THE ATHLETIC TRAINERS'
ASSOCIATION OF FLORIDA

About ATAF

ATAF Mission Statement

The Athletic Trainers’ Association of Florida, Inc (ATAF) is an organization whose membership is dedicated to the comprehensive health care of our state’s athletes and other physically active individuals. The mission of the ATAF is to offer a diverse range of services to its members, while protecting the public’s interest by seeing that certified, licensed athletic trainer’s are available to provide proper medical care to our state’s athletes and the physically active.

History of ATAF

The Athletic Trainers’ Association of Florida, Inc. (ATAF) was organized in the spring of 1983 by approximately thirty certified athletic trainers (ATC) from throughout the state. Their primary objectives were to provide a forum for professional growth, development and communications, and to address the common needs among athletic trainers providing health care to Florida’s professional, collegiate, high school and other amateur athletes. The Mission Statement (See above) expands these objectives into the realm of education and recognition.

Members of ATAF can be found providing services at colleges and universities, community and junior colleges, high schools, professional athletics, sports medicine centers, industrial work places, wellness programs and health clubs. In many cases, ATAF members volunteer to provide services at community events as well as at Florida High School Activities Association tournaments and games.

ATAF Bylaws

ATAF Constitution

What is an Athletic Trainer?

Athletic Trainers (ATs) are health care professionals who collaborate with physicians to provide preventative services, emergency care, clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions. Students who want to become certified athletic trainers must earn a degree from an accredited athletic training curriculum. Accredited programs include formal instruction in areas such as injury/illness prevention, first aid and emergency care, assessment of injury/illness, human anatomy and physiology, therapeutic modalities, and nutrition. Classroom learning is enhanced through clinical education experiences. More than 70 percent of certified athletic trainers hold at least a master’s degree.

 

New Laws Affecting Athletic Training in Florida

As you know, the laws governing the profession of athletic training are defined in Chapter 468 of the Florida Statutes. In general, the statutes provide the foundation for recognition and regulation of the profession. The law provides a combination of both title and practice protection, which is to simply say that it provides regulations granting both title protection (right-to-title) to persons meeting predetermined standards, and practice protection, making it illegal for a person to practice without first meeting standards set forth by law.

The new Florida law goes into effect on January 1, 2016. To help keep you informed, the new law in its entirety can be found HERE. It also is available as a PDF document which will be posted on both the ATAF and State Board websites. A summary of the major issues addressed by the new law and a few of the other FAQ’s is below:

PLEASE NOTE: The other important document that deals with regulation of the athletic training profession in the State of Florida is Chapter 64B33 of the Administrative Code which serves as an important adjunct to the Florida Statutes. It is still in the process of being revised by the Board of Athletic Trainers and attorneys from the Department of Health. It is a lengthy procedure and once completed, the membership will be informed and it will be published as well.

The purpose of the new law and changes needed were to continue to protect the public and regulate the practice of athletic trainers by updating the statutes (which were nearly twenty years old) and to bring the law into line with current standards of practice. It does not expand the scope of practice but better delineates the role of the athletic trainer, regardless of the settings they may work in; and to allow a physician a broader choice of how they may provide direction currently mandated by statute. This is done by:

Revising the definition of an athletic trainer:  Redefines athletic trainer as a person who meets specific educational requirements and obtains the necessary credentials as outlined in the statutes; and, limits the practice of athletic trainers to that education, training, or experience; and that they may not provide care or services beyond those constraints.

Revising the definition of athletic training: Refines athletic training as service and care provided by an athletic trainer under the direction of a physician and that such service and care must relate to the prevention, recognition, evaluation, management, disposition, treatment, or rehabilitation of a physically active person who sustained an injury illness, or other condition while involved in exercise, sport, recreation, or related physical activity, and most importantly, not to just an athlete.

Expanding the physician’s ability and choice of methods to provide mandatory direction to the athletic trainer for the provision of services and care. Current statutes limit the physician to a one time written protocol. It does not change the scope of practice.

FAQ: My physician wants to create a protocol and train me in performing a procedure that they would like me to do in their office; (for instance, the aspiration and injection of joints); can I do this? Answer: Our law does not and cannot address what a physician or other healthcare providers do, however, as an athletic trainer, you cannot “provide, offer to provide, or represent that he or she is qualified to provide any care or services that he or she lacks the education, training, or experience to provide, or that he or she is otherwise prohibited by law from providing.” You would be practicing outside of the education and scope of practice that is set forth by CAATE and the BOC which are the basis for obtaining a license in the State of Florida. Regardless of CAATE or education standards, etc., however, the final determination of the scope of practice is by law set by the Florida Statutes and Administrative Rules and determined by the Board of Athletic Training. Please note: the administrative rules are currently being rewritten by the Board.

Provides for mandatory fingerprinting and background checks of new applicants pursuant to pursuant to s. 456.0135; it also allows for board discretion to require background checks for those whose license has lapsed or has been subject to disciplinary action; costs will be borne by the individual and not by the State. Unfortunately, concerns such as sexually related crimes and drug abuse have become more prevalent in today’s world, and our profession, like all others, is not immune to those issues.

The complete Law can be found below

Title XXXII Chapter 468 PART XIII – ATHLETIC TRAINERS_2016

 

ATAF Mission

The Athletic Trainers’ Association of Florida, Inc (ATAF) is an organization whose membership is dedicated to the comprehensive health care of our state’s athletes and other physically active individuals. The mission of the ATAF is to offer a diverse range of services to its members, while protecting the public’s interest by seeing that certified, licensed athletic trainer’s are available to provide proper medical care to our state’s athletes and the physically active.

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