Health & Fitness

What Is An Athletic Trainer?

By: Caitlin Scheib

Many people do not understand the scope of practice that an athletic trainer is capable of. Most people immediately think of a personal trainer, physical therapist, massage therapist, or strength and conditioning coach. Although there are aspects of each of those professions that are involved in athletic training, there is so much more to it. Athletic trainers are healthcare professionals! Read below to learn more about who we are and what we are educated in!

What is an Athletic Trainer?

Athletic Trainers (ATs) are health care professionals who provide a safer approach to work, life, and sport. ATs are unique health care providers specifically trained in the prevention of injury and illness.

Athletic Trainers:

  • Are not personal trainers. Unlike personal trainers, ATs follow a medical-based education model.

  • Must graduate from an accredited educational program and pass a comprehensive certification exam.

  • Are licensed and otherwise regulated in 49 states and the District of Columbia. Efforts continue to gain regulation in California.

  • Must keep their knowledge and skills current by participating in continuing education.

  • Work in educational institutions (middle school, high school, college, universities); professional and amateur sports organizations; hospitals and clinics; corporate workplaces; the military; police and fire departments; and performing arts.

Some of the health topics that ATs are educated in include:

  • Orthopedic Injuries

  • Concussion

  • Heat Stroke and other Heat Illnesses

  • Sudden Cardiac Arrest and other Cardiac Emergencies

  • Eating Disorders

  • Diabetic Episodes

  • Exertional Sickling

  • Early Onset Osteoarthritis

  • Substance Abuse

  • Disease Transmission

  • Weight Management

  • Environmental and Weather Related Health Conditions

  • Dental and Oral Injuries

  • General Medical Conditions Involving Each System of the Body

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