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Ohio updates practice act for athletic trainers with governor's signature

Published By WKRC Local 12 on November 2, 2021
Thomas Hall In The News

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WKRC) - Ohio governor Mike DeWine signed a law Wednesday that makes sidelines safer across the state's more than 800 high schools.

Local12's Athletes AT Risk project followed that law since it was first introduced in the previous General Assembly two years ago.

House Bill 176 modernizes the practice act for athletic trainers which governs the care an athletic trainer can provide on the sidelines that they are already educated and trained to give.

The previous version of the law prohibited things like:

  • Athletic trainers injecting an EpiPen during an allergic reaction or any other kind of injectable medicine. Under the new law, an athletic trainer can inject unless it's in a bone or joint.
  • Athletic trainers giving athletes medicine like ibuprofen.
  • Athletic trainers taping a visiting team member

Siobhan Fagan is the immediate past president of the Ohio Athletic Trainers Association. She started on this legislation seven years ago. She was at the statehouse for the signing.

"What it means is that there is going to be a higher level of service that athletic trainers are going to be able to provide to their athletes and to their patients because of this practice act getting up to speed with our scope of practice," Fagan said.

The bill - which was originally introduced by joint sponsors Rep. Cindy Abrams (R-Harrison Twp.) and Rick Carfagna (R-Genoa Twp.) - was older than one of the legislators who worked to get it updated. Rep. Thomas Hall (R-Madison Twp.) used that information to show how times and athletic trainers' education has advanced while the law has not.

"Today we finally got this bill across the finish line to have our governor sign it into law," Hall said, "and I'm just so excited for the 2,300 athletic trainers all across Ohio."

The law will go into effect 90 days from the governor's signature, which is January 26, 2022.

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