Support for MATA amending the Practice Act in relation to licensure of athletic trainers
Dear Maryland Senators and Delegates:
I am joining others from across Maryland, in support of the Maryland Athletic Trainers’ Association’s efforts to update the current statute and bring them in line with other states and the national standard of care. These legislative changes seek to remove the restrictions of patient populations and eliminate the restrictive workplace settings which prevents athletic trainers in Maryland from working to the fullest extent of their education and training.
Athletic trainers are licensed, board certified health care professionals with, at a minimum, a bachelor’s degree in athletic training from an accredited institution. Nationally, seventy-eight percent of the profession has a master’s degree or higher level of education. The profession is currently transitioning to an entry level master’s degree, which will be completed in 2022. Athletic training encompasses the prevention, diagnosis and intervention of emergency, acute and chronic medical conditions. These conditions involve impairments, functional limitations and disabilities, including concussions, heat stroke, and sudden cardiac death. Athletic trainers’ unique insight and understanding of patient health care needs have led to professional opportunities beyond high school, collegiate and professional sports.
In other states, athletic trainers are in high demand by industrial corporations, physician offices, hospitals, rehabilitation clinics, emergency rooms, every branch of the United States military and performing arts companies because of their versatile emergency management skills, injury and illness prevention skills and wellness services. Numerous employers utilize them for their expertise in manual therapy and similar treatments for musculoskeletal conditions.
Unfortunately, in Maryland, state law extremely limits athletic trainers’ ability to practice by binding them to a very small patient population in a very specific setting, regardless of their education and training. This results in job loss from athletic trainers choosing to work in less-restrictive states and fewer health care providers to meet growing health care demands. Further, it limits patient access to quality health care to provide physical medicine and rehabilitation services.
It is for these reasons I am asking for your support in passing the bipartisan legislation submitted to the Maryland general assembly. Thank you in advance for your consideration to update Maryland’s athletic trainers’ practice act. Your support will go a long way to strengthening the athletic training profession and ensuring our patients receive the best care.