Athletic trainers treat and recondition athletes who have sustained an athletic injury.
Certified athletic trainer
In the USA, the Certified Athletic Trainer
(ATC) is an allied health care professional that is certified by the Board of Certification, Inc.
(BOC). The Certified Athletic Trainer's role delineation encompasses six domains:
- Athletic Injury Prevention and Risk Management
- Recognition, Evaluation and Assessment of Injuries and Illnesses
- Immediate Care of Injuries
- Treatment, Rehabilitation and Reconditioning
- Health Care Organization and Administration
- Professional Development and Responsibility
As a part of the sports medicine team, the Certified Athletic Trainer works under the direction of a licensed physician and in cooperation with other health care professionals, athletics administrators, coaches and parents.
Certified Athletic Trainers work in a wide range of areas. They work in athletics as well as in clinic settings. In clinic settings, they work with people of all ages and all activity levels specializing in athletic injury and prevention. Certified Athletic Trainers are also highly involved in the day to day processes of professional, intercollegiate, or high school athletics. Some duties of a Certified Athletic Trainer include:
- Prepping athletes for practice or competition including taping, bandaging, bracing or applying other forms of risk management
- Evaluating injuries to determine the best course of action
- Developing and implementing conditioning programs
- Implementing treatment programs
Certified Athletic Trainers that are not integrated in the athletics community may work in a private, corporate or hospital based clinic treating athletes in those settings. Some athletic trainers work under the direction of physical therapists performing delegated aspects of physical therapy.
Places of employment
Certified Athletic Trainers are employed in secondary schools, intercollegiate athletics, professional athletics, sports medicine clinics, the military, the sets of the movie industry, professional dance settings, or industrial and commercial settings. Hospitals and health clubs are also venues that create job opportunities for Certified Athletic Trainers.
Athletic training education
In the United States Athletic Training Education Programs are accredited by the [Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education] (CAATE). Entry level athletic training education uses a competency-based approach in both the classroom and clinical settings. Using a medical based education model, athletic training students are educated to serve in the role of physician extenders, with an emphasis on clinical reasoning skills. Educational competencies are bases on cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skill), affective competencies (professional behavior), and clinical proficiencies (practice oriented outcomes). Students must receive instruction in the foundational courses of human physiology, human anatomy, exercise physiology, kinesiology/biomechanics, nutrition, acute care of injury and illness, statistics and research design, and strength training and reconditioning. The student must be introduced to professional coursework that encompasses the following domains:
- Risk management
- Pathology of injury/illness
- Prevention and assessment of injuries/illness
- General medical conditions and disabilities
- Therapeutic modalities
- Strength and Conditioning
- Therapeutic massage
- Emergency medicine
- Weight management and body composition
- Psychosocial intervention and referral
- Medical ethics and legal issues
- Professional development and responsibilities