Advisory Board of Athletic Trainers FAQ's-General Questions

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What does a licensed athletic trainer do?

      A licensed athletic trainer practices a form of health care that includes preventing, recognizing, assessing, managing, treating, disposing of, and reconditioning athletic injuries. An athlete is a person who participates in an organized sport or sport-related exercise or activity. A licensed athletic trainer practices under the direction of a licensed physician.

      Before games and sporting events, a licensed athletic trainer carries out injury prevention measures (such as the application of protective devices) to minimize the risk of injury during play. When an athlete is injured, a licensed athletic trainer provides emergency care and/or refers the athlete to a physician or hospital if necessary. When an injured athlete needs rehabilitation before they can return to play, a licensed athletic trainer sets up or carries out the rehabilitation plan.

Where do licensed athletic trainers work?

      Athletic training services may be provided in any setting. These settings include, but are not limited to, high schools, colleges or universities, professional or amateur athletic organizations, athletic facilities, and health care facilities. Licensed athletic trainers provide health care services under the direction of the treating physician.

Are athletic trainers required to hold a license in Texas?

      Yes. No person may hold himself out as an athletic trainer or perform any of the activities of an athletic trainer as defined by law without first obtaining a license or a temporary license. Certification by the National Athletic Trainers Association or certification by the State Board of Educator Certification does not meet this requirement of law.

What is the law that regulates athletic trainers in Texas?

      Texas Civil Statutes, Article 4512d (the Athletic Trainers Act) is the law that regulates the profession of athletic training in Texas. The law was effective on September 1, 1971 and was amended in 1973, 1975, 1981, 1983, 1997, and 1999. Effective September 1, 1999, the Act is codified in Chapter 451 of the Texas Occupations Code, although some recently amended provisions of Article 4512d remain in effect. Licensed athletic trainers are required to comply with the Act and with all state and federal laws applicable to the services they are providing.

What is the Advisory Board of Athletic Trainers?

      The Advisory Board of Athletic Trainers (a Texas state board created by the Athletic Trainers Act) is the licensing and regulatory authority for athletic trainers in Texas. The board has authority and responsibility to carry out the requirements of the Act. The board's purpose is to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of Texas by establishing and enforcing qualifications and standards of practice for licensed athletic trainers.

      The board consists of five members appointed by the Governor of Texas. Three members must be licensed athletic trainers and two members represent the public. The board conducts its operations within the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) and utilizes DSHS staff and facilities to accomplish its purpose.

What are the requirements to become a licensed athletic trainer?

      Licensed athletic trainers must hold a college degree, meet the coursework and apprenticeship requirements set out in the board's rules, complete the application process, and successfully complete the Texas Athletic Trainer Written and Practical Examinations.

How does a licensed athletic trainer report continuing education to the board?

      Athletic trainers are required to report continuing education at the end of each two-year reporting period. Proof of continuing education credits must be submitted with the renewal form if the licensee is selected for audit. Athletic trainers should keep all continuing education documentation on file in their own records until after their license is renewed at the end of the two-year reporting period. Continuing education events must receive board approval, if they are not pre-approved by a board recognized organization. Any individual or organization may contact the board office and request that an event be considered for approval.

How can a person file a complaint against a licensed athletic trainer? What happens to a complaint after it is filed?

      Contact the board at the address and telephone number shown below. When a complaint is filed, the board's Executive Secretary and DSHS staff members review the complaint to determine if it makes allegations that, if proven true, would be a violation of the Athletic Trainers Act or the board's rules.  

      If the allegations would not be a violation of the law or rules, the complaint is closed and the person who filed the complaint is notified of the reason that it was closed. If the allegations would be a violation of the law or rules, DSHS staff members investigate the complaint. If the investigation reveals that no violation occurred, the complaint is closed and the person who filed the complaint is notified of the reason that it was closed. If the investigation reveals that a violation occurred, the Executive Secretary and DSHS staff members recommend the appropriate disciplinary action to the board for final approval. Actions may include fines; suspension, revocation, or probation of the athletic trainer's license; or filing of criminal charges.

What happens if the complaint does not fall within the jurisdiction of the Advisory Board of Athletic Trainers?

      If the board does not have authority to resolve the complaint, it will be referred to the appropriate government agency for handling the complaint.

How can I obtain more information?

      Application packets, complaint information, and renewal forms may be obtained from the board office at the Texas Department of State Health Services. Staff is also available to answer your questions concerning athletic trainers in Texas. Questions and requests for information may be mailed, telephoned, faxed, or e-mailed.

Advisory Board of Athletic Trainers
Texas Department of State Health Services
Mail Code 1982
P.O. Box 149347
Austin , Texas 78714-9347

Ttelephone (512) 834-6615
Fax (512) 834-6677
E-mail:at@dshs
Website: http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/at/

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Last updated May 12, 2010
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