Nebraska Revised Statute 38-408

Chapter 38


Athletic training; scope of practice; department; duties.

(1) As set forth in the Athletic Training Practice Act, the practice of athletic training includes providing the following regarding injuries and illnesses:

(a) Prevention and wellness promotion;

(b) Examination, assessment, and impression;

(c) Immediate and emergency care, including the administration of emergency drugs as prescribed by a licensed physician and dispensed by a pharmacy for emergency use, subject to subsection (2) of this section;

(d) Therapeutic intervention or rehabilitation of injuries and illnesses in the manner, means, and methods deemed necessary to affect care, rehabilitation, or function;

(e) Therapeutic modalities. For purposes of this subdivision, and except as provided in subsection (9) of this section, therapeutic modalities includes, but is not limited to:

(i) Physical modalities; and

(ii) Mechanical modalities, including, but not limited to, dry needling; and

(f) Health care administration, risk management, and professional responsibility.

(2) The department shall adopt and promulgate rules and regulations regarding the administration of emergency drugs as authorized in this section, including drugs, medicines, and medicinal substances as defined in section 38-2819 except for controlled substances listed in section 28-405.

(3) The department shall adopt and promulgate rules and regulations regarding the use of dry needling by athletic trainers.

(4) The scope of practice of athletic trainers does not include the use of joint manipulation, grade V mobilization/manipulation, thrust joint manipulation, high velocity/low amplitude thrust, nor any other procedure intended to result in joint cavitation. Joint manipulation commences where grades one through four mobilization ends.

(5) When athletic training is provided in a hospital outpatient department or clinic, or an outpatient-based medical facility or clinic, the athletic trainer shall perform the functions described in this section with a referral from a licensed physician, osteopathic physician, podiatrist, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, dentist, or chiropractor. The referral shall state the diagnosis and, if deemed necessary, identify any instructions or protocols by the referring provider. In these instances, for each patient under his or her care, the athletic trainer shall ensure documentation is complete, accurate, and timely and shall include the following:

(a) Provide and document the initial examination, assessment, and impression;

(b) Provide periodic reexamination with documentation of the reexamination, assessment, and impression;

(c) Establish a plan of care following either the initial examination or reexamination that is in accordance with the diagnosis and any instructions or protocols indicated by the referring provider;

(d) Communicate to the referring provider changes in the patient's condition that may require altering instructions and protocols indicated by the referral from the referring provider;

(e) Be responsible for accurate documentation of each followup visit and billing for athletic training services provided; and

(f) Provide documentation upon discharge, including patient response to athletic training intervention at the time of discharge.

(6) In all other instances, the athletic trainer shall maintain documentation consistent with the guidelines established with a licensed physician and specific to the setting in which the athletic trainer is practicing.

(7) An individual who is licensed as an athletic trainer may not provide, offer to provide, or represent that he or she is qualified to provide any care or services that he or she lacks the education, training, or experience to provide or that he or she is otherwise prohibited by law from providing.

(8) Pursuant to subdivision (18) of section 38-2025, no athletic trainer shall hold himself or herself out to be a physician or surgeon or qualified to prescribe medications.

(9) The application of heat, cold, air, water, or exercise shall not be restricted by the Athletic Training Practice Act.