Implementing a Behavior Health Policy in the Secondary School
Site-specific policies and procedures outlining the available services and emergency action plan (EAP) is vital to any athletic training clinic. The purpose of the following document is to provide athletic trainers with a framework for the development and successful implementation of evidence-based policies and procedures to improve athletic training services at secondary schools. Using a behavioral health policy as an example, the challenges and barriers to the development and implementation of new policies at a secondary school will be discussed. Policy development was largely influenced by each of the individual stakeholders involved in the approval process including school administration, school nurses and counselors, as well as community organizations. As in any setting, challenges to implementation of the behavioral health policy in these schools did occur. Each secondary school or school district will have a different model for medical services that will inherently change the policy at each location. Athletic trainers must know the resources available to them on and off-campus, and develop policies and procedures dependent on these resources. For clinicians in any athletic training setting, it is important to review your current policy and procedure manual to determine where improvements can be made. These documents help ensure patients are being provided the best possible care and help protect athletic trainers legally.
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