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WHAT IS AN ATHLETIC TRAINER?

What is Athletic Training?

“Athletic training is practiced by athletic trainers, health care professionals who collaborate with physicians to optimize activity and participation of patients and clients. Athletic training encompasses the prevention, diagnosis, and intervention of emergency, acute, and chronic medical conditions involving impairment, functional limitations, and disabilities. Students who want to become certified athletic trainers must earn a degree from an accredited athletic training curriculum. Accredited programs include formal instruction in areas such as injury/illness prevention, first aid and emergency care, assessment of injury/illness, human anatomy and physiology, therapeutic modalities, and nutrition. Classroom learning is enhanced through clinical education experiences. More than 70 percent of certified athletic trainers hold at least a master’s degree.” National Athletic Trainers’ Association

 What Does an Athletic Trainer Do?

“Athletic trainers are health care professionals who collaborate with physicians to optimize patient and client activity and participation in athletics, work and life. The practice of athletic training encompasses the prevention, examination and diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of emergent, acute, subacute, and chronic neuromusculoskeletal conditions and certain medical conditions in order to minimize subsequent impairments, functional limitations, disability, and societal limitations.

The Athletic Training Scope of Practice is defined within two professional publications: the Athletic Training Educational Competencies published by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) and the Role Delineation Study (RDS) conducted and published by the Board of Certification, Inc. (BOC). Eligibility for the BOC exam is contingent upon completion of a program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) that must instruct the Competencies within the curriculum. Passage of the certifying examination is a requirement for licensure in most states.

Athletic trainers’ work settings can include high schools, colleges, universities, professional sports teams, hospitals, rehabilitation clinics, physicians’ offices, corporate and industrial institutions, the military, and the performing arts. Regardless of their practice setting, athletic trainers practice athletic training (or provide athletic training services) according to their education and state practice act.” National Athletic Trainers’ Association

What is the Role of a High School Certified Athletic Trainer?
Athletic trainers in the secondary schools setting provide injury prevention and conditioning programs, injury evaluation, prepare athletes for practice and competition, implement treatment and rehabilitation programs for injured athletes, and provide first response to acute injuries and medical emergencies that take place during competition.
More than 21 percent of NATA members provide service to secondary schools. In 1998, the American Medical Association (AMA) adopted a policy recommending that certified athletic trainers be available to all schools with athletic programs. However, only 43 percent of high schools actually have an athletic trainer.
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