Posted On 16 Aug 2017
We have all heard of athletic trainers, but what exactly do they do? An athletic trainer is a trained health care professional whose goal is to prevent and treat injuries. An athletic trainer is not a personal trainer and they are not the person that pushes you past your comfort level.
For a person to develop a fulfilling, long-term career as an athletic trainer, they are required to bachelor’s degree in medical sciences. While a bachelor’s degree as a minimum requirement, many athletic trainers hold a master’s or even a doctoral degree in health sciences.
Upon completing their degree program, at least forty-six states have a requirement for students to pass a rigorous examination to obtain certification. This certification allows them to obtain a license to perform the work duties of an athletic trainer in the state they reside in.
After obtaining their license, they must continue to take classes in medical related topics if they wish to keep their license active. In total, an athletic trainer must have at least 80 hours of continuing education credits every three calendar years in order to keep their certification active.
An athletic trainer will need to work under the supervision of a doctor of medicine, and in combination with other health care professionals, and even sports teams.
The purpose of an athletic trainer is to help athletes use their bodies in a way, that prevents illnesses. When injuries do happen, the athletic trainer is tasked with the duty of evaluating the injury during games or practices, sometimes with minimal resources. Once the injury is identified and treated, the athletic trainer will work with the player to rehabilitate them and prevent further injury.
Athletic trainers can work in a large variety of settings. The most effective place one can find a career is in a public or private school setting. The American Medical Association (AMA) recommends that every elementary, middle, and high school with a sports team have an athletic trainer on staff.
Another place athletic trainers find work is at a college or university. They work as part of the athletic staff, usually as an athletic trainer and a teacher.
Sports teams also hire athletic trainers for education and treatment purposes. However, professional sports team positions are limited, and the work is seasonal. Therefore, they usually call the same athletic trainer back in year after year because their players are used to working with them, and they have built a strong rapport with players.
Athletic trainers may also find employment at a sports focused clinic. In these settings, the trainer will have a chance to work with a wide range of patients with diverse backgrounds. Many schools use these clinics as outreach programs to attend games and educate students on injuries as the season progresses.
Athletic trainers may also find a valuable position in the military to help train personnel coming in. They can also be involved in rehabilitating soldiers after various injuries, and getting them back to their everyday responsibilities.
The outlook for an athletic trainer is very bright. The career is expected to grow exponentially over the next several years. This is in response to the increasing need for preventative health care, and the increasing percentage of aging population.
An athletic trainer is considered to be an important person in any health care team. Technology is constantly changing which makes the need for athletic trainers who are capable of utilizing it more urgent.
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