|Posted:||September 23, 2021 01:28 PM|
|From:||Senator Lisa Baker and Sen. Katie J. Muth|
|To:||All Senate members|
|Subject:||Modernizing the Act governing Athletic Trainers|
|In the near future, we plan to introduce legislation to modernize the scope of practice act for athletic trainers (ATs) in the Commonwealth.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic due to a temporary suspension of their state practice act, ATs have been used to their fullest potential in many settings.
Under current law, athletic trainers are the only licensed allied health professionals who are restricted by the population they can treat. Athletic trainers are prohibited from treating anyone other than a "physically active person.” This is a dated restriction on patient population that is no longer relevant. ATs are utilizing the same knowledge and skill set regardless of whether the person is an athlete.
Additionally, the bill would allow athletic trainers to use best practices under “Athletic Training Services” during both routine and emergency care. Current law finds certain terminology vague and contradictory. In some cases, life-saving techniques such as using an epi-pen, administering a rescue inhaler or insulin, or administering naloxone or Narcan during an overdose can be prohibited. ATs administer these services and more in traditional sports team settings as well as in public safety, occupational health, with the military, and the performing arts. Importantly, these services would still be delivered under the direction of a physician.
Athletic trainers are board-certified health care professionals, licensed by either the State Board of Medicine or State Board of Osteopathic Medicine and recognized by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and American Medical Association (AMA) as allied health care professionals. Effective in 2022, ATs will be required to have attained a master’s degree level of education to become certified. Already in Pennsylvania, over sixty percent of the profession has a master's degree or higher level of education.
Pennsylvania has 20 accredited Athletic Training Programs, but graduates cannot fully use their education and training in our state.
We hope you will join in co-sponsoring this measure to align Pennsylvania’s law with the current practice, training, and education of athletic trainers. Thank you.