Posted: March 10, 2015 in Uncategorized

find your atc

Have you seen this health care professional??

Often present on athletic fields and courts alike. Typically seen sporting the traditional sports medicine garb of khakis and a polo shirt along with an ever-fashionable fanny pack that is undoubtedly stocked with tape, gauze, scissors and an assortment of other emergency medicine paraphernalia. May or may not have medical gloves in back pocket of khakis. If you do see one of these professionals either on the sideline or running to the aide of an injured athlete, make sure to shake their hand because these masters of sports medicine are none other than the heralded profession of certified athletic trainers!
Certified athletic trainers are health care professionals that follow five domains: prevention, clinical evaluation and diagnosis, immediate and emergency care, treatment and rehabilitation, and organization and professional health and well-being. Athletic trainers can be found in a number of different settings from professional and collegiate sports, to secondary/high and middle schools, to physical therapy/orthopedic clinics, to industrial settings. One thing that is universal between all athletic trainers is that they must have at minimum, a bachelor’s degree from a CAATE (Commission of Accreditation of Athletic Training Education) accredited program and must pass a national certification exam. In fact, more than 70% of certified athletic trainers hold a Master’s degree or higher.
Certified athletic trainers are becoming more versatile and needed than ever. With the increasing number of young people participating in sports, having an athletic trainer on the field or court is essential to maintain a safe environment. Athletic trainers serve as the first line of healthcare to athletes during sports activities and can help to evaluate and treat injuries that require immediate care, like bone fractures or concussions, as well as administer first aid. In a clinic setting, certified athletic trainers are trained in using therapeutic modalities such as electric stim and ultrasound and are typically well versed in proper lifting technique and nutrition.
It is sometimes said that an athletic trainer’s job is about 20% visible to the public while the other 80% is spent behind the scenes, and it is that 80% that helps athletes/patients perform. From heating and stretching, to taping and wrapping, from preseason physical screenings and concussion baselines to initial injury reports and rehabilitation protocols, from long bus rides and 14-18 hour days, to practice and game coverage with endless water coolers and ice bags, all while maintaining their certification by fulfilling continuing education units every two years and doing budget, inventory and ordering for the athletic training room as well as coordinating practice and game schedules and let’s not even get started on insurance companies! *deep breath* But alas, they get up every morning with a smile (and an extra-large coffee) and go to their jobs where they care and treat some of the best people. The people like the soccer player who wants to pass that hop test for her lateral ankle sprain so she can get back on the field for championships. And the patient who wants to conquer those step-ups after his knee replacement so he can run around with his grandchildren. And we can’t forget the factory worker who needs proper hand and finger technique on the floor so that he can continue his passion of playing guitar. Or the middle school swimmer who wants to go to the Olympics when she grows up but is having some shoulder pain while doing her free style and needs some strengthening. These people are what matter. And these are the lives that certified athletic trainers touch every day.
And as a new morning dawns and a fresh batch of initial injury reports wait to be written, the certified athletic trainers of the world take the day on with a determination to help, to heal and to aid those whole need it most. For there will always be an ankle to tape, a shoulder to evaluate, a knee to ultrasound, an insurance claim to file and a budget to calculate and for all of these things and more, an athletic trainer will be there!

By : Amanda Bachmann, MS, ATC

Head Athletic Trainer at The College of New Rochelle

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