Athletic Trainers Unwrapped
If you get injured playing football, basketball, tennis - any sport - you most likely will work with an athletic trainer. There is depth and weight to this profession that goes well beyond ice and wrap. In honor of National Athletic Trainers Month, now's the perfect time to unpack the details.
If you get injured playing football, basketball, tennis -- any sport – you most likely will work with an athletic trainer. But have you ever stopped and wondered what an athletic trainer is and does beyond sports injuries? What education does an athletic trainer have? What are their qualifications? There is depth and breadth to this profession that goes well beyond the ice and wrap.
And since March is National Athletic Trainers month, now is the perfect time to break it down.
What kind of education do athletic trainers have?
Human anatomy and physiology are the athletic trainer’s specialties, preparing them to provide first aid and emergency care, as well as assess injuries. They are also skilled in providing therapeutic treatment and rehabilitation and guidance on nutrition, all related to athletics.
Their education and training are both extensive and rigorous. Athletic trainers must be competent in acute care, injury prevention and health promotion, evidence-based practice, healthcare administration, therapeutic interventions, professional development, as well as examination and diagnosis. That’s quite a list.
To be certified, they must graduate from a Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) accredited program. And they must pass the Board of Certification examination to earn the title of Certified Athletic Trainer.
Many athletic trainers go on to receive master’s and doctoral-level education to further their clinical knowledge. This provides an opportunity to enhance their patient care through research and a residency, where they provide patient care in a clinical setting.
And as with many health care professionals, athletic trainers undergo continuous education to maintain the ATC credential.
What is a Certified Athletic Trainer (ATC)?
The National Athletic Trainers’ Association certifies athletic trainers based on their ability to provide services or treatment, working in collaboration with a physician. The trainer’s education and training must meet the association’s standards and the state's statutes, rules and regulations.
What is the role of an ATC?
A certified athletic trainer works in multiple settings, either one-on-one with patients or with teams:
- One athlete or team setting: Meet with athlete and their physician or manager to discuss performance, evaluate injuries, and help with treatments.
- Professional sports team setting: Travel with the team to training camps and competitions and be on-hand when needed.
- Clinics: Consult with primary care physicians and conduct outreach at schools and businesses.
Whatever the situation, the ATC will draw on their expertise and experience to provide the highest level of patient care in consultation with a physician.
Where do ATCs work in Adventist HealthCare?
Local high school athletic programs benefit from Adventist HealthCare Rehabilitation specialists. We currently have a contract with Montgomery County Public Schools to provide Athletic Training services to 13 public high schools and one private school in Montgomery County. There is an ATC assigned to each school with four additional part-time ATCs (View our Map).
Along with working in the high schools, ATCs also provide patient services in the Wellness Program in the Adventist Healthcare Rehabilitation Outpatient Gym. During COVID, ATCs have shown flexibility and impact in various redeployment settings such as Cardiac Rehabilitation, Alternative Care Site (ACS), Post-Acute Care Center, Support Center, and Occupational Health. Their roles at these redeployment sites have further proven their wealth of knowledge and ability to adapt to various roles as healthcare professionals.
Their wealth of knowledge and adaptability make Adventist HealthCare Rehabilitation's ATCs a valuable resource for patient care.
If you are interested in becoming an Athletic Trainer or are an athlete returning to sports and need some focused training, please call us at 240-864-6172.