Athletic Trainers in the DME World

Blog written by: Dyan Shaffer, Kristina Heifferon, and Jessica Sanches

When implementing a DME (Durable Medical Equipment) Program, many employers ask the question,

“Why should I hire an Athletic Trainer?”

It is true that an employee can be trained to fit commodity DME items such as wrist splints, immobilizers, and ankle wraps, but what additional value do they provide to the patient and the DME Program? Can they offer suggestions when a brace is not fitting properly? Can they identify contraindications? Can they provide fitting and instruction on skilled products? Can they think independently on how to grow the program, perform product research, and provide new product recommendations?

Certified Athletic Trainers (ATs) are highly educated health care professionals who specialize in preventing, diagnosing, managing, and rehabilitating injuries. ATs are unique because of their broad spectrum of knowledge and ability to solve problems. This benefits patients by having extended one-on-one time with a medical provider who can answer questions and provide direction on the prescribed DME.

ATs collaborate with physicians and can work in a variety of health care settings outside the traditional high school or college/university such as hospitals, clinics, and orthopaedic practices. ATs are familiar with providing immediate injury assessment and taking the patient through the entire treatment process, which complements the same treatment plan the orthopaedic surgeons provide to their patients. ATs knowledge in musculoskeletal is superior to other clinical staff because ATs have the hands-on experience of evaluating acute, sub-acute, and chronic musculoskeletal injuries. ATs can adapt well to high pressure situations. They can also converse from medical terminology to layman’s terms to patients thus increasing the patient’s understanding and compliance of their treatment plan. ATs have strong communication skills from their experience working with athletes in middle school, high school, collegiate, and the professional level, athlete’s parents, coaches, physical therapists, and physicians.

Overall, ATs provide high-value care and DME support to physicians who can then devote more of their time to their patients.  Please visit our friends at, whose mission is to, “Enhance the quality of health care provided by certified athletic trainers and to advance the athletic training profession.”

Contact Ancillary Advantage or call 877-679-6796 today to find out more about our Staffing and Support options. If you are an AT looking for a position with Ancillary Advantage check here to see what positions are available. We currently manage over 40 leased employees in 20 diff­erent markets, most are Certified Athletic Trainers. Whether you need a salary survey, recruiting assistance or an on-site employee to manage the day-to-day operations of your ancillary practice, we can help.