Certified Athletic Trainer | Educator | Motivator
Sandy Krum

All posts tagged certified athletic trainer

Sandy sits down the Chris Lenker /ATC @ATPodcast  to discuss his journey and the future of Athletic Training!

 

For additional podcasts please visit:  ATPodcast


NATM - Chicago with Mayor Emanuel & Ald. Tunney

NATA Month

“We’ve got your back!” is the theme for this year’s National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA) Athletic Training month, proclaiming March as “NATA MONTH”.  I like it, but the statement could also read ‘we’ve had your back and will always have your back!’

The profession of Athletic Training is so much closer to conquering the due recognition the field deserves but as close as it is, that’s how far off it just may be. To remedy this, my message today includes a few tips about what you yourself can do to help promote the profession.

The 45,000 members of the NATA all strive to increase recognition for the profession and ethically represent their profession at the highest regard. The message, sooner or later, has to get out. Right? That message?

NATA Coverage for ALL

NATM 2014

The mandatory presence of a Certified Athletic Trainer at every high school sporting event Nationwide is paramount. This is the only way to prevent the mounting injuries and unnecessary deaths that occur each and every year due to the lack of qualified medical attention present, ready, and prepared to care for our athletes. Having the information in hand on how to treat concussions is one thing. Having top notch ATC medical care at the ready is another. It is our job as ATHLETIC TRAINERS and members of the NATA to effortlessly promote the profession and educate the public on the roles we assume each and every day. Athletic training has changed so much through the years and has advanced to such wonderful levels. Folks, we can go higher and achieve greater. The mission of teaching has to take place daily by each and every one of us. Spread the word, inform others, engage in dialogue, and reach out to your local legislators. Similarly, continue to let people know the difference between an Athletic Trainer and a personal trainer.  Be proud to be a member of the NATA.

Respect the Path of the Profession

As advanced as we think we are today, we could only have ‘achieved’ our present position through the hard work and desires of our predecessors. Be it Pinky Newell or any one of the innovators, the NATA has become what it has through the tireless efforts of so many. Have you thanked and or shared the message of your predecessors? Personally, I thank the endless number of mentors I had as a child growing up wanting to be an athletic trainer. “Thank You” Larry Starr, Kent Biggerstaff, Larry Mayol, Jeff Cooper, Bill Buhler, Gene Gieselmann, Tony Garofalo, Dave Pursley, and many more! Your influences on the profession deserve kudos in many regards and I personally want to thank each of you for sharing your guidance and wisdom with me and so many.

The NATA first met with about two hundred members.  Some 64 years later the profession has grown leaps and bounds.

My other question to you: Have you done all you can do to help promote our profession? This is National Athletic Training Month. This, of all months, is your opportunity to reach out and become involved. Many of you are saying you have no time and you already do enough to help promote the profession. Au contraire!

I offer several possible scenarios with each involving little to very little effort!

*   Pick up the phone and reach out to a media outlet in your hometown and offer to draft a PSA recognizing March as NATA month. Call the sports department of your local newspaper or the beat writer of your high schools sports team. Have them write about the profession calling special attention to members in the local community, thus further helping us educate the public.

*    Write a blog post similar to this writing for your local newspaper or media outlet.

*    Write and post social media entries promoting the month of March and our profession.

*    Call local legislators, town committee members, mayors, and government officials. Show up at a city council meeting and offer a resolution proclaiming March as Athletic Training Month.

The onus is on us to further educate and our jobs are not done until each and every person knows who and what Athletic Trainers are! Just as we challenge our athletes and ever-growing patient populations to be the best they can be, this month (and every month for that matter) the challenge is ours. The challenge is about each and every athletic trainer promoting the NATA and advancing our profession.

Assorted Rolls Of Tape…

Chicago City Council - NATM Resolution

The above photo is from the March 5, 2014 City of Chicago Council meeting held at City Hall. I simply reached out to a local alderman and asked that a resolution on behalf of the NATA be introduced into City Record.  Athletico  accompanied us to City Council that morning as Alderman Tom Tunney presented the resolution for record to Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the rest of the Aldermanic body. Congratulations are in order to the NATA and its members.

 

Time to make the Change!

With a time change happening for many of us, how are you going to adjust with an extra hour of sunshine? I always love this time of year as it sends a message to get outdoors and become active. As active as we are, it’s also important to ensure we don’t lose track of our current sleep patterns. Are you currently getting enough rest? Just checking…

Enjoy March everyone. No need to worry, “we’ve got your back!”

SAK

Reference: NATA.ORG

Photo from the left: Todd Nettelhorst, Mallory Mihalov/ATC, Sandy Krum/ATC, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Lindsey Otte/ATC, Tony Garofalo/ATC, Payten Gerjerts/ATC, Alderman Tom Tunney


Olympic Torch

Every four years…

We sit in awe and watch amazing athleticism, choreography, movements with precision, and the skill of Champions shining as bright as the oil lit Olympic Light. Yes the Olympic spectacle is grand but what is even grander is the opening ceremony watching the torch enter the stadium for the final lap. Waiting with heartbeats so high, athletes and fans from all over the World sit and wait in excitement as the torch makes its way onto the track. Lights darkened, flashbulbs zinging, and the latest GoPro models being put to the test. C’mon baby, don’t fail me now.

Two torch bearers, faces lit with honor and glory for their countries, have the Torch raised at all times as they swagger around the stadium and up to the Cauldron. Yes, indeed a Final Lap to signify the games are about to be declared OPEN. Anticipation and excitement abounds!

Usually the final carrier of the Torch is a sports celebrity of the host country. The person often is unannounced until just prior to the ceremony as this also adds to the exuberance. From Ali to Gretzky, only the greatest of their respected countries are afforded this opportunity.

To become the greatest, these athletes have dedicated their lives to their conditioning, stringent if not backwards training regimes, injuries and the treatment of the same, nutritional changes, practice and more practice, rest, and finally honing their skills to a place so refined, only the best of the best can reach these levels.

My message today is simple: you too can reach these levels…. Perhaps not as an Olympian headed for Rio, but as an Olympian to you, your family and friends, and all those you encounter on a daily basis!

HOW IS IT GOING TO HAPPEN?

Olympian’s train endless hours and are guided by a strong support TEAM network, if not overcrowded. They are provided medical support with top physicians, the finest certified athletic trainers (NATABOC.ORG), exercise physiologists, nutritional support and receive counsel by some of the finest RDs (Registered Dietitians) around, psychological support, and personal training and Coaching from the finest in their chosen sport.

This same TEAM approach is what I believe helps make these athletes stand out, especially when put up against near equals in their chosen sports. The TEAM can and does make a difference, especially with such finite movements, landings, aim, skill, and precision.

To make it happen for you, I recommend beginning to develop your TEAM, the support team that you will put in place to aid you on your journey to your individual Torch Lighting Ceremony. This involves regular visits to your physician for blood and urine lab values and further testing as indicated. This means continuing to break down the walls via discussion, either amongst family members or with a psychologist. Secrets cause illness and the best place to start letting secrets out is with a psychologist or trained, qualified therapist.

Your Nutrition needs to be on point and this means not only eating the right amount of calories but also keeping track of the same via simple pen and paper journaling or via any one of the available apps available to track nutrition and exercise.

The Olympic Athlete is guided by top RDs in the profession and all preach the same thing: JOURNALING IS THE KEY TO SUCCESS. For those of you who have not kept track of what you are taking in on a day-to-day basis, now is a good time to do a five-day food journal. Simply write down what you eat and drink, the portion size or quantity, and the time. Everything! Do this for five consecutive days. If it’s one Iced tea, write it down and the approximate number of ounces. If it’s a cheeseburger and grilled veggies, write it down. Also note the time. Just be honest with your recordings. Remember, this practice event is to help no one but YOU. Once complete, you can share the journal with your RD and the rest of the TEAM. Proper guidance and dialogue will come from this and then and only then can a complete plan of attack start to take shape. The MD and RD will then use this information as well as other test results (RMR, DEXA), determine the best caloric range for you and the number of calories you need to be taking in daily (and of equal importance what types of calories).

Notice a pattern here? Everyone works together and communication has to be crystal clear and on point. This communication starts with YOU!

The other components of your Olympic Team include the Certified Athletic Trainer and your personal trainer/coach. The athletic trainer will ensure you stay healthy on a day-to- day basis, monitor and treat your injuries, implement a PREHAB program, and ensure proper levels of nutrition and hydration accompany your workouts and daily living activities. The athletic trainer will keep you on point when it comes to your overall well-being. Additionally, The athletic trainer will act as a liaison between yourself and the rest of the team members as you will continue to focus on following the protocols the team has laid out for you.

Your personal trainer or coach is one of the largest cogs in the wheels and often, too much or all emphasis is placed here, neglecting the rest of the team. I propose for you to change the approach and ensure the rest of the team is playing an equal and active role, allowing each of your team members the ability to work in unison and to their limits, not overstepping their respective positions. Placing all your eggs in one basket is a recipe for disaster.

Putting all these components together, all working harmoniously, this is what makes up an Olympic Athlete. Sometimes the Olympians hands are placed in one direction while other times another. Sometimes the Olympic athlete looks lean and fit while others are buff. Sometimes an ankle is taped to prevent, while others go barefoot.  And sometimes you’ll see or hear a coach or two in each ear. The Olympics are about more than the awe-inspiring performances and representation of the 80 plus countries displaying their talents. It’s about The TEAM and all the components that go into accomplishing the greatness. You too can achieve greatness by employing this TEAM concept. Become your own Olympian and Light your own Torch!

SAK

Reference:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olympic_flame

 


Walter Hall, Ohio University Oct 11 2013

Sandy Krum speaks with the Athletic Training Students of Ohio University during Homecoming weekend about his journey, the future of ATC’s, and the profession of Athletic Training.

 


Extreme Sweating

“A little bit of sweat” ….or

“Don’t sweat the small stuff.” How many times have we heard these phrases while growing up and throughout the years? Too many to count. Better, how about the Major League Baseball pitcher working out of a jam, with sweat running down his face profusely in 90 degree + temperatures at Busch Stadium? To think it had more than one meaning and application. A meaning that would be more appropriate to me years later. SWEAT! What is it? What are its components? What is a sweat rate? How do I keep my body cool?

Unlike worrying about the little things, I’m looking at sweat as the body’s physiological response to temperature control. Who would have ever known our bodies are made up of 2.6 million sweat glands? These glands and ducts cover every inch of the human body and act as thermoregulators! They are our bodies thermostats.

SWEAT- What is it?

Salt

Sweat is simply evaporated moisture (water) that is exuded through the skin. It is made up of Sodium, Chloride, and Potassium and can either come in droves or in little amounts.

True, we don’t always sweat just with physical activity. Sweat occurs after a tense meeting or heated discussion, it comes about after a stressful encounter, it comes as we ward off infection with fever, and it comes when we are faced with difficult and fearful encounters.

Remember the taste on your forearm after a long run, or the taste of the moisture as it runs down your face while on the treadmill. Pretty salty, huh? That’s the Sodium as it comes through our pores and adheres to our skin. Almost like putting salt on a pasta dish or eating a cracker. The body’s release of this salty liquid through our sweat glands is its way of COOLING us, our bodies AIR CONDITIONING. This lost sodium will be replaced via our diets and or electrolyte drinks.

 

ECCRINE vs. APOCRINE Glands

Humans have two types of sweat glands: Eccrine and Apocrine. The eccrine glands are found all over our bodies producing sweat. Apocrine glands are found only in specific areas such as the armpits, external genitalia, our scalps and hair, and in our ears canals. Basically, an eccrine gland will open up to the skins surface and an apocrine gland opens up into a hair follicle.

What is a SWEAT RATE?

Often I hear athletes tell me they are working out so hard but yet they never sweat. The body’s normal response to this normal increase in tissue temperature almost always means these glands are going to work and are going to cool us and regulate our thermoregulatory system. (Anhidrosis or hypohidrosis is the inability to sweat normally, and hyperhydrosis is continual profuse sweating. These two extremes need to be considered when looking at sweat rates. )

How much sweat each gland releases is determined by many factors including gender, environmental conditions, age and physical fitness levels. The key contributors to sweat rates are the individual’s fitness level and weight. People who are carrying around the extra weight tend to have a higher sweat rate because the body has to work that much harder to function and there is much more body mass to cool.
Fit athletes tend to sweat earlier and with greater efficiency and ease. The more fit you are the more efficiently you’ll be able to regulate body temperature. Likewise, these sweat glands will work more cohesively with our body’s other regulatory systems!

If indeed your work output and intensity are great and you continue not to perspire, calling this to your physicians attention is indicated.

How do I keep my body COOL?

Glass of WaterIn order to sweat our bodies need Water! Most of us should consume at minimum 64 oz of water per day, greater if we indeed are subject to intense physical labor or extreme conditions. When participating in athletic activity or working outdoors on a hot humid day, we’ll need a greater intake and regulating the loss / intake balance becomes a little more tedious. The key is staying well enough hydrated and “BALANCED” to avoid Dehydration. (Symptoms may include but are not limited to fatigue, nausea, and muscle cramping)
Not having enough water to allow the cooling system to work effectively can lead to heat exhaustion and possibly heat stroke.

Drinking plenty of water two to three hours prior to activity will help you avoid this dehydration. Similarly, water needs to be sipped during activity to continue this cooling. Our thermoregulatory controls will stay fully operational and the chance of breakdown is lessened.

Do I need to take in additional sodium because of what I’m losing in my sweat? Our bodies will get the needed replacement sodium by way of our normal diets and through the foods we take in. The days of taking salt pills and salt replacements are no longer. Our bodies will call upon us to add salt during meals if indeed we are low, or we can get the the key lost electrolytes via rehydrating with an electrolyte replacement such as Gatorade.

ATHLETES AND SWEAT- I’ll Drink to that!

Gatorade LogoOne of my main responsibilities as an athletic trainer is to ensure my athletes are staying well hydrated during activity. Playing through the heat and elements of a summer day while playing baseball, for example, can lead to heat illness that more often than not can be prevented. Prevention is key. Athletes need not only drink water during activity, they look for the additional electrolytes a “Gatorade” can provide. Gatorade contains 110 mg of sodium per 8 oz while water has none. This alone is a reason extreme athletes and athletic trainers turn to such an electrolyte solution. Likewise, athletes participating in high intense sport look for the carbohydrate benefits of Gatorade to replenish the glycogen (sugar) stores lost while performing at these intense levels.

What Causes the ODOR?

Sweat is not the cause of that stinky smell. Rather, it is the bacteria on our skins surfaces meeting up with sweat. We often associate profuse sweating with foul body smells and aromas. Most often, the odor comes from the apocrine (fatty type) glands secretions AND bacterial breakdown. Once the sweat reaches the surface of the skin, bacteria takes over and start to break it down. This combination equals PHEW!

Thermoregulatory control is our body’s way of staying cooled and functional, allowing organs and systems to work in unison and to the fullest of their capabilities. Remember, about 2.6 to 4 MILLION glands work in harmony to control our body’s temperature. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

SAK

 

Reference:

Sweating And Body Odor; The Mayo Clinic Report, December 2010.

How Much Sodium is in Gatorade? Wasserman: Livestrong.com. August 2013.

GSSI: SPORTS NUTRITION; GSSI.web.org SSE #92: Dietary Water and Sodium Requirements For Active Adults
W. Larry Kenney, Ph.D., FACSM

 


Team_Hands_In
Ant_Team_Strawberry
Empty_Dugout_Bench

Teamwork

“The Way A Team Plays As A Whole Determines Its Success. You May Have The Greatest Bunch Of Individual Stars In The World; But If They Don’t Play Together, The Club Won’t Be Worth A Dime. ” –  BABE RUTH

Team_Hands_In

Having spent many years of my career as a Certified Athletic Trainer in professional baseball, at the Minor League and Major League level, I understand the importance of the TEAM concept and what it takes for a TEAM to be successful. For example, a baseball team is comprised of 25 players, the manager, coaches, and a Certified Athletic Trainer ( NATA / BOC ). For today’s game, the major league level has a greater auxiliary and coaching staff.

Typically in the United States, a season lasts from Spring Training reporting in February and runs until late September or early October (if you’re fortunate). Most teams play the requisite 30 or so spring

 training games and then march right into the 162 game regular Season. The drills of spring training would only be played out in the ensuing months, although no two games were ever the same or would you know when that muscle memory would have to “kick into gear” to successfully throw the runner out from various positions in the infield or outfield. Training meant the endless bullpen “sidelines” with the pitching coach correcting mechanics or saying nothing. It also meant endless time in the batting cage with the hitting instructor doing soft toss drills. Yes, the players were all trying to hone their skills, fighting to become the best they could become to progress to the level above and ultimately the Major Leagues.

The same 25 players and staff  had to come together day in and day out and perform as TEAMMATES. No successes would come from the individual stellar pitching performance, if indeed an offensive catalyst or

two were absent. Conversely, a great offensive night by 8, combined with poor pitching by several, spelled trouble and bellyache for the Manager.

What really makes up a great TEAM?

For the purpose of this writing I turn to Wikipedia to give us the textbook definition of TEAM: A team comprises a group of people or animals linked in a common purpose.

Teams are especially appropriate for conducting tasks that are high in complexity and have many interdependent subtasks.

A group in itself does not necessarily constitute a team. Teams normally have members with complementary skills and generate synergy through a coordinated effort, which allows each member to maximize his/her strengths and minimize his/her weaknesses. Team members need to learn how to help one another, help other team members realize their true potential, and create an environment that allows everyone to go beyond their limitations.[1] A team becomes more than just a collection of people when a strong sense of mutual commitment creates synergy, thus generating performance greater than the sum of the performance of its individual members.

Application

Taking the definition alone back to our baseball team, a pitcher couldn’t perform if indeed he/she didn’t have the catcher guiding them or having the position players playing in unison. The synergy generated by this coordinated approach allows just what the definition states: maximizing the strengths and minimizing the weakness. Going beyond one’s true potential can only happen when the team performs together on the same platform, thus allowing the individuals to compliment one another and reach this ultimate level of competition. The combined synergistic energies are what makes a team just that. The classic definition says that the mutual sum of these combined efforts are much greater than the individual accolades.

Success was not a given and true commitment to helping the team was paramount. Incredibly, I came across many players with the “I-I-ME-ME” mentality. Everything was about them! When talking of the team they would often emit “I did this or I did that” VERSUS “we did this and we did that.” This meant they were truly more impressed with their individual successes and the team concept never entered their equations.

It is the greatest feeling when a team comes together and becomes so good together, almost great. Many in the game term this as a “Push Button” club. The manager’s role becomes limited to showing up to the park and pushing a button, if you will, and the TEAM goes out and performs, day in and day out without fail. No change in chemistry is needed as all systems are go! The team is winning games, Players are in the positions they’re supposed to be in, the correct pitch is thrown in the most crucial of situations, timely hitting occurs daily, and the manager sits and watches the fruits of success ripen from the intense daily instruction and practice.

This is a great time for me to introduce you to an article I read on playing together as a TEAM. From my perspective, and as one that has witnessed thousands of games from the dugout perspective, this writing is pretty on point! It comes to us from a blog post entitled THIS OLE GAME: http://www.theoleballgame.com/baseball-teamwork.html. THIS post stands out for me because it reminds me of the Championship Teams I had the honor of working with! All eight components were ever present with those clubs, the philosophies were the same if you will. Thats why I believe they’re applicable! Here they are:

8 Concepts For Teamwork, Or Playing Together As A Team

  1. We can all count on each other.
  2. Accept your role on the team.
  3. Finding a way to win.
  4. Be willing to make some personal sacrifices.
  5. Help each other out.
  6. Understand what we can control and what we cannot.
  7. Anyone ~ Anytime.
  8. Walk the talk.

Unfortunately, the TEAM didn’t always come together. The individuals continued to star, albeit not in unison. One player shines one day, another the next, and the result more often than not is not enough to beat the opponent. This group, for whatever reason, just doesn’t seem to work in harmony. This is when It was tough to come to the park every day! Defeated attitudes filled with negativity. Even “one’ could spoil the whole bunch. This is what player development was about. It was survival of the fittest in the baseball world, with the cream rising to the top. Work approaches were either so finely tuned or so off. More often than not, “The successful” had their routines and went about their business quietly, unnoticeable but oh so productive. Those who struggled, struggled! On and off the Field! “Poor work ethic. Not focused. Negative attitude. Not having the ability to complement their teammates.”

Athletic teams are driven to the ultimate, the championship of that given sport! The NFL’s Super Bowl, MLB’s World Series, NHL’s Stanley Cup, . You get the point. These are the ultimate, the pinnacles! These are the Goals all good teams strive to achieve. From the family perspective, are all the necessary components in place to achieve a similar goal?

What’s in it for Us?

My message here is presented and revealed in the form of several self questions:

  • WHO IS ON YOUR TEAM?
  • Are you doing your best to be a team player?
  • Are the players around you complimenting you and your play, day in and day out or are they hindering your progress?
  • Are you all on the same mission?
  • Do your “teammates” all have the same goals in mind or are they playing for themselves?
  • Is your Support Team of Coaches, Physicians, Certified Athletic Trainers and Personal Trainers “on point”?
  • Are family members on board and if not, why not?
  • What can you do to better this situation?
  • Am I too much “I-I-ME-ME” versus “US-US-WE-WE”?

Remember, constant re-evaluation of your “team’s roster” is paramount to achieve continued success for yourself and the franchise.

SAK

References:

http://www.nata.org/

http://www.bocatc.org/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Team

http://www.theoleballgame.com/baseball-teamwork.html


Maslows_Hierarchy

Often I reflect on whom I am accountable to and what steps and procedures I need to accomplish successfully to stay on point. Am I going to be on time for a meeting or appointment? How am I communicating with my peers? What are my exercise habits? Often we rely on others to assist us with this accountability. Today, I propose another format. Lets take a look at what I believe is the groundwork needed to succeed in any model or plan.

 What Is Accountability?

Accountability is viewed as being responsible or giving an explanation of your actions.  But this is only ONE form. I want to turn the focus to you. When you hold yourself 100% responsible for holding YOURSELF accountable: YOUR relationships will flourish, your personal market value will soar, people will respect you more, you’ll be a greater example for others to follow, and your self esteem will grow. Notice here the common word is YOU and now the focus turns inward versus outward or towards others.

I’ve found a great read on accountability and want to share the same with you. The book is titled Little Things Matter Book | 100 Ways To Improve Your Life Today and is written By Todd Smith (littlethingsmatterbook.com) In it, Smith speaks of accountability and breaks the broader definition into 3 forms.

Smith’s Three Forms of Accountability

1.     Your Actions and Choices- These include how you communicate with others, how you spend your time, the consideration you show others, and your exercise and eating habits.

2.    Your Responsibilities-These include returning calls and emails, being on time for your appointments, and doing things you agree to do when you agree to do them.

3.    Your Goals-This could include financial desires, your fitness and health, or your personal family objectives. Accountability is nothing more than the follow through of YOUR Commitments and Responsibilities.

The How To

How are YOU going to change the focus of your Accountability and directly take responsibilities? Here are some of Smiths’ tips: 1.Use a Website to track Food and Exercise 2. Use a paper journal 3. Hire a personal trainer 4.Workout with a friend or partner 5. Sign up for classes 6. Rules need to be established beforehand 7. BE FLEXIBLE TO ALLOW COMPLIANCE.

I love introducing Abraham Maslow’s Philosophy on reaching Self Actualization and this is a good place to refer to Abe. Remember the Pyramid? Take a look at this link and it may shed a new light on where I want you to go with this thought process. I’ve attached a couple quick links for you here :

http://brainblogger.com/2013/01/08/maslows-theory-of-self-actualization-more-or-less-actualized/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow’s_hierarchy_of_needs

I propose small steps on your behalf to start to take the onus of accountability off others and direct them on to yourself. Achieving small steps in this transitional phase will enhance your overall well-being.   SAK


Biggest_Loser_Beach_Helivac
California_State_Flag
CATA

California Assembly Bill 864

I have enjoyed an over 25 year career in athletic training and throughout my practice I have run into well-intentioned questions from clients and others about the distinctions between my job and other professions with similar titles or practice arenas.

With important legislation related to the athletic training profession pending in Sacramento that would finally bring California in line with 48 other states, I thought this was a great opportunity to share a bit about the profession, how it is regulated, the role athletic trainers (ATs) play in the lives of Californians (see CATA) and why this legislation is so important to me personally.

Often confused with fitness/personal trainers, physical therapists and other health and wellness professionals, the role of an athletic trainer is set apart through distinctions including education, training and responsibilities.  I could not be prouder to be an athletic trainer, nor more pleased to have the opportunity to work closely with other professionals, like personal trainers, physical therapists, doctors and nurses, who share my profound commitment to the health and wellbeing of others.  As an AT, I am part of a continuum of care whose structure promotes the best performance and quality of life for clients. That said, it is important to note that each of us in this continuum has a different role and purpose, and vital that each are regulated.

For instance personal trainers primarily help people become and stay physically fit. They work in gyms and health clubs, resorts, universities, workplaces, clients’ homes and, as I know well, some even work on television.  Physical therapists, on the other hand, have their role in helping injured or sick people improve their movement and manage their pain.  Both of these are great roles, but certainly different from the work of an AT.

In basic terms, ATs are allied health professionals who work with physically active individuals of all types to prevent harm, evaluate and recognize injury and stress, provide first aid/emergency care, work in rehabilitation and conditioning of injured individuals and supply guidance and education on issues related to injury and other conditions. We work in a myriad of settings, including secondary schools, colleges and universities, professional sports, sports medicine clinics, hospitals, the military, industrial and commercial entities. In essence, ATs are uniquely qualified physical medicine and rehabilitation specialists who provide acute injury treatment, a continuum of care from injury and illness prevention and return-to-activity clearance for athletes and other physically active individuals.  With more than 50 percent of ATs working outside of sports fields, it is  likely that your life is, or will be  touched by the work of an athletic trainer on a regular basis, whether you are an athlete or not.

Despite the critical role Certified Athletic Trainers play in the safety of athletes and physically active people, California is one of only two states in the country that does not regulate Athletic Trainers. Having significant experience working with unlicensed trainers in a career spanning professional sports to TV, I know firsthand many of the ways that this has serious consequences to our safety.

The bottom line is that athletic training is a profession that is regulated by 48 states, recognized by multiple governmental and healthcare agencies as a specific healthcare profession and which has a single nationally accredited education and certification process. Right now in California, the practice of athletic training is completely unregulated, so anyone is free to call themselves an athletic trainer, regardless of education or training.

What makes the matter even worse is that the public has no ability to register complaints nor can the state investigate and sanction unsafe or unethical providers. AB 864 will provide assurance of minimum standards of competence of practitioners and will allow those that are practicing illegally, unsafely or unethically to be sanctioned.  Who in their right mind would expect any less oversight of a healthcare professional?

That is why I am so disillusioned by opponents of this bill who mischaracterize or outright lie about the bill, its purpose and its content.

Let’s separate the AB 864 facts from the unfair lies.

The first falsehood I have heard from detractors is that the bill is an attempt to expand an Athletic Trainer’s scope of practice, create a new profession or mandate insurance carriers and Medicare for reimbursement. I have done research, asked those in the know and verified with total certainty that this is not true.  Nothing in this bill allows for billing or reimbursement. Insurance companies – not state laws – decide who gets reimbursed. Furthermore, Medicare does not allow for reimbursing rehabilitation services of Athletic Trainers while they work in a physician’s office. AB 864 will not change this, nor is it even trying to do so.

Moreover, the idea that a new profession would be created or that Athletic Trainers would be in a legal position to diagnose or practice medicine is totally, completely and 100 percent false. Oversight of cases and patient referrals will always be the job of doctors – they are the most qualified to undertake those decisions.

Others claim that efforts are underway to replace physical therapists with Athletic Trainers in clinics, essentially stealing the physical therapists’ long-accepted roles. This idea is completely ridiculous. Athletic trainers can never replace physical therapists or their expertise.  We can, however, augment the care to specific populations alongside physical therapists, so there would be no reason or motivation to attempt to take jobs from other providers.

Let me tell you in the simplest terms what this bill does.  It addresses the licensing of Athletic Trainers by regulating a healthcare profession that is currently practicing but still unregulated in this state. Passage of AB 864 would ensure that those who serve as athletic trainers have the proper education and certification. AB 864 simply seeks to prevent unqualified healthcare professionals from practicing and protect Californians through regulations of practicing healthcare professionals. I have heard many other ATs with the same message as mine: athletic training professionals firmly believe in the continuity and integrity of care; we understand that this often means a variety of providers are required to give these services. The playing field is big enough for all professionals to play a role in offering athletes and other active individuals the best care, education and quality of life possible.

As if the regulation of health care providers to assure the highest standards were not enough, another feature of AB 864 is that the bill is cost neutral, meaning it will cost taxpayers nothing. Athletic Trainers will pay for their own licensure. Additionally, it is worth noting that Athletic Trainers who work in industry, military and with police and firemen save their employers or city government’s workman’s compensation costs.

With so much to gain and so much at stake, I really don’t see how the detractors have gotten any traction.  But the fact is that they have.  Won’t you join me in setting the record straight on the important role athletic trainers play in our state and remind those opposed that assuring the competency of ATs matters as much as the assurances presented by any other professional currently regulated in the state?

My past has aptly demonstrated the profound need for this legislation and my future prospects, and those of all active individuals in the state, depends on the genuine understanding of what the bill does and does not do and the subsequent affirmation that safety, health and common sense demands passage of AB 864.

- Sandy Krum ATC/L

 


Weigh In at Doctor
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Medical App

Hope all finds you well! I was thinking about the upcoming season and what it takes to actually make it on to the Biggest Loser reality television show. For all the contestant hopefuls, the single wish I have for each of these folks is that they  have an established rapport with a physician in each of their respective home towns and cities. How many of you have not been to the doctor in ages? The questions I pose to you for today’s writing is, “ Do you have a physician and when is the last time you paid him or her a visit?”

I know for most of us, Health Care costs are through the ceiling. Health Insurance premiums are skyrocketing when overall preventative measures are declining. The affordability of reaching out to a doctor for preventative care is mind boggling alone.

Professionally , I have always urged my athletes and private clients to establish a relationship with their own personal physician. I want them taking a proactive approach to their medical care and not a reactive one.

How often should I see my physician? There really is not an exact answer to this but there are varied opinions, and two respected physicians from The Mayo Clinic came up with the following for Healthy individuals: internal physician and geriatrician Kevin Fleming, M.D. and gynecologist Petra Casey, M.D., made it easy for you. Here are their recommendations for how often to have the screenings you need most. Annually you should have the following evaluated:

weight, blood pressure, a dental exam, a skin exam, STD/STI testing, and a Mammogram (for women 40+). A fasting blood panel should be standard to identify cholesterol and other markers as well as a glucose tolerance test to determine blood sugar values.  Similarly for women , a PAP SMEAR is indicated every three years (every five years if HPV contesting is used). For men over 40 , annual prostate exams are indicated.

Besides the normal screens your doctor will perform, the evaluation time can also be spent dealing with counseling matters, family planning, STD prevention, quitting alcohol or tobacco use, and Nutrition and Weight loss. The simple evaluation can be the force that drives you to bettering your health.

For those of you looking to start or restart an exercise routine, the MD eval is a must. This is the way you are going to learn about your current cardiovascular fitness, your blood pressure, your blood lab values, and your past or current medication use. It is a time to discuss your goals and have your medical support TEAM in place. When it comes to the doctor patient relationship, I stress honesty and openness. I stress the direct route versus beating around the subject and stress a level of comfort in your ability to understand your personal findings.

The wellness package you are trying to achieve starts with the building of this ever important support system. Do you have the right physician for you? Robert Wergin, MD, a practicing family physician in Milford, Nebraska, and member of the board of directors of the American Academy of Family Physicians says, “It’s about establishing a relationship with someone who cares about, and can help you with, your health.” You may not need to see a doctor when you’re healthy, but when you come down with a nasty bug or mysterious ache, you’ll be glad to have someone with a knowledge of your medical history to turn to. Your relationship with your primary care physician, if well established, can provide peace of mind when you’re not feeling your best.

As a new season approaches , these are some of the values I will be sharing with the contestant hopefuls. Although not all of the finalists we evaluate will make it onto the show, I know we can say we have done an exhaustive battery of tests on each of these people and hopefully identified any areas of concern that need to and can be addressed.

 

References: Sizensky, Vera: “Do You Really Need an Annual Checkup?”. Women’s Health, Oct. 2012

 


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On_TOP

BL ALUMNI

     As the lights just dimmed on Season 14, I can’t give enough credit to all of the great transformations I just witnessed.  It was really a special evening to see all of you walking with that air of confidence and strutting with your chests out proud (AND RIGHTFULLY SO).  You all remember that sense of accomplishment, just hoping someone you hadn’t seen in a while noticed the new you!  Realizing the work you just put in paid off!  Realizing this is the happiest you’ve been in a long, long time!  Realizing your dreams!  Those of you who returned to welcome your new family members looked just as proud and full of love.  What a healthy environment, right?

     The questions I pose today to all of you to ask yourselves: “ How am I going to keep that battery charged and walk with that GAIT Sandy spoke of often on the ranch? “  Take a moment today to reflect momentarily on the past and ask “what is on my agenda to keep my light bulb lit and shining at its optimal wattage?”  True, some of you need to replace a bulb but once the bulb is in the fixture, know that you all have the tools and knowledge to keep that bulb burning for a long time…with full glare!!!

     “How do I know if my bulb is functioning at its peek level?” “Am I journaling?” “Am I counting calories?” “Am I weighing my foods?” “Am I planning meals for the week for myself and loved ones?” “Am I eating with a plan as proposed by H and Forberg?” “Am I snacking correctly?” “Am I incorporating the prescribed workout time to stay at maintenance?” “AM and PM?” “What am I doing at work to help keep myself functional and active?” “Can I be doing more?” “Am I treating my injuries and am I working to tolerance with the same?” “Am I making excuses ?”

     If you are on point, tremendous!!!! If your bulb needs replacing or if there is a short in the wire, well its time to change the darn thing!!!  Today is the day to do just that!  And if you’re not sure where the closest hardware store is or what wattage you need, please reach out to me and know that I will do my best to lead you.  Wishing you all continued success and love.

sak