Ohio Looks to Update Athletic Trainer Legislation

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State representatives in Ohio are seeking to update the nearly 30-year-old Ohio Athletic Trainers’ Practice Act. 

Last updated in 1991, the current version of the law on the books limits the type of care Ohio athletic trainers can provide to what state representative Rick Carfagna called “topical care.”

“Topical isn’t even really defined in the Ohio Revised Code,” Carfagna told TV station WKRC. “It’s pretty much surface-level care.”

That means that under current law, athletic trainers in Ohio are prevented from providing care such as administering an over-the-counter medication to an athlete suffering an allergic reaction, or providing a saline IV to a dehydrated athlete. 

“It doesn’t make any sense to us,” state representative Cindy Abrams told WKRC. “So, we’re trying to add a little common sense to this bill.”

House Bill 484 seeks to update current law by updating language regarding the type of work athletic trainers can do. The full bill text can be downloaded here.

“My practice act needs to be modernized because what’s being taught at the university level does not match what I’m allowed to do in the real world,” athletic trainer Tom Lane told WKRC. 

The bill faces a time crunch if it’s going to be passed and signed into law, as the general assembly is in year two of its legislative session, but advocates hope the bill will advance.

OHSAA executive director Jerry Snodgrass told WKRC that updating the law would benefit the state’s high school athletes.

“Updating that is a tremendous help to serve kids and keep the game safe,” Snodgrass said. “I think that’s the bottom line is to keep the game and keep the kids safe.”

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