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What is an Athletic Trainer and their role in society

22 November,2022  |  By Brainwonders

Athletic Trainer

What is an Athletic Trainer

Athletic trainers (ATs) are multi-skilled health care professionals that provide service or treatment under the guidance of or in conjunction with a physician, in line with their education, training, and state statutes, rules, and regulations. As members of the health care team, athletic trainers provide primary care, injury and disease prevention, wellness promotion and education, emergent care, examination and clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention, and rehabilitation of injuries and medical problems.

The prevention, assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of all forms of injuries and medical conditions, whether they be sudden, acute, or chronic, are all covered by athletic training.

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Skills required by an athletic trainer:

  • Communication
  • Compassion
  • Social perspectives
  • Attention to detail
  • Critical thinking
  • Fitness

How to improve athletic trainer skills:

  • Speak mindfully
  • Develop a rapport with your clients.
  • Be honest
  • Deliver bad news with kindness
  • Control your emotions and reactions
  • Coach your clients about injury prevention.
  • Get certified
  • Keep updating your knowledge 

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How to become an athletic trainer?

Athletic Trainer Education:

Students study at the undergraduate or graduate level, athletic trainer education typically includes traditional coursework and clinical experiences. Students take courses in topics like:

  • Nutrition
  • Anatomy
  • Biology
  • Physiology 

According to the National Athletic Trainers Association, Athletic trainers must graduate from a bachelor's or master's program. The Board of Certification (BOC) examination for athletic trainers encompasses testing in the following domains:

  • Injury prevention
  • Clinical evaluation and diagnosis
  • Immediate care
  • Professional development.

The BOC examination is currently the only program for athletic trainer certification that is recognised by the National Commission on Certifying Agencies.

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Difference between personal and athletic trainers:

Personal trainers and athletic trainers are sometimes confused. An athletic trainer and a personal trainer, on the other hand, have significantly different educations, skill sets, employment requirements, and patients. The athletic training academic curriculum and clinical training both follow the medical model. Athletic trainers must get a bachelor's or master's degree, with a master's degree accounting for 70% of ATs.

Employment of athletic trainers:
Educational services - state, local, and private 42%
Hospitals - state, local, and private  20%
Offices of physical, occupational, and speech therapist 11%
Self-employed workers  2%
Fitness and recreational sports centers 6%


Work environments for athletic trainers can include high schools, colleges, universities, professional sports teams, hospitals, rehabilitation clinics, physicians' offices, corporate and industrial institutions, the military, and the performing arts. Regardless of their practice setting, athletic trainers practise athletic training (or provide athletic training services) according to their education and state practise act.

Athletic trainers mainly treat injuries related to activities such as football, hockey, basketball, golfing, tennis, water skiing, swimming, gymnastics, etc.

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Athletic Trainers and prevention of injury and disease as their role in society:

This blog identifies some of the abilities that athletic trainers utilise regularly to prevent injury and disease as their role in society:

1.  Examine patients or customers

Examine patients or customers to look for potential injuries or illnesses, as well as risk factors that could put them at risk of injury or sickness. These processes include the items mentioned below, however, they are not limited to them:

  • Physical examinations before participation
  • Musculoskeletal flexibility evaluation
  • Muscular strength and endurance evaluation
  • Cardiovascular fitness evaluation
  • Postural and ergonomic evaluation, and
  • Body composition evaluation

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2.  Gather and assess environment

Gather and assess environmental (e.g., ambient temperature, relative humidity, heat index, lightning) and patient/client data to make appropriate recommendations for patient or client safety and activity continuation or suspension (e.g., hydration status).

3.  Emphasize the need for acclimatisation

Emphasize the need for acclimatisation and hydration and electrolyte balance in the prevention of heart disease to patients, clients, coaches, and parents.

4. Create and implement emergency

Create and implement emergency action plans to ensure that medical workers are ready in the event of an emergency.

5. To lower the risk of injury and sickness,

To lower the risk of injury and sickness, create and implement conditioning programmes (flexibility, strength, and cardiovascular fitness).

6. Inspect facilities

Inspect facilities to ensure that they are safe, sanitary and that equipment is in good working order.

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7. Patients and clients

Patients and clients should be educated and advised on the nutritional elements of physical activity. Because proper nutrition can help patients or clients maintain a healthy lifestyle, the athletic trainer is frequently the first point of contact for active patients/clients with nutritional questions. In terms of nutrition, athletic trainers should:

  • Educate patients or clients on dietary requirements based on the amount and type of activity they are doing.
  • Explain how carbs, proteins, lipids, minerals, vitamins, fluids, and electrolytes play different roles in an active person's diet.
  • Refer patients or clients to a qualified medical specialist for a nutritional examination or review.
  • Identify and explain illnesses linked to poor nutrition, then counsel patients/clients or refer them to another medical professional as needed.
  • Educate patients or clients about the need for good nutrition before, during, and after physical activity.
  • Educate patients or clients on ergogenic aids and other performance-enhancing substances, as well as the FDA's dietary product regulations.
  • Educate patients or clients about weight loss/gain, weight-control approaches, and performance-enhancing strategies.
  • Inform people about the dangers of substance addiction (social or performance-enhancing) or poor eating habits.

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8. To reduce the risk of damage

To reduce the risk of damage or re-injury, choose, apply, evaluate, and modify preventive and protective equipment as well as other specialised devices for patients/clients.

Some other responsibilities that are common for an athletic trainer:

  • Minimise risk injuries through awareness, education, and prevention strategies.
  • Supervise activities on the field and at the gym.
  • Work with coaching staff to cover all duties as assigned.
  • Communicate with physicians, and coaching staff regarding the injury status of athletes.
  • Participate in special events and activities related to their sports.

Places Athletic trainers are employed:

  • Performing arts companies (dancers)
  • Sports medicine facilities.
  • Occupational and industrial health environment.
  • Hospital emergency departments.

Top Athletic Trainer Jobs:

  • Certified Athletic Trainer in Physical Rehabilitation Network: The athletic trainer works with medical professors and coaches to evaluate patient conditions, establish plans for diets, track fitness progress, etc.
  • Certified Athletic Trainer in Olympic Sports and Spine: The Athletic Trainer attends all practice sessions and games related to Olympics. He also attends conferences and signature events.
  • Athletic Trainer in LMR Technical Group: The Athletic Trainer provides performance enhancement, tailored strength and conditioning, preventive maintenance.

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Athletic trainers FAQs:

1. What are other similar career options as an athletic trainer?

Ans: Coaches, exercise physiologists, massage therapists, Occupational therapists, physical therapists, physician assistants, etc., are some similar career options as an athletic trainer.

2. What is the salary of an athletic trainer?

Ans: The median average salary for athletic trainers is $48.4k. However, it can reach as high upto $76.18k.

3. What is the role of athletic trainers in colleges?

Ans: Athletic trainer covers practice sessions and home and away competitions, supervising the educational experiences of athletic training students.

Are you aware which subjects and courses will bring you closer to your dream career?

Worry not, because the Brainwonders test and guidance will not only help you know it, but also follow it!


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