Q: What are standing orders?
A: Standing orders, also referred to as medical protocols, help to establish the scope of practice for an athletic trainer. They, under the direction of a physician, create an overview of specific skills the AT is legally able to perform. It is important to remember that these skills also fall under the scope of practice set forth by the regulatory statutes in the state of practice. For example, if the state practice act does not allow for an AT to perform reduction of appendicular joint dislocations, this skill cannot be part of an ATs standing orders.
The NATA provides information on every state practice act - AVAILABLE HERE
Q: Why does Go4 require me to have standing orders?
A: Most, though not all, states require that athletic trainers practice under the direction of a medical professional. These requirements vary significantly from state to state and it is of utmost importance that all ATs read and understand their state’s practice act and the requirements in it.
Go4 wants to take every measure to help ensure that all ATs are properly educated on best practices and operating in accordance with their state’s practice act.
Q: How do I get standing orders?
A: If you have a full-time job/are already working under the direction of a physician, start there! They are an excellent candidate to issue standing orders to encompass responsibilities as a per diem AT.
Standing orders can be a unique challenge for ATs that do not have a full-time job, are new to an area or are new grads. Here are some suggestions to assist you:
- Start building your network!
- Reach out to other ATs in the area and ask for connection to local medical professionals
- Reach out to local orthopedic clinics. If they see a possible referral source, they may be willing to issue per diem standing orders
- If you still live close to your alma mater, reach out to the team physician there. Chances are they are familiar with you and would be able to help.
Q: Does Go4 provide standing orders?
A: Go4 does not provide standing orders for athletic trainers. It is up to each individual AT to ensure that they are operating under proper oral or written protocols as required by their specific state.
Q: I already have standing orders through my employer. Do I still need to obtain standing orders?
A: Yes! Standing orders through your employer’s team physician are specific to duties performed as an athletic trainer for that organization. If you would like to work per diem outside of that organization, you are required to obtain standing orders to encompass those duties as well.