THE ATHLETIC TRAINING PROFESSION
Athletic Training is an allied health profession that falls under a vast scope of the American Medical Association's (AMA) recognized sports medicine professions. It encompasses the prevention, diagnosis, and intervention of emergency, acute, and chronic medical conditions involving impairment, functional limitations, and disabilities (NATA Board of Directors, 2007).
Certified Athletic Trainers (ATC's) are highly educated and uniquely skilled professionals who specialize in the prevention, recognition, assessment, treatment and rehabilitation of athletics-related injuries. ATC's work in collaboration with physicians and other allied health professionals to ensure the health of physically active individuals.
Typical patients/clients seen by athletic trainers:
Recreational, amateur, and professional athletes
Individuals who have suffered musculoskeletal injuries
Those seeking strength, conditioning, fitness, and performance enhancement
Others delegated by a physician
Some places athletic training services are provided:
Athletic Training facilities
Schools (K-12, colleges, universities
Amateur, professional and Olympic sport venues
Workplaces (commercial and government)
Other health care environments
Students who want to become a certified athletic trainer must earn a degree from an accredited athletic training curriculum, and successfully complete the Board of Certification (BOC) examination. Accredited programs include formal education in areas such as injury/illness prevention, first aid and emergency care, assessment of injury/illness, human anatomy and physiology, therapeutic modalities, professional development, research, and nutrition. Learning is enhanced through clinical experiences. More than 70 percent of certified athletic trainers hold at least a master's degree.