Reason #1 Your School Needs an Athletic Trainer

August 10, 2011

The other day I launched a post “Ten Reasons Your School Needs an Athletic Trainer.” It got an overwhelming response with over 400 views. Over the next few days, you’ll see an expansion to include explanations of each of the ten reasons I stated previously.

1. A certified athletic trainer is the #1 healthcare provider trained and educated to work with athletes.

Healthcare is made up of a large variety of specialties. Each provider is unique and important to the healthcare system in their own individual way. It is important to recognize that although there may appear to be some overlap between various specialties, each profession is different in some way and that is often an important distinction. Certified Athletic Trainers are one piece of the healthcare system here in the United States and Athletic Training is a profession that is often practiced outside of the “normal medical setting.”

42% of high schools are estimated to have access to an athletic trainer here in the United States. The number of schools who have one present each day is much less than that. Many schools think that having a nurse in the building is enough. Or having a nurse or a physician in attendance at sporting events is enough. But those professions are not trained to handle athletic injuries. Nurses do not have the orthopedic background to evaluate sprains and strains. They also are not likely to have the education and clinical skills to splint potential fractures or immobilize potential neck injuries. Also, these professions do not often have extensive background in concussions.

Athletic Trainers spend a great deal of time during their education working with athletes. Clinical experiences are often spent with college and/or high school teams where the students work alongside a clinical instructor learning critical clinical skills. So what are some of the clinical skills an athletic trainer learns? Prevention skills such as taping and bracing. Clinical Evaluation such as being able to evaluate through special tests, manual muscle tests, and other skills to determine the extent of the injury and the structures involved. Immediate care including emergency procedures such as splinting fractures and stabilizing potential spinal cord injuries. Treatment and rehabilitation of orthopedic injuries through the use of manual therapy, therapuetic modalities, and exercise. Organization and Administration such as record keeping and budgets. Lastly, Professional Responsibility through continuing education and helping to spread the word about the profession such as this blog.

6 Domains of Athletic Training

  • Prevention
  • Clinical Evaluation and Diagnosis
  • Immediate Care
  • Treatment, Rehabilitation and Reconditioning
  • Organization and Administration
  • Professional Responsibility

Every Athlete Deserves an Athletic Trainer


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