Allied Health Careers: Athletic Trainer
Athletic trainers are responsible for injury prevention and management for people on all ages. Furthermore, these individuals are also recognized by the American Medical Association as allied health professional which are skilled in areas of assessment, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of patients presenting muscular and bone injuries. These professionals must be alert to provide immediate care and management as they are usually the first trained personnel more often present on the scene.
More often than usual, people often confuse athletic trainers with fitness or personal trainers, who are not considered as workers in the health care industry. Fitness trainers only help out people in their training to become physically fit. The role of allied athletic trainers is far complicated as they should be able to recognize, evaluate and properly assess the injuries immediately. To reduce the risk of injuries, they educate people on how to use equipment properly and what exercises are best to enhance balance and promote strength. Basically, they impart learning on types of home exercises and other therapeutic programs. In addition, they educate people on how to manage injuries through the application of a protective layer and devices that prevents further injuries such as bracing, bandaging and taping the injured area.
These professionals work under the direction of a licensed physician. Furthermore they also cooperate with other members of the healthcare staff. It is the physician that directs athletic trainers what injury is to be discussed specifically and which treatment is best for the case. They also evaluate a client and give treatments based on the orders of the doctors. To do this effectively, they usually have meetings with physicians one to two times weekly. But there are other workers who talk to physicians in a daily basis. The frequency of consultation depends on the institution and availability of the doctor.
Although their action is based on the given direction, athletic trainers also have administrative functions. They usually set up a meeting with the athletic directors or the practicing physician in the area. People assigned to monitor and track down budget, expenses, purchases and policies also interact with the athletic trainer. Issues relating to business are also directed to them during meetings.
Qualification and Training
The minimum requirement of this job is a bachelor’s degree. However, quite a few athletic trainers completed the master’s or doctoral degrees. There are also states which require them to have a license or certification before being allowed to work. This happened in 2009 when about 47 states declared their qualification in a form of license or registration.
Image courtesy of pointpark.edu