Cutting Corners With Health Care
I understand trying to cut corners and save a buck, but doing this with the health care of the people whom you are providing an athletic experience to is irresponsible. Recently, I lost a client. This repeat client “strongly urged” me to cover 5 fields with 1 athletic trainer. Now, 4 of the fields were not full sized fields, however, those 4 fields were inside and the other was outside. No matter how many times I explained the importance of fast response time, quality of care, liability and the fact that I just can’t knowingly and in good conscience send an AT into that type of work environment, the client persistently “urged” me to send them one AT. They said I was being unreasonable to “leave them without coverage” only a week before their event. Please note: This 5 field tournament only crossed my desk 1 week and 1 day before the event. So, not only did the client wait until a week before the tournament to find ATs, they then tried to make me feel guilty about my urges to cover it properly. I held my ground and will likely not be providing coverage to this client any more, which is a shame. But here is the thing: I provide athletic training services and to continue to do this, I need the ATs to want to come back and work with us again and again. If that means that I have to turn away a client here and there, well, so be it. The sad part is… this organization probably found an athletic trainer who did not ask the important questions about field set up and took this job. Or, they got an EMT, and don’t even get me started about my thoughts on that.
I recently had a camp director tell me that he could not afford to pay the same prices that he pays for daily per diem for his camps. Camps generally require more work and responsibility than game coverage, yet he has been able to find ATs to work at his rates in the past and he probably will again this year.
As a result of carefully selected rates and pre-screened work environments, the organizations who use our company are high quality clients which attract our high quality athletic trainers. Our clients are happy with our service and ATs are happy as well. And this means that I’m happy.
The teams are set and the pre-season overuse injuries are starting to come in. I’ve seen a couple of strained hamstrings, hip flexors and quads and stretched out a lot of shoulders. I’ve also begun strengthening programs with a couple players who definitely should have been doing exercises all winter. Also, I’ve enjoyed teaching these kids how to stretch. I like getting down on the floor and demonstrating proper technique. The athletes seem to like it as well, as now ALL of their friends are coming up to see me as well. My favorite injuries, of course, are the one-day injuries such as: The kids that come to see me in agony during practice, but then don’t come back to see me next day as they were told to. And when I see them out at practice, they are running around and looking like pro-athletes. Yesterday we were going to amputate; today they are feeling GREAT! Much better! “The ice REALLY WORKED!” WOW! I don’t know how this works, but I’m cool with it because honestly, it means my pre-practice/pregame rush is a little shorter. I usually say, “OK, well you know where my office is. Be sure to get some ice on that just in case after”
So that’s what’s going on up in here. I hope your season’s off to a great start and you’re enjoying the weather.