It’s an unhappy scene that plays out in nearly every athletic contest you see on TV. A play comes to an end and within seconds, there’s a team of people rushing out to deliver care for an injured athlete. These health care professionals are athletic trainers.
Since March is National Athletic Training Month, it’s time we gave these unique individuals the recognition they deserve. That’s right! National Athletic Training Month is an annual event, celebrated in March, and intended to acknowledge and honor the contributions of athletic trainers to the healthcare profession.
UBMD Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine is making use of this occasion to support the profession and spread awareness regarding the importance of having a certified athletic trainer as an essential part of a sports team or other physically active organizations.
Every year, the National Athletic Training Association has a theme for the month-long celebration. In 2023, the theme is “There’s an AT for That.”
What is an athletic trainer and what are their everyday jobs?
If you’ve ever been at an athletic event, you’ve likely seen an athletic trainer at work and possibly didn’t even know it. He/she is a decidedly qualified, multi-skilled healthcare professional who focuses on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of injuries and illnesses related to physical activity. They work with athletes and physically active individuals of all ages and performance levels, from amateurs to professionals, to help them perform at their physical peak and prevent injuries.
Athletic trainers typically work in schools, colleges, universities, hospitals and clinics, as well as with professional sports teams. A few other settings you can find these specialists include physicians’ offices, law enforcement, industrial sites and the military. Their job duties include:
- Evaluating non-life-threatening injuries and illnesses and establishing appropriate treatment plans;
- Delivering emergency care and first aid to injured athletes;
- Developing and implementing rehabilitation programs to help injured athletes recover and regain their strength and mobility. One such program would be a stretching routine that can aid in the prevention of ailments such as muscle pulls;
- Educating athletes and coaches about physical injury prevention and management;
- Conducting pre-participation physical exams to assess an athlete’s fitness level and identify any potential health risks.
In the simplest of descriptions, the goal of an athletic trainer is to protect the athletes they work with and help them perform at their best while minimizing the risk of injury. The complexity of their responsibilities alone makes athletic trainers an indispensable member of any sports medicine team and organization.
How do you become an athletic trainer?
Athletic trainers are highly educated and nationally certified. To become an athletic trainer, a person must complete a bachelor’s or master’s degree program in athletic training from an accredited institution, pass a certification exam and meet any applicable state licensing requirements.
It’s also important to note that the requirements for becoming an athletic trainer may vary depending on the setting and location that they are working in. Moreover, some employers may require additional certifications or a level of experience beyond the minimum requirements.
Damar Hamlin injury
In light of the injury to Buffalo Bills’ safety Damar Hamlin that captured the attention of not only Bills’ fans but the entire nation, UBMD would like to recognize our Orthopaedics team’s participation in Damar’s continuing recovery.
UBMD Orthopaedic’s ATEAM
UBMD Orthopaedic’s Athletic Training and Medical Program is designed to protect student athletes by ensuring that every Western New York high school has a well-trained, full-time certified athletic trainer (ATC). Unfortunately, only about one quarter of high schools in New York State have a full-time athletic trainer. Learn more about the mission of UBMD Orthopaedic’s ATEAM.