What is Athletic Training?
Athletic Training is an allied health profession dedicated to providing health care to physically active individuals. Certified athletic trainers specialize in the prevention, evaluation, treatment, and rehabilitation of athletic related injuries and illnesses. Certified athletic trainers work in a variety of settings including secondary schools, colleges & universities, professional teams, sports medicine clinics, and corporate health programs.
What are the Qualifications of a Certified Athletic Trainer?
Certified athletic trainers must obtain a bachelor’s of science degree from an approved and accredited athletic training curriculum program. This degree includes basic courses in human anatomy, exercise physiology, basic first aid, biomechanics, and nutrition. The degree program also includes more specialized courses in injury prevention & management, injury evaluation & assessment, pharmacology, risk management, and therapeutic modalities.
In order to be able to practice as certified athletic trainers, these individuals must sit for the certification exam after completing their degree. This exam is administered by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association Board of Certification. It consists of a written portion containing 140 multiple choice questions, a simulation portion containing eight possible scenarios, and a practical portion which assesses the skill components that are required in the practice of athletic training. Individuals must pass each portion of the exam in order to become a certified athletic trainer. Once they pass the exam, they are allowed to use the ATC credential, which signifies them as a certified athletic trainer.
What are the Duties & Responsibilities of a Certified Athletic Trainer?
In an effort to provide the best quality health care to the individuals they serve, certified athletic trainers perform a wide array of duties & responsibilities. The primary duties of the certified athletic trainer revolve around the prevention, evaluation, treatment, and rehabilitation of athletic related injuries. These include coordination of pre-participation physical exams, selection of protective equipment, daily coverage of practices and games, application of various therapeutic modalities, and designing & implementing injury-specific rehabilitation programs.
In addition to the above mentioned tasks, certified athletic trainers also oversee and perform a variety of administrative duties. These duties include budget allocation, ordering of supplies and equipment, record keeping, and coordination of coverage for daily practices and games.