The Definition Of An Athletic Trainer
As approved by the National Athletic Training Board of Directors in January 2013:
Athletic Trainers are healthcare professionals who collaborate with physicians. The services provided by Athletic Trainers comprise prevention, emergency care, clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions.
Typical patients of Athletic Trainers:
Recreational, amateur and professional athletes.
Individuals who suffered from musculoskeletal injuries.
Those seeking strength, conditioning, fitness and performance enhancement.
Others delegated by a physician.
March is National Athletic Training month so I thought I would start with the definition of an Athletic Trainer (AT). A lot, I would say majority of the population, is unaware of what an AT does and is capable of doing. We see a vast array of people, injuries and conditions on a daily basis. When I tell people that I am an AT, they usually think I am a personal trainer. As we are very knowledgeable in strength and conditioning, that is just one aspect of our education. People are usually surprised to find that out when I explain it to them. Also, there are people that think we are paramedics/EMTs that cover games in case of emergency. Again, emergency care is a very important, strong part of our profession, but it’s not all we do, although it could be considered the most important part of our job.
Athletic Trainers are a somewhat unknown, but very important person to have around at any sporting event. I always joke that no one notices that I’m there unless an injury happens – then all of a sudden, I become the most important person around at that point in time. We literally have to be ready for anything to happen at any time.
I can tell you, being a parent myself, my kids will not play a sport if there is not an AT there. We are there for the kids, to make sure they stay healthy not just for one season, but for the rest of their lives. I can assure you that yourself (if you’re the athlete), or your daughter, son, granddaughter, grandson, brother, sister, etc. is in very good hands if there is an AT on site if/when they get injured. We will assess and re-assess an injury and get them the professional help they need in a timely manner. Countless lives have been saved because of the quick action of ATs.
We may be overlooked at times, and that’s okay – that means the athletes stayed healthy during that game or practice. But don’t be surprised if/when an injury of any kind – serious or minor – does happen, to see a person run onto the field/court and take over the situation. That’s the Athletic Trainer, trust me, your child is in VERY good hands.
I’d love to hear your questions or comments. Feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.