What is a Certified Athletic Trainer?
Certified athletic trainers, also known as ATCs, are medical professionals who specialize in the prevention, assessment, treatment and rehabilitation of injuries and illnesses that occur in athletes and the physically active. You’ve probably seen an ATC working with professional athletes on television, at the local sporting events and in the high school athletic training room.
What does an ATC do?
As your child’s athletic trainer, I ensure that s/he remains healthy and is able to participate in practices and games. My primary responsibilities are injury prevention, reduction of further injury by administering immediate care, development and implementation of rehabilitation programs and development of appropriate policies, including return-to-play.
I usually work behind the scenes, but you may also see me on the sidelines at games and practices. I’m often in the athletic training room, helping athletes rehabilitate following an injury. I can be found in my office, keeping records of medical histories and treatments, or you may see me in meetings with administrators developing policies such as an emergency action plan and guidelines for responses to heat illness, lightning and other environmental hazards.
What kind of training does an ATC have?
Athletic trainers are board certified by an independent organization. To become certified, an individual must possess a bachelor’s of science degree from a college or university with an accredited athletic training program and pass the written and practical components of a certification exam. To maintain his/her credential, an ATC must complete 80 hours of continuing education every three years.