The December NATA News takes a look back at the year, and a big part of that was the yearlong Health Care in Action campaign. The goal of the Health Care in Action campaign was to not only celebrate everything athletic trainers do for the betterment of their patients and, overall, the communities in which they serve, but to help athletic trainers communicate these endeavors to others.
Continuing the conversations and efforts that started during the 2019 Own Your Impact campaign, the Health Care in Action campaign provided resources to members that help them tell their stories as health care providers and advocates. The goal was to continue to emphasize the important role athletic trainers play in health care and wellness in every setting and with all patient populations.
Throughout the year, NATA provided resources, information and insights designed to help members showcase how they’re Health Care in Action.
Here is a look back at the 2020 Health Care in Action campaign.
At the start in the January NATA News, NATA challenged members to fulfill the “20 Things To Do in 2020” list, which focused on what they could do in advocacy, engagement and development. We know the COVID-19 pandemic affected the possibility of completing some of the challenges, such as attending Capitol Hill Day, but how many did you complete?
- Renew your NATA membership.
- Celebrate National Athletic Training Month.
- Be a lifelong learner.
- Vote in this year’s NATA presidential election.
- Join the NATA Research & Education Foundation’s Circle of Champions.
- Engage in a conversation on Gather.
- Attend your state or district association annual meeting.
- Build a relationship with a legislator.
- Share your knowledge.
- Make sure you have your National Provider Identifier.
- Attend the 71st NATA Clinical Symposia & AT Expo in Atlanta.
- Follow NATA (@NATA1950) and At Your Own Risk (@ASaferApproach) on social media.
- Develop your leadership skills.
- Sign up for NATA’s professional interests quarterly enewsletters.
- Build a relationship with a local reporter.
- Attend your state and national Capitol Hill Day events.
- Find a mentor or mentee.
- Volunteer with NATA, especially during the NATA convention.
- Stay up to date on the latest developments in sports medicine by reading NATA’s various publications.
- Donate to the NATA Political Action Committee.
There is still time to complete the list in 2020, and ATs can use this list beyond the end of the year promote and advocate for the profession year-round. Read more about the “20 Things To Do in 2020” list in the January NATA News.
In preparation for National Athletic Training Month in March, the February NATA News provided readers with the NATM Action Challenge, which listed 10 challenges for ATs to accomplish during NATM. Did you achieve them all?
Challenge 1: Share NATM content from @NATA1950 on your social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.).
Challenge 2: Introduce yourself to or reconnect with four local reporters and share our customizable NATM press packet.
Challenge 3: Get your National Provider Identifier (NPI) with the AT taxonomy code, and reach out to five colleagues to make sure they have theirs, too. (Every number counts!)
Challenge 4: Give a social shout out to a fellow AT who has positively impacted your life. Tag @NATA1950 in your post.
Challenge 5: Display your NATA NATM poster in a high-traffic area along with the “Did You Know” AT Fact Sheet.
Challenge 6: Ask the sports information director, publicist, marketing department or front office staff at your organization to share a NATM specific message on their website, newsletter, social media, score board, marquee, etc.
Challenge 7: Reach out to your local radio or TV station to get a NATM public service announcement shared on the air.
Challenge 8: Talk to your local government officials to secure a proclamation for this year’s NATM.
Challenge 9: Identify key decision-makers (superintendent, principal, athletic director, etc.) within your organization and share a letter about athletic training and NATM letter with them.
Challenge 10: Introduce yourself or build on your relationship with local medical providers (primary physicians, pediatricians, dentists, occupational therapists, speech pathologists, etc.), and share NATM materials.
Read more about the NATM Action Challenge in the February NATA News.
In the March NATA News, we explored one of the points from the “20 Things To Do in 2020” list: building a relationship with a legislator. Legislators – federal and state – serve thousands of constituents. It can be a challenge to stand out in the crowd, but employing NATA’s tips and suggestions can help members do just that when advocating for the athletic training profession.
One way to get to a legislator is through the use of communication and social media. Communication is key when building a relationship with a legislator, federal or state. While traditional tactics – such as mailing a letter, sending an email or giving them a call – are still effective ways to reach out to a legislator, social media has grown in popularity, so much so that it is now the best way to stay up to date with legislators.
Another key part to building a relationship with a legislator is getting to know them, which can be done by attending events you know they’ll be present during. Once you start a relationship, maintaining it is just as important as beginning it. Finally, make sure to get involved with your state, district or national government affairs committee.
Read more about building a relationship with legislators in the March NATA News.
What does it mean to be a lifelong learner? That’s exactly what NATA explored in the April NATA News Health Care in Action article. As a health care profession, athletic training is constantly changing. As best practices, standards, technology and trends continue to update and develop, so too must athletic trainers’ knowledge and professional development.
Lifelong learning is an essential part to being an athletic trainer as one’s knowledge and understanding directly impacts clinical practice and patient outcomes. NATA offers year-round learning opportunities and continuing education through the NATA Professional Development Center, webinars and more.
It is also imperative to develop leadership skills, share your knowledge/expertise and utilize all your resources. Here are some NATA resources to bookmark to be a lifelong learner.
- NATA Professional Development Center
- Upcoming Webinar Schedule
- NATA Leadership Academy
- Journal of Athletic Training and Athletic Training Education Journal
- Journal of Athletic Training Podcasts
Read more about being a lifelong learner in the April NATA News.
Advancing the profession can be done through a multitude of ways. In the May NATA News, the Health Care in Action article focused on how supporting the NATA Research & Education Foundation can advance the profession. Since its inception in 1991, the NATA Foundation has provided more than $4.85 million in research grants and $3.44 million in scholarships to achieve its mission of advancing the athletic training profession.
Through its support of athletic training education and research – providing 335 research grants and awarding more than 1,700 scholarships over almost 30 years – the NATA Foundation has been vital to the growth of the profession and has helped to improve best practices and patient care.
Read about more ways you can support the NATA Foundation and its mission to advance the profession in the May NATA News.
Whether it’s insight into safety and well-being or a firsthand account of an athlete’s life-changing injury and recovery, athletic trainers have a wealth of knowledge and experiences of interest to the general public. Having a great story to tell, however, is one thing – how you actually get that story out is entirely different. In the June NATA News, we explored how ATs can build a connection with a reporter for better storytelling.
Stephanie Kuzydym, an investigative producer with Local 12 (WKRC-TV) in Cincinnati, shared how she has worked to turn her interest in athletic training into an ongoing series that covers the profession throughout Ohio. She has relied on her connections within athletic training to help bring this series to life.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the July Health Care in Action article discussed the benefits of going virtual, specifically for the 2020 NATA Virtual Clinical Symposia & AT Expo. NATA was determined to ensure members were able to make the most of their experiences from behind their computer screens. Transitioning to virtual, VNATA 2020 was able to feature many of the convention benefits attendees have come to expect without cutting back on any available CEUs.
Read more about the benefits of going virtual in the July NATA News.
NATA’s At Your Own Risk initiative aims to educate, provide resources and equip the public to act and advocate for safety in work, life and sport. At Your Own Risk shows employers, workers, legislators, school administrators, parents and student athletes that without an athletic trainer on the team, they are left to face the inherent safety risks of living, working and engaging in athletics all on their own. In the August/September NATA News, the Health Care in Action article looked at how At Your Own Risk is continuing to update resources to advance the understanding of the athletic training profession.
Some of these resources include:
- Sports Safety Map
- Parent-centric education
- At Your Own Risk blog
- COVID-19 webpage
- General resources
The NATA Research & Education Foundation’s Free Communications Program is often the first chance an athletic trainer has to present their research and clinical case studies during the NATA Clinical Symposia & AT Expo. Since the program’s inception in 1997, more than 7,000 oral, rapid fire and poster presentations have been provided through the Free Communications Program. In the October NATA News, the Health Care in Action article discussed why ATs should submit to the Free Communications Program.
The program provides a forum for researchers and clinicians to disseminate research and clinical case studies. Abstracts are selected by the Free Communications Committee, a subcommittee of the NATA Foundation Research Committee. The selected abstracts are published in the Journal of Athletic Training and presented at the NATA convention. Accepted abstracts may also be highlighted in press releases, which can be found on the NATA website.
Find out more about the Free Communications Program, what to consider prior to submitting and more in the October NATA News.
On January’s “20 Things To Do in 2020” list was the suggestion to find a mentor or mentee. The Health Care in Action article in the November NATA News featured two members, Kacey Ayres, LAT, ATC, CES, and her mentor Jeff Hopp, LAT, ATC, who connected through the NATA Mentor Match Program on Gather. They share their experiences and perspective on the benefits of a mentorship.
Mentoring is most often defined as a professional relationship in which an experienced person (the mentor) assists another (the mentee) in developing specific skills and knowledge that will enhance a person’s professional and personal growth within a certain field. Whether fresh out of school or a young professional, having a mentor to help guide you through the profession can be beneficial. If you have questions, curiosities or want an experienced professional to look up to, a mentor is there.
“When I sent in my application, I was still figuring out who I was as an athletic trainer,” Ayres said. “I love having connections where I am able to bounce ideas off of other people. The mentor program has been great because I was able to connect with an athletic trainer who has given me some great advice and guidance and someone I probably would not have been able to meet without this program.”
Read more about the benefits of a mentorship as well as some frequently asked questions about the Gather Mentor Match Program in the November NATA News.