The small state of Delaware has 15 hospitals, 8 collegiate sports teams, and one air force base, all places that are ripe with career opportunities for athletic trainers. Delaware also boasts a tight-knit and very active state athletic training association that routinely networks and collaborates with other related medical professions in the state, such as physical therapists and orthopedic physicians. The Delaware concussion summit, which aims to establish a protocol to treat concussion-related injuries for young athletes, is one recent event that serves as evidence of this close-knit network of medical professionals, where athletic trainers
Delaware athletic trainers earn an average of $40,410 each year. Keep reading to find the steps you need to take to work as an athletic trainer in The Diamond State.
To join the small community of athletic trainers in Delaware, you must either earn a 4-year degree in athletic training or complete a NATABOC-approved internship program. If you decide to go the college/university route, you must graduate from an accredited athletic training program to fulfill the state’s licensing requirements. There is only one university in the state that offers an accredited athletic training degree, The University of Delaware, but that doesn’t mean you can’t obtain your degree at an accredited university in a neighboring state or at any university that offers an accredited athletic training program.
To verify completion of an athletic training program, you must request that your college or university send an official copy of your transcript to the Delaware Examining Board of Physical Therapists and Athletic Trainers. You must submit an official transcript to the board before you can receive an athletic training license.
If you decide to go the internship route to obtain your athletic training license, the program you enroll in must be approved by the Board of Certification. Now internship opportunities in athletic training aren’t as widely available as they used to be in the past, so you may have to search for internships outside of Delaware to find viable opportunities.
Licensing Exam and BOC Certification
Delaware requires that all athletic trainers be BOC certified before they can receive a license to work in the state. To become a BOC certified athletic trainer, you must pass the BOC exam and maintain an emergency cardiac care (ECC) certification of some sort.
Whether you have a 4-year athletic training degree or have completed a BOC-approved athletic training internship, you must take and pass the BOC exam to earn your athletic trainer’s license in Delaware. You must have a degree from an accredited AT program or in Delaware’s case, complete a BOC-approved internship to sit for the BOC exam.
To become a fully BOC certified athletic trainer, you must maintain an ECC certification. Every year athletes of all ages and performance levels experience cardiac episodes on the field that can be life threatened, and in many cases, has fatal results. Athletic trainers are not only expected to deal with the prevention and treatment of physical injuries, but they are also required to prevent and properly address cardiac episodes that may take place on and off the field. Whether you obtain your ECC certification from the American Heart Association or the American Red Cross the course you take must cover the following:
- Adult and pediatric CPR
- Second rescuer CPR
- Barrier devices
- Airway obstructions
Temporary Athletic Training Permit
If you have yet to take the BOC exam and obtain BOC certification, you can still work as an athletic trainer in Delaware on a temporary basis. Delaware awards temporary athletic training permits that allows athletic trainers to work for a total of 90 days while they await their scores for the BOC exam. To apply for a temporary permit, you also have to complete an application for a traditional athletic trainer’s license.
Should you receive a temporary license, it is only good for 90 days, but unlike some other states, a temporary license may be renewed one time. Should you receive BOC exam results that indicate a failing score while you’re working on a temporary permit, your permit will immediately become void.
You must have a job or apprenticeship lined up before you apply for a temporary permit, and you must work under the direct supervision of an athletic trainer or physical therapist who is licensed to practice in Delaware. Your supervisor must complete a statement form indicating their name, contact information, Delaware athletic trainer or physical therapist license number, and acceptance of their responsibility to supervise you at all times on the job.
Licensing by Reciprocity
If you are already licensed as an athletic trainer in another state, lucky for you transferring your license to Delaware is fairly easy. As long as you took and passed the BOC exam and your license is in good standing in the state you wish to transfer from, you should have no problem getting an athletic trainer’s license in Delaware by reciprocity. If your license has lapsed in your current state, then you have to complete the traditional licensing process to practice in the state. Furthermore, if your state doesn’t require you to be BOC certified or if your state only requires athletic trainers to register with the state to practice, then you also have to go through the full licensing process.
Criminal Background Check
Delaware is very strict about the character and background of their athletic trainers and other medical professionals in their state. Before you can obtain an athletic trainer’s license, you must submit a report of your entire federal criminal history record. Should the report show that you’ve engaged in criminal activity at any point in your past, you must submit a waiver before you can obtain a license to work as an athletic trainer in Delaware. Waivers require a majority vote from the the Delaware Examining Board of Physical Therapists and Athletic Trainers and are given on a case by case basis provided the applicant demonstrates he or she is capable of fulfilling their duties as an athletic trainer without posing a threat to the public’s safety, health, and welfare.
If you committed a felony, you have to wait at least five years after your conviction to receive a waiver from the Delaware Examining Board of Physical Therapists and Athletic Trainers. Applicants who are on parole, work release, or probation during at the time they submit their applications are ineligible for licensing. If you committed a misdemeanor, you simply cannot be on parole, work release, probation, paying restitution, or serving court order community service when you apply for a license.
Continuing Education Hours
Delaware’s Examining Board of Physical Therapists and Athletic Trainers requires all athletic trainers to earn at least 30 continuing education hours no later than January 31st of every odd number year and every two years thereafter to maintain their license. Two of those hours must include an ethics course and one hour must include a CPR course. The good news is that maintaining your CPR certification will fulfill the one-hour CPR course requirement!
More good news, Delaware pro-rates the continuing education hour requirements for new licensees, meaning the amount of hours you have to complete within a certain time period will be adjusted according to the amount of time you’ve been licensed. For example, if you receive your license on August 5, 2014, you don’t have to complete the full 30 hours by January 31, 2015 to renew your license. The amount of hours you have to complete will be adjusted for the fact that you received your license just 6 months ahead of the January 31, 2015 licensing period. New licensees are subject to the following prorated continuing education requirements:
- If you obtain your athletic trainer’s license between February 1st and July 31st of an odd-numbered year, then you must complete 25 continuing education hours before the next licensing period.
- If you obtain your athletic trainer’s license between August 1st of an odd-numbered year and January-31st of an even numbered year, then you must complete 20 continuing education hours before the next licensing period.
- If you obtain your athletic trainer’s license between February 1st of an even-numbered year and July 31st of an even-numbered year, then you must complete 15 continuing education hours before the next licensing period.
- If you obtain your athletic trainer’s license between August 1st of an even-numbered year and January 31st of an odd- numbered year, then you must complete 5 continuing education hours before the next licensing period.
Unlike other states, Delaware compiles their own list of board-approved courses athletic trainers can take to fulfill their continuing education requirements. Luckily the board approves of a wide variety of methods for obtaining continuing education hours, such as self-study or seminars and workshops, so you should have no trouble completing your required continuing education hours.
Athletic trainers are encouraged to not wait to the last minute to earn their continuing education hours because Delaware’s board does perform audits on random trainers each year to determine if random trainers are complying with the continuing education rules and requirements. If you are selected for an audit, the board will notify you within three months after January 31 and you have 20 days to submit an attestation form verifying the following:
- Proof of continuing education course(s) attendance
- The date of continuing education courses
- The instructor’s contact information
- The continuing education course sponsor
- The title of the continuing education course
- The hours you earned from each particular course
Failure to comply with the continuing education rules and requirements could lead to disciplinary sanctions as determined by the board.