HISTORY OF ATHLETIC TRAINERS/THERAPISTS IN ONTARIO & CANADA
Profession born in the USA :
1950 establishment of the NATA -- National Athletic Trainers' Association
Ontario and Federal Public Policy Backdrop to AT Profession & Sport Medicine | 1960-1990
Pedagogy & Practice
OATA Celebrates 50 Years | First AT Program
Sheridan College | 1973-2023
Pedagogy & Practice
York U celebrates over 30 years | First Joint Masters
with AT Certificate | New Masters AT Coming Soon
Scope of Practice
"The practice of Athletic Therapy is within the sport medicine model of care and is the assessment (in either the field or clinical setting) of neuromuscular and musculoskeletal disease, dysfunction or disorders; and the treatment, rehabilitation, management, prevention or relief of physical dysfunction, injury or pain to develop, maintain, rehabilitate or augment function and promote mobility."
At the OATA Board’s Annual Strategic retreat in June of 2013, the Directors worked collaboratively to devise a new scope of practice statement for the profession in Ontario. There were two objectives in doing so. The principal objective was to devise a scope of practice statement that reflects the modern Athletic Therapy practice in Ontario. The second objective was to cast the scope of practice statement using the terminology and structure of scope of practice statements for professions regulated under the Regulated Health Professions Act (RHPA).
The practice of Athletic Therapy is within the sport medicine model of care and is the assessment (in either the field or clinical setting) of neuromuscular and musculoskeletal disease, dysfunction or disorders; and the treatment, rehabilitation, management, prevention or relief of physical dysfunction, injury or pain to develop, maintain, rehabilitate or augment function and promote mobility."
Work will continue to hone the Athletic Therapist scope of practice statement in consultation with policy makers and those involved in our pursuit of statutory regulation for the profession.
There has been considerable debate around the use of the term "diagnose" in the scope of practice statement devised by the Board. Some see this as an infringement of the RHPA -controlled act of "communicating a diagnosis". It's not. The original framers of the RHPA made it very clear that the controlled act applies only to the communication of a diagnosis to a patient or to a patient's personal representative. That position has subsequently been confirmed on numerous occasions by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. There is no prohibition against a practitioner formulating a diagnosis to inform the development of a treatment plan. The RHPA also defines diagnosis as the act of "identifying a disease or disorder as the cause of symptoms of the individual in circumstances in which it is reasonably foreseeable that the individual or his or her personal representative will rely on the diagnosis".
There is also no prohibition against communicating a diagnosis relating to a physical dysfunction. Members of RHPA professions that are not authorized to perform the controlled act of "communicating a diagnosis" are, nonetheless, able to:
Formulate a diagnosis in their own minds in order to determine the best course of treatment;
Communicate an assessment arising from that diagnosis; and
Communicate a diagnosis pertaining to a physical dysfunction.
OATA COMPLETED FIRST ATHLETIC THERAPY PRACTICE ANALYSIS IN CANADA.
In pursuit of meeting health regulatory college criteria, the OATA conducted a Practice Analysis study to establish a current framework detailing the knowledge and skill that ATs must have in order to provide proficient services. The Practice Analysis study focused on relevant areas of responsibility that apply in the variety of settings where ATs practice. Of particular interest in the study was the degree to which ATs would be expected to be proficient in the areas of responsibility and the various tasks associated with them.
The Practice Analysis forms an important part of the OATA’s efforts to advance the AT profession by achieving regulation within a Regulated Health Professions Act (RHPA) framework, however, the OATA is also using the results of the practice analysis as the basis for AT standards of practice to inform third-party payors about the work that ATs do and the education and training that prepares them for that work.
Additionally, the OATA is partnering with ADDATech to use the results to build the first AT-specific practice management platform that OATA hopes will generate important practice data to support academic research on AT competencies.
Practice Areas of Responsibility
The areas of AT practice responsibility are as follows:
Risk Reduction and Health Literacy
Treatment and Rehabilitation