Athletic training was founded in the early 1950’s. At first there were only a few members centered mostly in colleges and universities. Today, athletic training has grown to 22,700 certified and student members’ worldwide. For a student to become certified they must first get a four year college education with a bachelor’s degree. After that they have to volunteer at a clinic or hospital and gain hands on experience, some students work for their perspective universities.
Then they must also pass a license and certification exam. The certification exam consists of a written test of didactic information, a practical demonstration of athletic training skills, and a written simulation that tests problem solving, decision-making, and critical thinking. Once they complete all of these tasks they become a certified athletic trainer.
For a student at Indiana State to get a athletic training degree, they must take the following classes: prevention of athletic injuries, evaluation of athletic injuries, 1st aid and emergency care, therapeutic modalities and exercise, administration of athletic training programs, human anatomy, physiology, exercise science, kinesiology, biomechanics, nutrition, psychology, personal/community health, and instructional methods. Once one becomes certified, there are a wide variety of job fields to go into.
One could work in a private or public high school or work for a college or university. Some others include; professional sports teams, amateur sports teams, sports medicine clinics, corporate settings, hospitals, health and fitness centers, U.S. Olympic centers or teams, and International athletic organizations.
What exactly do athletic trainers do? Well, the first and most important job is recognizing, evaluating, and the immediate care of athletic injuries. Other job responsibilities include; prevention of athletic in juries, rehab. and reconditioning oathletic injuries, education and counseling, problem solving, analyzing injuries, taping, bandaging, and stretching athletes, motor skills, communication, basic 1st aid and CPR skills, must work well under stress and with people, demonstrate physical and rehabilitation movements, operating modality machines and other equipment, deductive reasoning, referring athletes to the appropriate physicians, maintain poise in emergency situations, recording, organizing and storing information on injuries and rehabilitation, implement exercise and rehabilitation programs, good judgment and decision making.
All athletic trainers belong to athletic training organizations. They belong to a state and regional association. Then there is the National Athletic Trainers’ Association. The NATA was founded in 1950 at the 1st meeting in Kansas City. The mission of this organization is to “enhance the quality of health care for athletes and those engaged in physical activity, and to advance the profession of athletic training through education and research in prevention, evaluation, management, and rehabilitation of injuries.”
The chief function of NATA is to supervise and control certification of athletic trainers through the Board of Certification. Athletic trainers are always researching and trying to find new information on sports related injuries. Some of the major topics in the field right now are: the long term effects from concussions on soccer players, overworking the shoulder in baseball, long term effects from chest injuries in football, reoccurring oankle sprains, and ACL and MCL injuries to female athletes. Some journals that are used in research are NATA bulletin, Journal of Athletic Training, and The Physician in Sports Medicine.