An athletic trainer is a health professional who is trained to help prevent injuries and to treat injuries in people of all ages and it should never be interchanged with a personal trainer. Athletic training has qualifications where the basic requirement is that the trainer should at least have a bachelor’s degree. Some are even able to finish their master’s or doctoral degrees. In addition to the academic requirement, a certification exam is also a requisite to pass so as to be certified as an athletic trainer. This certification is already required in about 46 states. Passing the certification exam will give the aspiring trainer a license to practice as an athletic trainer. Aside from this certification, it is also a must for the trainer to continue taking up medical related courses which are essential in order to further hone their skills and knowledge as trainer. Further, the certified athletic trainer must take a total of 80 hours of continuing education credits every three years to keep their certification.
An athletic trainer will work under the direct supervision of a physician and in collaboration with other members of a professional health care team. The function of the athletic trainer is to help prevent injuries in athletes. The athletic trainer is also responsible for assessing injuries as they occur during a game or practice. The trainer will also work with the athlete to get him or her rehabilitated without further injury.
They can work in a variety of settings. One place you may find athletic trainers is at a secondary public or private school setting. The American Medical Association recommends that an athletic trainer be present in every high school for sports teams. This is one of the basic reasons that colleges and universities employ athletic trainers who will assist their athletes during practice and training. Or the athletic trainer may also be employed as an instructor but alongside with his role as an educator is his being an athletic trainer, it is like he is having dual roles.
There are also professional sports teams who hire athletic trainers of similar purpose of preventing injuries among the member s of the team. However, because of the scarcity of teams and also its being seasonal, this opportunity for athletic trainers seems to be insufficient also.
An athletic trainer may find employment in a sports medicine clinic. In this type of setting, the athletic trainer will work with a diverse patient population. Some schools even use sports medicine clinics for their services via outreach programs. The military is even beginning to use athletic trainers on their bases to help train military personnel. Athletic trainers will also be involved in the rehabilitation of injured soldiers.
The job outlook for athletic trainers is expected to grow rapidly over the next few years. This projected job growth will be because of the rapidly growing interest in preventative health care and an aging population.
An athletic trainer can be considered an important part of the professional health care team. As technology increases, so will the need for more athletic trainers.