesters and requires one summer session.
Students admitted to the program are expected to be full-time students throughout the course and must complete 15-25 hours per week for their clinical education rotations.
This career field includes professions such as athletic training, medicine, nursing, biomechanics, sports psychology, exercise physiology, pharmacy and nutrition according to the program’s home page.
Once students complete the program they are eligible to take the national certification examination for entry level athletic trainers, which is directed by the Board of Certification, Inc.