Athletic trainers are an invaluable part of any sports program. From high school gym classes to professional sports games, athletic trainers work with athletes on and off the field to treat injuries, perform physical therapy, and keep their teams safe and healthy. Sports teams rely on their athletic trainers to diagnose and treat injuries on the field and develop a plan for athletes to return to their sport after healing.
Certified athletic trainers are medical professionals that must pass stringent requirements to be licensed in most states. If your license is jeopardized due to allegations of misconduct, your career as an athletic trainer could suffer greatly. At the Lento Law Firm, our Professional License Defense Team has worked with athletic trainers accused of fraud, substance abuse, negligence, improper conduct, and other offenses in states around the country. Contact our office today to find out more about how we can help you.
Licensing for Athletic Trainers
Almost every state requires athletic trainers to meet rigorous standards. One notable exception is California, which does not have any regulations for athletic trainers at all. However, every other state requires athletic trainers to obtain either a license, certification, or registration. In most states, trainers must complete an accredited degree program and pass a certification exam from the Board of Certification for the Athletic Trainer (BOC).
BOC has a Code of Professional Responsibility that trainers must follow to maintain their certification. The BOC requires trainers to follow their code of ethics, keep up with license renewal requirements, and complete continuing education courses. If an athletic trainer violates these standards, the BOC may begin disciplinary proceedings.
License Violations for Athletic Trainers
Athletic trainers can be disciplined by the BOC or their state licensing board for a variety of actions, from failing to meet an ethical guideline to outright fraud or abuse. Some common violations can include:
- Failing to complete continuing education requirements
- Not following health, safety, or hygiene protocols
- Inadequate preventative measures to avoid injuries
- Failing to provide adequate documentation for services rendered
- Mishandling or misappropriating confidential client information
- Overpromising results from medical treatments
- Performing services or treatments outside the scope of your license
- Failing to report injuries or illnesses as required by law
- Abusing drugs or alcohol while treating clients
- Providing illicit or illegal substances like steroids to clients
In addition to following the BOC's Code of Professional Responsibility, athletic trainers will also need to make sure that they are following all of the rules and requirements for trainers in their state, city, and/or county. There may be state certifications or organizations that may also be in charge of licensing athletic trainers, and their obligations may be different or more extensive than the BOC's.
It's not always easy to stay on top of all the laws and statutes you need to follow as an athletic trainer, and everyone makes mistakes. If you are facing disciplinary action against your license, speak with the Professional License Defense Team at the Lento Law Firm and find out more about how our team helps athletic trainers across the country defend their certifications and continue treating athletes.
Disciplinary Process for Licensed Athletic Trainers
Being investigated by your state's licensing board can be a stressful and draining experience. The possibility of losing your certification as an athletic trainer may make it difficult to focus on what you need to do to defend yourself. If you are being investigated, it is important to understand how the process works, as well as your legal rights and responsibilities.
Most disciplinary actions start off with a complaint that an athletic trainer has violated one of the BOC's rules of ethics or has violated other state laws. After a complaint is received, the licensing board will begin an investigation into the athletic trainer's actions. During the investigation, the licensing board may review your records, speak to witnesses, or ask you to provide additional documents or information.
When the investigation is complete, the licensing board will advise you if they are filing formal charges against you. You will have a chance to respond to the charges and can attend a hearing to defend yourself and explain your side of the situation. You have the right to have an attorney represent you at this hearing, and your attorney can also help you prepare responses to any requests from the licensing board and otherwise communicate with them on your behalf.
You may also receive a consent agreement that you may sign in place of attending a hearing. This agreement allows you to admit to certain violations in exchange for an agreed penalty. A consent agreement avoids surprises in a hearing but is binding and cannot be changed once you sign it. Always make sure you understand the terms of a consent agreement before signing it, and speak with an attorney about your legal rights and options before making any decisions.
In addition to representing you in a hearing, an attorney may also be able to work with your state's licensing board and negotiate a resolution to your case. Not all violations result in an athletic trainer's license being revoked—there are many lesser possibilities, including fines, license restrictions, public censures, and suspensions. At the Lento Law Firm, our dedicated Professional License Defense Team will work tirelessly to help you defend yourself and protect your career as an athletic trainer from disciplinary actions.
Get Help Now with Athletic Trainer License Defense
Being the target of an investigation into wrongdoing can be frightening, especially when the potential consequences are so daunting. You have put years of study and training into your career as an athletic trainer, and the fear of losing your license can feel paralyzing.
At the Lento Law Firm, our Team understands how important your work is to you and will fight to make sure your rights are protected. We have years of experience representing licensed professionals in administrative proceedings and can walk you through the complicated disciplinary process. If you are worried about your athletic trainer license, don't wait to get help. Contact the Lento Law Firm today online or by calling 888.535.3686 and find out more.