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Athletic Training is an allied health care profession recognized by the American Medical Assocation (AMA) that specializes in the prevention, evaluation, treatment, management and rehabilitation of athletic related injuries and illnesses.
History of the Athletic Training Profession
Athletic training has roots dating back to ancient Greece, but the athletic training profession as it is known today is radically different by comparison. Gone are the days when “trainers” were known mainly for carrying water jugs and acting as team managers. Today, Athletic Trainers are highly educated and fully trained to understand the complexities of the human body and health. Members of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) can be found in schools, on the sidelines of professional sports, in hospitals and clinics, in the military, and in industrial settings -- as the profession that began with college sports expands to guard the safety of all people. The progress made in athletic training is result of the concerted efforts of pioneers who noted the need for professional unity and who fought for the creation of the NATA.
Through the diligent efforts of many, and with notable funding from Charles Cramer , the first meeting of the NATA took place in 1950 when a core group of about 200 athletic trainers gathered in Kansas City to discuss the future of the profession. Recognizing the need for a set of professional standards and appropriate professional recognition, the NATA helped to unify athletic trainers across the country by setting a standard for professionalism, education, certification, research and practice settings. Since its inception, the NATA has been a driving force behind the recognition of the athletic training profession. []
Certified Athletic Trainer
The Certified Athletic Trainer (ATC) is an allied health care professional that is certified by the National Athletic Trainers' Association Board of Certification (NATABOC). Certified Athletic Trainers are also referred to as sports therapists or sports medicine practitioners and are the centerpiece of the sports medicine team. They serve as a liasson to the athlete, coach, physician and other supplemental personnel providing care to athletes sustaining physical or emotional trauma. Specifically, the Certified Athletic Trainer's role delineation encompasses six domains: 1) prevention, 2) recognition, evaluation and assessment, 3) immediate care, 4) treatment, rehabilitation and reconditioning, 5) organization and administration, and 6) professional development and responsibility. As a part of the complete 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.
A day in the life of a Certified Athletic Trainer
Certified Athletic Trainers are highly involved in the day to day processes of professional, intercollegiate, or high school athletics. They are responsible for the preparation and maintenance of athletes that are poised for competition. Some duties of a Certified Athletic Trainer will include 1) prepping athletes for practice or competition including taping, bandaging, bracing or applying other forms of risk management; 2) evaluating injuries to determine the best course of action in regards to the health and welfare of the athlete; 3) developing and implementing conditioning programs, and 4) implementing treatment and rehabilitation programs. Certified Athletic Trainers that are not integrated in the athletics community may function as a sports rehabilitation specialist. The sports rehabilitation specialist spends their days in a private, corporate or hospital based rehabilitation clinic constructing rehabilation protocols, monitoring therapeutic exercise regimens and performing treatments with the various therapeutic modalities that may be offered for patient care. A Certified Athletic Trainer must have a strong knowledge of the human anatomy and health and human performance, and strong decision making skills through education and training.
Places of Employment
Certified Athletic Trainers can be found almost anywhere people are active. Whether it's on the playing field or in the industrial setting, Certified Athletic Trainers are in place to help active people avoid injuries, embrace health and wellness, and perform to the best of their abilities. Certified Athletic Trainers are employed in secondary schools, intercollegiate athletics, professional athletics, sports medicine clinics, the military, or industrial and commercial settings. Hospitals and health clubs are also venues that create job opportunities for Certified Athletic Trainers.
Athletic Training Education
Athletic Training Education Programs are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)via the Joint Review Committee on Educational Programs in Athletic Training (JRC-AT). 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 clincal 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: 1) Risk management, 2) pathology of injury/illness, 3) Assessment of injury/illness, 4) General medical conditions and disabilities, 5) Therapeutic modalities, 6) therapeutic exercise, 7) Health care administration, 8) Weight management and body composition, 9) Psychosocial intervention and referral, 10) Medical ethics and legal issues, 11) Pharmacology, 12) Professional development and responsibilities.
National Athletic Trainers' Association NATA Code of Ethics National Athletic Trainers' Association Board of Certification [] [] American College of Sports Medicine American Physical Therapy Association [] Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs
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