ADVOCATES FOR SAFETY
Who Are Athletic Trainers?
Working to prevent and treat musculoskeletal injuries and sports-related illnesses, athletic trainers (ATs) offer a continuum of care unparalleled in health care. ATs are part of a team of health care professionals — they practice under the direction of and in collaboration with physicians. ATs work with those individuals who are physically active or involved in sports participation through all stages of life to prevent, treat and rehabilitate injuries and medical conditions. Athletic trainers should not be confused with personal trainers or “trainers” who focus solely on fitness and conditioning.
Athletic Trainers are Experts
Sports injuries can be serious. Brain and spinal cord injuries and conditions such as heat illness can be life-threatening if not recognized and properly handled. ATs are there to treat acute injuries on the spot. Athletes have chronic illnesses, too. People with diabetes and asthma can and do safely work and exercise, and the athletic trainer can help manage these critical health issues as they relate to physical exertion.
Athletic Trainers Save Lives
Athletic trainers are on site. They work with patients to avoid injuries; they’re there when injuries happen and they provide immediate care; and they rehabilitate patients after injuries or surgery. It’s a continuum of care. They know their patients well because they are at the school or on the factory floor every day.
Athletic Trainers Serve as the Healthcare System for Athletes and Others
School administrators, athletic directors, and coaches have their own jobs, which may pose a conflict of interest with athlete safety; they are not experts in managing injuries or sports-related illnesses, nor should they be responsible to do so. Handling injuries at school or at work, rather than sending the patient to the emergency department, saves money and time loss — and gets them back to their activity faster. Just as professional athletes do, youth and industrial athletes should have access to athletic trainers.
Athletic Trainers Take Responsibility and Reduce Risk
March is National Athletic Training Month (NATM). Hosted by the NATA, the goal of NATM is to spread awareness about the important work of athletic trainers. Follow these links to learn more about athletic trainers and how to hire them.