July 28, 2012

Politics is about relationships. If someone great said this then I should quote them, but it seems so obvious. Politics does not happen without relationships. People are involved in politics at all levels, and the value of the relationships is what shapes those politics.

Let’s, for a minute, not think about the current presidential campaign and all of the partisan differences. Think about your work. Are there politics at work there? If you work in a secondary school setting you might have the politics of parents, administrators, and school board members. If you work in a college/university setting you might have the politics of the administrators and coaches. If you work in a hospital you may have the politics of physicians and administrators. In fact, there are politics in any organization whether we like it or not.

The beauty of it is that athletic trainers have a special ability to form relationships with people. How many students have you helped? How many parents have you spoken to about the care of their child? How many administrators turn to you for policy? How many coaches trust your decision making? How many physicians know your cell phone number or have given you their cell phone number? Our impact is potentially great in regards to relationship building.

Turning this into politics is simple. How many of those parents vote? Better yet, do you provide care for the child of an elected official? Do you know an elected official? Maybe the only one of these questions that you said yes to was the first. Well, what are the chances that one of your students might one day run for an office or know someone in office?

We have the ability to develop relationships with hundreds and even thousands within our career. Sometimes these relationships can be that bridge that helps our profession move forward. Your ability to promote our profession can go well beyond the circle of people close to you. We are in a great profession. We might as well let others know.

I would urge you to develop those relationships. Take the extra time to educate someone about what you do. Inform them that you are a licensed healthcare professional. Explain to them the education and certification of an AT. Demonstrate the professionalism that helps athletic training move forward. How you dress, act, speak, or interact is a factor in how our profession is perceived. You are the face of our profession for your community.


One Response to “Relationships”

  1. Michael Goldenberg Says:

    How true!

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