The Importance of Certified Athletic Trainers

/ / Blog
athlete receiving help from an athletic trainer

athlete receiving help from an athletic trainer

Who are Certified Athletic Trainers?  

Certified Athletic trainers (ATCs) are highly qualified, multi-skilled health care professionals who collaborate with physicians to provide preventative services, emergency care, clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions in order to minimize subsequent impairments, functional limitations, disability, and societal limitations. Work settings for an athletic trainer typically include high schools, colleges, universities, professional sports teams, hospitals, physical therapy clinic, physicians’ offices, corporate and industrial institutions, performing arts, and the military. Sometimes, the profession of athletic training can be confused with personal training, however, a large difference in the education, skill set, job duties and patient population exists between the two.

A Certified Athletic Trainer Has an In-Depth Education

In order to practice or be recognized as a certified athletic trainer, an individual must complete coursework in the academic major of athletic training at the undergraduate or graduate level from a program that is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE). Using a medical-based education model, athletic training students are educated to provide comprehensive patient care in five domains of clinical practice: prevention; clinical evaluation and diagnosis; immediate and emergency care; treatment and rehabilitation; and organization and professional health and well-being. Athletic training students must also complete multiple clinical rotations before they become eligible to sit for the Board of Certification, Inc. (BOC) examination, which is the nationally recognized exam which students must pass in order to be deemed a certified athletic trainer.

Certified Athletic Trainers Provide a Wide Range of Medical Services

Certified athletic trainers will perform different tasks based on what specific setting they are working in—but every certified athletic trainer has the tools, resources and knowledge to perform a plethora of medical services. Overall, there are five areas that certified athletic trainers must have extensive knowledge and skill sets in. These include recognizing and diagnosing athletic injuries, preventing and treating athletic injuries, providing both immediate and emergency care for athletic injuries, providing rehabilitation services for athletes and promoting wellness. This skill set prepares an athletic trainer to work with not only traditional athletes but anyone who is physically active in their activities of daily living.

Athletic Training Services Prevent and Treat Injuries  

Among the most important athletic training services that they provide, certified athletic trainers prevent injuries from occurring as well as treat the injuries that do happen to occur. Certified athletic trainers mainly work with two types of sports-related injuries—overuse injuries and traumatic injuries. Athletic training services for injuries that are administered by a certified athletic trainer can either take place on the day that the injury occurred at a game or practice, or the next day at a follow-up care visit in a physical therapy facility. Athletic trainers can recognize and evaluate both types of injuries in an early state and may also provide emergency care, such as CPR or AED use, if necessary. Athletic trainers also act as a referral source for the injured athlete to medical professionals in all specialties.

An Athletic Trainer Can Offer Rehabilitation for Athletes

Athletic trainers partner up with physical therapists to give patients suffering from either an overuse or traumatic injury the best possible chance at full recovery. After an athletic trainer and physical therapist have diagnosed and treated the athlete’s injury, they will set up a rehabilitation program that allows an athlete to make a full recovery, with the main goals of staying safe and returning back to their sport. Both an athletic trainer and physical therapist always keep in mind that the injured athlete is susceptible to another injury, so they combine both of their skill sets to make for the safest, most pro-active recovery for the athlete.

Meet our Staff of Certified Athletic Trainers Today

JAG-ONE Physical Therapy is a physical therapy center that provides physical therapy services and athletic training services for athletes that have experienced an injury and work with athletes that are trying to prevent another injury from occurring. With 18 New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania locations, JAG-ONE Physical Therapy is readily available to athletes and patients throughout the communities we serve. All who are interested should contact the amazing staff at JAG-ONE Physical Therapy by calling 973-669-0078, or e-mailing the office for more information at [email protected].