day in the life - law enforcement - nancy burke

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Day in the Life of an Athletic Trainer


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A Day in the Life of an Athletic Trainer… : 

Law EnforcementFairfax County A Day in the Life of an Athletic Trainer…

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After working 28 years as a high school teacher and athletic trainer, volunteering with the USOC, US Lacrosse and numerous other groups needing adjunct health care in the athletic arena, Nancy Burke, MS, ATC decided to take her career where few athletic trainers have gone before – Law Enforcement. Burke launched a pilot athletic training program in 2005 and has since become a staple for health care with Fairfax County Law Enforcement. In her short time with the force, Burke has become a valuable and integral part of the health care team. Employers say that her presence has streamlined communications between the health care team, helped to reduce recovery times of injuries sustained on the job and helped to increase overall morale of the force. REASONS BURKE RECOMMENDS OTHERS CONSIDER WORKING IN LAW ENFORCEMENT: Re-energizes you Makes one use skills, education and practices in a new setting People who serve in public safety are some of the least medically cared for when it comes to chronic musculoskeletal injuries WHY DID BURKE CHOOSE THIS SETTING? “I ended up working in this setting because this is a black hole in health care. These folks run in when others run away. They at the least deserve the same level of care that we give our high school and collegiate athletes.” Read on to find out what a day is like in the life of Nancy Burke: law enforcement athletic trainer. © 2011 National Athletic Trainers’ Association (800)TRY-NATA

I am an Athletic Trainer Working in Law Enforcement : 

I am an Athletic Trainer Working in Law Enforcement NAME: Nancy C. Burke Credentials MS, ATC JOB TITLE: Athletic Trainer EMPLOYED BY: Fairfax County Police Department JOB LOCATION: Fairfax County, VA. NATA NOTE:In 2007, NATA had 304 members working in Government/Law/Military

Fairfax County ATs: An Overview : 

Fairfax County ATs: An Overview Pilot program launched in 2005 One athletic trainer was hired to provide care to only the academy recruits In January 2006 the athletic trainer began working with 1/3 of the police stations The full program began in March 2006

Fairfax County: Staff : 

Fairfax County: Staff Over 2,000 employees One athletic trainer The athletic trainer is the only employee providing this type of health care to the county NATA Note: This population ratio is very similar to an athletic trainer working in secondary schools.

Fairfax County – Patients : 

Fairfax County – Patients THE PEOPLE I TREAT: Pre-hires (Age 18-20) Law Enforcement Recruits (Age 21+) Officers (Age 22+) Civilians (Age 21+) PATIENT AGE RANGE: 18 - 60+ MOST COMMON INJURIES:Musculoskeletal and inflammation of all kinds

An Athletic Trainer in Law Enforcement : 

An Athletic Trainer in Law Enforcement TYPICAL SCHEDULE FOR MY JOB: Monday, Friday ( 6:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.) Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday (12:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.) 30 hours per week

Educational Background : 

Educational Background MY ATHLETIC TRAINING EXPERIENCE LEVEL IS: This is not an entry level position. I recommend a minimum of 5 years as a Head Athletic Trainer. Bachelor’s in Health, Physical Education (James Madison University) Master of Science (Eastern Kentucky University) ATC

A Day in the Life of a Law Enforcement Athletic Trainer : 

A Day in the Life of a Law Enforcement Athletic Trainer SALARY RANGE: $45,000 - $75,000 EMPLOYEE BENEFITS: Benefits Package includes - Health and Dental Insurance - Annual and Sick Leave - Paid Holidays - Retirement Plans - Deferred Compensation Plan - Tuition Assistance - Child Care Center NATA Note: The average salary for NATA members working in Government/Law Enforcement is: $50, 716 ( NATA 2005 Salary Survey)

Employer Testimonial: Value of ATs : 

Employer Testimonial: Value of ATs WHY IS THERE A NEED FOR ATHLETIC TRAINERS IN LAW ENFORCEMENT? Here at the academy, we run into the issue of officers getting injured. If these injuries are not evaluated individuals get recycled (dismissed from the program). Having someone on staff to provide appropriate medical care – like our athletic trainer – is most helpful. PLEASE EXPLAIN HOW AN ATHLETIC TRAINER IS BENEFITING YOUR ORGANIZATION. We have seen an increase in employee morale and fewer injuries. This has been a direct benefit to us because we have decreased insurance costs and have improved our efficiency. We have seen an increase in morale and an extreme increase in the utilization of on-site health care. Nancy is able to evaluate the recruits, treat them quickly and help to get them back into the training cycle without disruption. WHAT IMPROVEMENTS HAVE YOU SEEN SINCE AN ATHLETIC TRAINER JOINED YOUR TEAM? We have seen in increase in overall morale and physical readiness. The staff is more mobile and flexible. All of this equates to cost savings for the agency because we don’t have lost time from work due to rehabilitation and workers comp claims. We are actually saving money. PLEASE COMMENT ON HOW THE ATHLETIC TRAINER SKILL SETS ARE A GOOD FIT WITH LAW ENFORCEMENT It is a win/win for the athletic trainer and the organization. When you put the two together, working in a comprehensive physical fitness plan, you keep the recruits more healthy, flexible and agile. Recruits are less susceptible to injuries and we have a reduced recovery time. -Major Tyrone R. Morrow Director, Fairfax County Criminal Justice Academy

Employer Testimonial…Part 2 : 

Employer Testimonial…Part 2 THE BENEFITS OF OUR ATHLETIC TRAINER She is so skilled at working to get our people into the physician immediately, rather than waiting for an appointment. She has prevented serious injuries and has allowed people to return to work. Our athletic trainer’s skills have proven to return people to work quicker, and the initial triage of an injury does not rise to the level of an injury that precludes them from becoming sidelined. Nancy is able to provide care to the injury quickly rather than them waiting and it getting worse. We have seen an increase in employee morale and less injuries. This has been a direct benefit to us because we have decreased insurance costs and have improved our efficiency. “We are keeping a long running super bill of her services from the risk management perspective and the potential cost of the injuries sustained here. We already demonstrated that the athletic trainer's salary pays for itself because of the money we save in terms of productivity.” -Major Edwin Roessler Commander, Administrative Support Bureau

Daily Duties : 

Daily Duties MORNING DUTIES: Arrive Check for overnight on-duty injury reports via email. Setup Check equipment, materials and e-mail. Appointments Sworn officers arrive, evaluate, re-evaluate, provide modality exercise rehabilitation strategies, health care advice, nutrition advice, psychological referrals and physician referrals. Documentation After appointments, document information in database, contact physicians and therapy clinics for follow-up care and to keep all informed. The goal is to work together for the officer.

Daily Duties Continued : 

Daily Duties Continued Check with squad leaders to see how recruits are doing Provide assessments on differing conditions affecting recruits Provide information on garnering family physicians and specialists for those who have moved into the area Nutrition, fitness and prevention of injury Prevention and care of muscle soreness, sleep issues Notification to staff of recruit duty status (light duty, no duty, no limitations)

Other Special Assignments : 

Other Special Assignments Interact with the department psychologist, risk management on a weekly basis, commanders on a bi-weekly basis and academy staff weekly Quarter reports to newly established Wellness Committee -Wellness Committee personnel: AT, commanders, risk management, Academy coordinators, medical director of FCPD Satisfaction survey for department in regards to the Injury Care and Prevention Program Outfitting the clinic with state of the art equipment and supplies Development of “Grip Strength” PowerPoint for new hires and those who need it Budgeting Developing a template for position development Work with the major on Family Leave Manual

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Working with IT to develop a Police Injury Management System (PIMS) Working with IT to develop a injury-reporting system so supervisors can notify athletic trainers and administrators of injuries as they occur Research into chronic pain, working with physicians that are on the workers’ compensation panel and family physicians Currently working on cleanliness of the weight rooms, locker and shower facilities at all district stations/academy with Facilities Management of Fairfax County Other Special Assignments

Essential Skill Sets : 

Essential Skill Sets Ability to research heavily on issues related to law enforcement- specifically risk factors that lead to chronic or traumatic injury in this population Computer skills with Word, Excel, PowerPoint; experience with any injury database system Communication skills both oral and written Must be fit or willing to get fit

Additional Helpful Credentialing/Knowledge : 

Additional Helpful Credentialing/Knowledge This is not an entry position Master of Science Degree is a requirement Experience in leading a program Experience in a variety of sport settings is excellent – especially contact sports Must be an athletic trainer and licensed/registered in the state

Major Issues Facing Me : 

Major Issues Facing Me Educating law enforcement and public safety officials about the excellent relationship that can exist between their departments and athletic trainers Establishing how an athletic trainer can provide effective services Reinforcing the benefit of athletic training to employees

Essential Skill Sets : 

Essential Skill Sets Ability to communicate orally and in writing Ability to use a computer – Microsoft Office and injury database programs Positive attitude Ability to seek out answers from a variety of resources Resourceful: Individual must have the ability to scrounge supplies and equipment from donations/funds or find other new and innovative revenue resources

Quality of Life : 

Quality of Life THE PAST I have sat on benches at all kinds of fields in all kinds of weather wearing all kinds of gear; dealing with wet and frozen supplies – wet, sweaty, frozen, heavily equipped athletes and would not change that experience for the world. I have worked 20 hr days repeatedly – have worked 7 days a week. THE PRESENT I have a set schedule – granted it rotates to provide for all three shifts but for the most part, I am indoors in a clinic with a great window overlooking a pond! I have a 24/7 cell phone which can be a bother once in a while but after all, athletic trainers are used to 24/7 contact. I work hand-in-hand with the Safety Officer (responsible for safe police actions Workers’ Comp Panel of Physicians and the office of the Medical Director of the Department). Employees are grateful there is someone they can come discuss old and new medical issues with, and there is no co-pay. Their medical issues are taken seriously and there is follow-through on their care. I have been given the tools to do the job.

Cost of Living Issues : 

Cost of Living Issues The department picks up most all costs – clothing, fuel if going from one facility to another and equipment and supplies Northern Virginia is suburban Washington, DC so living costs are high in general, ergo the salary range

What I Wish I Knew Before This Job : 

What I Wish I Knew Before This Job I WISH I KNEW… That county government moves slowly; however police are very appreciative of the efforts made to keep them healthy. Law enforcement terms are different and take time to learn them. How the non-athletic world knows very little about athletic training and sports medicine. Discovered that I needed to get out to the range and learn the mechanics of shooting a handgun and a shotgun. It is beneficial in terms of strength and power requirements post injury. © 2011 National Athletic Trainers’ Association (800)TRY-NATA

Key Resources to Learn More! : 

Key Resources to Learn More! COMMON WEBSITES I VISIT ARE: American Heart Association American Diabetes Association Medline ASSOCIATIONS/ORGANIZATIONS I AM INVOLVED WITH INCLUDE: NATA US Lacrosse Fairfax County Athletic Trainers Academy of Sports Dentistry CONFERENCES AND SYMPOSIUMS RELATING TO MY JOB INCLUDE: MRSA (George Mason Univ, Jan 2007) NATA Clinical Symposium

…More Resources : 

…More Resources BOOKS I HAVE FOUND HELPFUL ARE: Orthopedic Physical Assessment, Magee 4th ed. Special Tests of Orthopedic Examination, Konin 3rd ed. Therapeutic Modalities, Starkey 3rd ed Evaluation of Orthopedic and Athletic Injuries, Starkey 1st ed. Atlas of Human Anatomy, Netter 1st ed. OTHER REFERENCES I USE INCLUDE: Athletic Therapy Today NATA Journal of Athletic Training Training and Conditioning VHI PC-Kits SportsWare

Learn more at : 

Learn more at Visit Career Development Resources on NATA Web site and find: - Videos - Brochures - PowerPoint Presentations - Studies - Marketing Materials - Advisors to assist with your specific questions *NATA members only section Visit Career Development Resources TODAY © 2011 National Athletic Trainers’ Association (800)TRY-NATA

Still need more information about Athletic Trainers in Law Enforcement? : 

Still need more information about Athletic Trainers in Law Enforcement? Contact the NATA National Office Staff:Kathryn Ayres, PR and Marketing Coordinator | 800-879-6282 ext. 138 Write to Nancy Burke:

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Looking for a JOB? Want to hire an athletic trainer? Visit the NATA Career Center today and find resources to help you find a job or hire an athletic trainer. © 2011 National Athletic Trainers’ Association (800)TRY-NATA

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