What is a Certified Athletic Trainer?
is an allied health care professional trained in the area of sports
Athletic trainers can be found in many
The most traditional settings include working with high school,
college, and professional teams, providing health care for athletes.
athletic trainers also work in sports medicine clinics, physician's
offices, the military, industrial work settings, and many other places.
Athletic Trainer's Qualifications
All certified athletic trainers are required to go through an
accredited athletic training education program at an acredited
university or college.
These programs includes
classes in anatomy,
physiology, kinesiology, nutrition, orthopedic injury evaluations,
therapeutic exercise, therapeutic modalities, psychology, injury
prevention, and many other science areas.
After graduating, all athletic trainers take a national certification
examination in order to become certified athletic trainers. The
national exam is administered by the National Athletic Trainers'
Association Board of Certification, and is a rigorous three part test.
In order to practice athletic training, an ATC must pass the all parts
of the certification exam.
Many athletic trainers have a masters degree in a related science
field, or an advanced degree in athletic training.
What Does An Athletic Trainer Do?
Certified Athletic Trainers are skilled health professionals that
specialize in prevention, evaluation, treatment, and rehabilitation of
injuries are the most
common types of sports injuries, and simply involve muslces, bones,
ligaments, and tendons.
If you have had a sports injury, you may already be
familiar with everything an athletic trainer does.
Care and Evaluation
If you suffer a sports injury, an athletic trainer is trained to be
able to evaluate your injury and determine what type of injury you
have, the severity of that injury, whether or not you need X-rays, or
if you need to see a physician.
They can also
provide first aid care to
start the treatment process. This includes the RICE principles of Rest,
Ice, Compression, and Elevation.
Treatment and Rehabilitation
Once you have been evaluated, and your exact type of injury has been
determined, your athletic trainer can provide you with the
rehabilitation that you need to recover.
trained to use
modalities such as electrical stimulation, therapeutic ultrasound,
massage, exercise, stretching, and many other things to help with your
recovery. Whether you suffer from a minor acute injury, or have just
had surgery, an athletic trainer can help with your rehabilitation.
As your rehabilitation progresses, your athletic
trainer will continue to change your exercise program to challenge your
body, getting stronger and more stable until you are ready to return to
participation. And your athletic trainer will be able to tell you when
you can safely return to sports activities.
While the majority of an athletic trainer's job centers around injury
evaluation, treatment, and rehabilitation, they also play important
roles as counselors and educators.
answer all of your questions regarding your injury, what steps you need
to take to get better, and ways that you can work to prevent re-injury.
Educating athletes and patients is an important part of our daily jobs.
Injury prevention is another imporant part of the athletic trainers
job. Advanced training in proper conditioning, strengthening,
stretching, and exercise techniques allows an athletic trainer to
develop sound prevention programs for their athletes and patients.
Educating athletes in these areas helps in preventing injuries.
Athletic trainers are
highly trained in the area of
sports medicine, and specialize in sports injuries and active people.
Whether you have an ankle sprain, a rotator cuff tear, or ACL surgery,
a certified athletic trainer is a good choice for your health care
Almost all colleges with athletics
employ at least one, if
not several, certified athletic trainers. Many high schools have
athletic trainers on staff, present at all of their sporting practices
For more information about certified athletic
trainers, I would invite you to visit the
Athletic Trainers' Association website.
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