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OHLA @ 10 Years: Athletic Trainers
Helping athletes prevent, respond to and recover from injuries
Athletic trainer
In 2000, the same year mandatory registration for athletic trainers become law, an article in The Oregonian stated that an athletic trainer’s expertise can be “…the difference between life and death.”
The Oregonian article described how an athletic trainer responded to a high school junior varsity football player complaining of a headache by conducting a brief neurological concussion examination of the player.
Based on education and training required as part of his registration, the athletic trainer determined that the player’s condition required immediate attention.
The player was rushed by ambulance to the hospital.  He was found to be suffering from a subdural hematoma caused by a broken blood vessel in his head, a serious condition that could have ended the 15-year-old’s life prematurely.
Not all athletic injuries are as dramatic or life-threatening, but athletic trainers continue to play a key role in helping athletes prevent, respond to and recover from injuries of all types.

Central Issues in Athletic Training
  • Monitoring Registration Requirement:  The Oregon Health Licensing Agency (OHLA) continues to work with the state’s high schools, colleges and universities and professional sports teams to ensure that all athletic trainers are registered with the state.

  • Promoting Safety in Athletics:  OHLA, in consultation with the Board of Athletic Trainers, is promoting increased safety in athletics by providing information on management of sport-related concussions and other health and safety subjects.

  • Focusing on Scope of Practice:  OHLA and the Board of Athletic Trainers continue to review scope of practice issues, such as whether or not athletic trainers should be able to treat non-sports-related injuries if those injuries can be treated similarly to sports-related injuries.

Regulatory Timeline
Oregon State Legislature establishes athletic trainer registration program within Health Division.
Legislature establishes Board of Athletic Trainers.
OHLA conducts statewide outreach campaign to high schools, colleges and professional sports teams on new registration requirements.
Legislature repeals sunset provision in law, allowing continued regulation of athletic training.