Whether you’re taping up an injury on the sidelines or working with an athlete to regain range of motion after they’ve healed, as an athletic trainer you know every minute counts. Being productive, efficient, and effective are the keys to succeeding in your field. But often boosting your productivity is easier said than done — especially if the athletic training equipment, processes, and practices you employ need an update.
To help you meet your goals, we’ve put together alist of the top four things successful athletic trainers do to increase productivity.
1. Exercise Active Listening
While you may have been in the industry long enough to immediately diagnose an issue and understand the best solutions, don’t allow yourself to become complacent. Instead of jumping to conclusions, ask probing questions and practice active listening to really understand what an athlete has to say.
By gathering more qualitative data, you can design plans that are more purposeful and effective. Because everybody is different, the best rehab plan for one athlete may not be the best for another — even if the injury is identical.
2. Replace Outdated Athletic Training Equipment
Outdated athletic training equipment is not just an eyesore — it can be a financial burden, too. The older your equipment, the more maintenance you have to manage. Plus, outdated equipment is generally not as effective or efficient, which means you’re also losing precious time — and can be a turnoff to athletes considering your program.
3. Invest in Innovation
“But we’ve always done it this way” is quite possibly the worst excuse for avoiding an investment in an innovative solution — especially when it comes to new rehab equipment. If there’s a faster and easier technology that produces better outcomes and makes your athletes happy, doesn’t it make sense to add it to your arsenal?
For example, innovative modalities that offer ultrasound, electrotherapy, and light therapy can help reduce pain and increase healing time for your patients. Multi-purpose equipment also can save you from investing in several separate modalities.
4. Be Mindful Instead of Miserly
There’s nothing wrong with watching your budget closely. After all, overspending on athletic training equipment and supplies is a quick way to threaten program profitability. But there’s a difference between choosing not to invest in something you need and going overboard on superfluous purchases.
Carefully weigh the value versus the cost of each new investment and ask yourself:
Will this improve outcomes?
Will this help me do more in less time?
Will this help me outpace competitors?
There’s no specific playbook for athletic trainers who want to increase productivity, and each program has a different budget and set of needs. But by using the above four tips, you can begin working toward reducing treatment time, foster greater success for your program, and the athletes it supports.