Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Woman are taking over our profession...or are they??

Indiana State University (yes, I may be slightly biased to them! GO SYCAMORES!) publishes research presenting data on: Age, Sex, and Setting Factors and Labor Force in Athletic Training.

What does this information show??? Well, in a nut shell....we see tons and tons of females getting into the Athletic Training Profession...however, what we don't talk about is the number getting out! Out of 18,571 AT's 52.1% were male and 47.9% were females. So, initally what would you think?? Well, yes, you would think the woman are catching up to the men...however, here is what we see....

"National employment trends have indicated an increase in female representation in the workforce from 40% in 1975 to 46% in 2005, with a projection that 51% of the workforce will be female by 2014.....Athletic training has incurred similar growth patterns since women first became athletic trainers (ATs) in 1956, with women now representing 48% of the athletic training population. Currently, 97.7% of all National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) institutions employ ATs. However, a closer investigation of the ATs in the college or university, high school, and clinic populations reveals inequity. Less than one-third of NCAA in- stitutions have female head ATs. The populations of men and women appear comparable (22% of women and 23% of men are employed in the secondary school setting, 14% of women and 14% of men are employed in the college or university setting, and 22% of women and 23% of men are employed in the clinical setting." (btw I could absolutely do proper citing here; however, what fun would that be in a blog...I will provide the article information at the end of this segment!)

So, where is the major discrepancy...well, it seems everything is fair in love and war (i.e. woman and men) except for not many woman are head AT"s at a this by choice or by sexism..YOU DECIDE..please leave me comments at the end of this blog!

Next thing about woman...."Female athletic trainers tended to leave the profession around age 28 years." Also, "Among female ATs, 45% stated that they changed job settings after having children. The changes were primarily from the college or university setting and might be based on multiple dy- namics, including irregular hours and flexibility of scheduling; regardless, these patterns mimic national data."

So, what does this suggest??? Well, even though we are increasing the number of female AT's coming in...we still cannot catch up to the male population because we have several females still leaving the profession, but can you blame them??? Don't get me wrong, I am a HUGE advocate for Athletic Training, but sometimes I like to play the devils advocate!

I was once told by a doctor that I work with that you have to be a, "COMPLETE IDIOT to become a doctor...the hours...the years, the dedication...the stress...but at least I know my family is taken care of by the pay check I bring home...even if I'm not there all the time". Well, his phrase kind of rings home...the hours, the dedication, the stress, but the one thing we don't get is the pay. We cannot always say our families are well taken care of. After doing alot of research from salary surveys to my own personal surveys I am completely astonished at what some AT's are being offered. ...and I am not talking about a starter job that you know you will move out of because that is the realm of the job i.e. a "starter position" (even though those in themselves are a shame)...I am talking about good "experience needed" jobs. We are taking jobs that pay us peanuts, leaving some unable to pay off their bills and loans....unable to afford their car payments...or leaving them eating noddles 6 nights a week. WE as athletic trainers have to stand up for our profession. We tell our people to stand up for themselves and fight for their own salaries..and there is no doubt that this is needed...however, our profession needs to stand up for us too. We want so badly to care for our kids, but at what cost? There is no doubt an Athletic Trainer shoud be at every school...but at what cost??? So, that they can barely live a life and not be able to save money to take care of their family or even themselves years down the road. We cannot just think about the now, we MUST think about the future...the future of our profession including the FUTURE of OUR PROFESSIONALS.

So, this blog kind of points out a few things.....percentage of men vs woman in our profession, the fact that woman are leaving the profession ...and the question still remains to know exactly why...well, here is some more food for thought!!!! It's not just the's not just the stress.....because even doctors manage families with that....what about the pay????

Statistics a "quotes" come from the following research:

Age, Sex, and Setting Factors and Labor Force in Athletic Training
Leamor Kahanov, EdD, LAT, ATC; Lindsey E. Eberman, PhD, ATC
Department of Applied Science and Rehabilitation, Indiana State University, Terre Haute

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Are You Prepared?

After watching those who live on the east coast last week scramble to find emergency supplies and create hurricane survival kits before Irene made landfall. It made me wonder, are we really prepared as athletic trainers to execute our emergency actions plans (EAP's) in a timely manor? When is the last time we practiced spine boarding or splinting, or even walked through our EAP's step by step?

If you are like me and live in traditional hurricane territory, you are prepared. You have a Hurricane kit, you have plan of attack if a Hurricane ever comes on land, and you watch the National Hurricane Center for updates almost on a daily basis during hurricane season. So how can we transfer our hurricane preparedness into Emergency preparedness in our role as an athletic trainer?

Providing immediate emergency care is a vital part of an athletic trainers existence, and emergency plans have to be rehearsed. This rehearsal provides team members a chance to maintain and improve their emergency skills at a high level. In addition, all equipment should be checked on a regular basis, but lets be honest when the last time you took out your splints and made sure they where in working order?

Today, I reviewed my EAP's with my Athletic Training Education Program students and at this point I do not believe they would be able to accurately implement it. I plan on using the next couple of days to allow them to become familiar with not only the plan and their role, but the equipment they may be asked to get and/or use.

I hope to never use my EAP's but as long as my team and I have rehearsed and our equipment is in working order I know everything will turn out for the best.

Below are some references for creating and implementing your own emergency action plans.

National Athletic Trainers' Association Position Statement: Emergency Planning in Athletics-

National Center for Sports Safety -

Center for Catastrophic Sports Injuries, Prevention and Management, College Sports Medicine Foundation-