Saturday, October 17, 2009

Your opinion please

Occasionally I get snail mail, email looking for A.T.'s for clinical work. Not that I'm looking to leave my job, but I notice they all say, "clinical experience necessary". What are we traditional A.T.'s, chopped liver!? Don't we attack difficult issues week after week on this blog? We work with a challenging population, large volumes of patients, with limited resources, under difficult circumstances. Who wouldn't want a traditional A.T. on their staff?

JH and others who work in the clinic please give us your input of the mind set. If any readers have made the switch over, or switched over & come back to traditional, I would really enjoy your input.


Kevin Moody said...


I left a position in the "traditonal world" of athletic training after serving as an AT with the USOC for 27 years. I now work for a hospital-based outpatient rehab and sports medicine clinic in northern NY. My duties include seeing student athletes at two local high schools 2x/wk for one hour each visit. I cover football & M hockey at one school and M & W hockey at the other school.

I probably average seeing 6-10 athletes in a one hour visit. Not a lot of time to take a history, perform an evaluation and then suggest home treatment options for each individual. I really enjoy working with these high schools athletes. I believe most of these kids play sports for the fun of it.

In NY state ATs can not bill for services in the clinic. Therefore I do not provide any clinical treatments to "patients." However I do provide personal training services to patients who may request supervised exercise training once they are formally discharged from physical therapy. This is on a cash basis.

Are my present work conditions better - maybe, less hours, less travel, less work in general. However I am frustrated by my inability to use all the skills and training that I have accumulated in my AT career to fully aid in returning athletes and patients to pre-injury status.

So - would I go back to my former setting if the opportunity arose? In my case no but for other reasons, but if an opening for a full time high school AT or AT/Teacher opened up in the area, you bet I would be on that in a heartbeat.

Kevin Moody

JH said...


I would love to be able to shed some wonderful insight as to why they are requiring clinic experience. Perhaps in situations where ATs can bill for services the skills needed such as word manipulation of teh insurance companies are thought to be too difficult or too time consuming to teach someone without clinical experience. I'm totaling guessing here. Where I work we don't deal with insurance companies.

However in NY ATs can bill for services according to the NYSATA President Elect, Christopher Hobler. In the setting he works, I believe he bills and very successfully if I'm not mistaken.

President - Elect

Christopher Hobler, MS, ATC
Orthopedic Surgery & Sports Medicine
1301 Trumansburg Rd, Ste R
Ithaca, NY 14850-1397

Email Chris Hobler

(607) 272-7000 Office

Back to the point at hand. I don't know Joe? I would think the skills of a traditional AT would cross over well into the clinic.

KP said...


The only thing I can think of is they are looking for people who are used to working in the environment of the clinic. From my personal experience, depending on how the clinic is managed and their experience with athletic trainers, it could mean that the athletic trainers are not allowed to work independently and it takes some getting used to if you are not used to just performing ultrasound treatments, retrieving/returning hotpacks, and not having any direct input into treatment decisions.

Again, that was my experience, and something I chaffed against - but then I was the first athletic trainer to be employed by that group and did my best that year to educate the management/staff of what I was/am able to do.