A comparison of the pharmaceutical practices of head athletic trainers at the NCAA Division 1 level in the treatment of athletic injuries
The purpose of this study was to identify the pharmaceutical practices of head athletic trainers in the treatment of athletic injuries at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I level. Another purpose was to determine if head ATCs and their staffs are compliant with the Federal and State guidelines relating to the dispensing and administering of prescription and over-the-counter OTC medications.Previous research indicated that widespread problems exist with the pharmaceutical practices of athletic trainers in the athletic setting. Due to these problems, the health care of student-athletes is being compromised and athletic trainers, physicians, pharmacists and universities are at risk for legal ramifications.A packet consisting of a cover letter explaining the purpose and voluntary nature of the study, the instrument, and a self-addressed stamped envelope was mailed out to the 312 Division I head athletic trainers on March 17, 1998. The 34 item instrument was specifically developed for the study and it covered areas dealing with the pharmaceutical practices of athletic trainers. A response rate of 60% (N= 188) was obtained for the study.The results were analyzed using descriptive statistics which consisted of means, standard deviations, and frequencies. The results indicated that prescription and OTC medications are provided in a majority of the athletic training rooms. The results indicated that a large number of athletic trainers dispense and administer prescription medications to student-athletes. This means that a number of ATCs are not following the Federal and State pharmaceutical guidelines. As a result of these findings, it is evident that widespread problems still exist in the pharmaceutical practices of athletic trainers at the NCAA Division I level. These practices could lead to compromised health care for the student athletes and serious legal ramifications for ATCs, physicians, and the universities.