There are traditional views of involvement that we have all read about: be a member of your local, regional and national associations and serve on committees. But is that really it? Is that the only way to promote the profession of athletic training? There are so many ways to serve the organization on the smaller scale that we can all fit into our very busy schedules.
Surveys! Almost weekly I read an email from an athletic training student asking me to complete a survey that will take about 5 minutes to complete. This is a simple way to continue to advancement in athletic training. If everyone filled out these surveys in order to assist in research, I am sure not only would the academic world be very appreciative, all athletic trainers and our patients would benefit.
Vote! As a member in any organization the best perk you have is the right to vote! Make sure that you cast your ballot at elections in your associations. And not to get political, but your vote counts for athletic training when voting for local, state and federal elections as well. Do your research and vote on those elected officials who support our cause (you can find all of this info through the NATA offices). Voting is involvement.
Send a letter! Once an elected official is in office, make sure they know what you (their constituent) want. When asked to send a letter to your elected official, usually a letter that is already written for you, please get involved and send it (again, these letters are already made for you on the NATA website).
Get involved at your work place! By stepping out of the athletic training room and serving on committees and projects you are promoting athletic training. They are plenty of different projects going on some really need the skills of an athletic trainer, so get involved where can help. This usually reaps the best rewards because your employer will take note! If at a high school make sure you are being recognized as a
Communicate! Social media has changed the world, use it to be an involved athletic trainer. Encourage students to use social media properly and in a way to promote what we do.
Get an NPI number, it free, easy, identifies you as a medical professional and helps promote the profession.
Be a mentor – go to NATA website for more information.
Finally if you want to become a committee member, sign up on the website and/or send an email to the committee chair. Volunteer at a convention or symposium. There are so many ways to get involved without having to invest too much time.