SACRAMENTO, Calif., Sept. 18, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- With an alarming rise in sports-related injuries among student athletes and active adults around the state, Assemblyman Rob Bonta (D-Alameda) has introduced legislation to protect the public and regulate athletic training in California, reports California Athletic Trainers' Association.
"Enough is enough," he says, noting that this proposed bill is overdue for a state known for putting people first. Earlier this spring he introduced AB 1592, which would require individuals to be certified by the state Board of Certification before they can call themselves "athletic trainers," a title given to health care professionals charged with helping people prevent, manage and rehabilitate injuries as well as keeping them healthy and active.
All states except California regulate athletic trainers through registration, certification or ? the safest and strictest requirement ? licensure. Most recently, West Virginia, Missouri, Colorado and Oregon have recognized the harm in simply allowing their athletic trainers to be registered, and moved to requiring licensure for athletic trainers in 2019.
"There is an urgent and compelling need to regulate the profession of athletic training to mitigate harm to the public, the profession and employers," Bonta says. "California doesn't regulate athletic trainers and as a direct result we're seeing too many unnecessary injuries, disabilities and even death."
Under state law, anyone regardless of education or certification can act as an athletic trainer diagnosing and treating serious sports and work-related injuries, including concussions, heat stroke, cardiac arrest and spinal cord conditions.
In particular, this lack of certification has both short- and long-term health implications for millions of students who participate in sports both at their local schools and communities.
But it's not just the sporting types who depend on healthcare provided by athletic trainers. According to the California Athletic Trainers' Association (CATA), more than 34 percent of athletic trainers in the state work with patients who are non-athletes, including those in the military, performing arts, industrial and corporate settings.
Under the proposed legislation, athletic trainers would be required to graduate from an accredited educational program and be certified before registering in the state. These regulations would align California's athletic training professionals with those in the other 49 states, allowing them to travel and treat athletes and workers out of state without exposure to legal and financial consequences.
The bill, sponsored by CATA, is supported by leading physician groups and other health care and sports organizations, including the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, American Orthopaedics Society for Sports Medicine, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), National Federation of State High School Associations (NFSHS) and dozens of other organizations.
According to CATA President Jason Bennett, AB 1592 will be heard at the committee level early in 2020 and hopefully become law by 2021.
"There is broad consensus from medical organizations and experts, colleges and universities, professional sports teams and other organizations that regulation for athletic trainers is imperative to protect the safety of California citizens," says Bennett. "After years of educating politicians and the public, now is the right time and AB 1592 is the right legislation that will finally bring us to parity with the other states."
About the California Athletic Trainers' Association (CATA)
Athletic trainers are health care professionals who specialize in the provision of physical medicine and rehabilitation services, serving as physician extenders in the prevention, assessment and treatment of acute and chronic injuries and illnesses. The California Athletic Trainers' Association (https://ca-at.org) represents and supports 2,600 members of the athletic training profession in the state.
SOURCE California Athletic Trainers' Association (CATA)
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