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J Athl Train. 1996 Apr-Jun; 31(2): 160–164.
PMCID: PMC1318447

The Importance of State Regulation to the Promulgation of the Athletic Training Profession

Maria N. Rello, MS, LAT, C


States regulate professions to protect the public from harm by unqualified practitioners. Without regulation of athletic trainers (ATs), there is no legal way to assure quality health care to athletes because there is no legal definition as to what an AT can and cannot do. Problems exist, however; 1) ATs nationwide may not be adequately familiar with state regulations; 2) without regulation, legal support is given to high schools to use less qualified persons to care for student-athletes; 3) more education is needed to familiarize the public and the health care industry with the functions and qualifications of a certified AT; and 4) without uniformity of regulation, athletes may continue to suffer as untrained and/or unqualified persons continue to be perceived as members of the profession and as certified and noncertified ATs continue to practice without legal sanction, perhaps beyond their area of expertise. This article encompasses both a literature review and an opinion survey (of ATs) with regard to state regulation of the athletic training profession. The intent of this article is to help ATs understand the implications of state regulation on our profession. A survey was mailed to 500 ATs across the country soliciting opinions on state regulation and its implication of the profession of athletic training. The intent of the survey results are not to verify the literature review nor to infer information regarding other ATs, but merely to be a gathering tool to solicit information from fellow ATs.

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Articles from Journal of Athletic Training are provided here courtesy of National Athletic Trainers Association