Athletic training is practiced by athletic trainers (AT), health care professionals who collaborate with physicians to optimize activity and participation of patients and clients across age and care continuums. Athletic training encompasses the prevention, diagnosis, and intervention of emergency, acute and chronic medical conditions involving impairment, functional limitations, and disabilities. ATs work under the direction of physicians.
To become an athletic trainer one must have a master's degree from an accredited professional level education program and then sit for and pass the Board of Certification (BOC) examination. Each state then has their own regulatory agencies that control the practice of athletic training in their state. Most states (42) require an athletic trainer to obtain a license in order to practice in that state, 5 states (Colorado, Hawaii, Minnesota, Oregon, West Virginia) require registration, 2 states (New York, South Carolina) require certification, while California has no state regulations on the practice of athletic training.
Areas of expertise of certified athletic trainers include:
· Apply protective or injury-preventive devices such as tape, bandages, and braces
· Recognize and evaluate injuries
· Provide first aid or emergency care
· Develop and carry out rehabilitation programs for injured athletes
· Plan and implement comprehensive programs to prevent injury and illness among athletes
· Perform administrative tasks such as keeping records and writing reports on injuries and treatment programs