A Day in the Life of an Athletic Trainer

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Athletic Trainers specialize in preventing, diagnosing and rehabilitating. This means keeping injuries from happening, identifying the nature of an illness or injury by examination of the symptoms and bringing a patient back to a healthy condition after an injury by using exercises and modalities.

Where do athletic trainers work?

You can find an Athletic Trainer in more places than you might expect. You can find them working in public safety, such as city government, law enforcement and homeless shelters. Athletic Trainers can also be found working in hospitals, military, performing arts, occupational health, physician extenders, colleges and universities, secondary schools and professional sports.

The Day-to-Day Tasks of an Athletic Trainer include:

  • Conducting an initial assessment of the patient’s injury and providing emergency or continued care
  • Determining whether the patient should be referred to a physician for definitive diagnosis and treatment
  • Evaluating a patient’s readiness to play and providing participation clearances when warranted
  • Applying protective or injury preventive devices such as tape, bandages or braces
  • Assessing and reporting process of recovering athlete to coaches or physicians
  • Caring for athletic injuries using physical therapy equipment, techniques or medication
  • Keeping records and writing reports on patients
  • Planning or implementing comprehensive athletic injury prevention programs
  • Inspecting playing fields to locate any conditions that could injure a player
  • Developing training programs and routines designed to improve athletic performance
  • Instructing coaches, athletes, patients or parents in the care and prevention of athletic injuries
  • Advising patients on the proper use of equipment.

An Athletic Trainer must possess the following skills in order to be successful: verbal, critical thinking, problem solving, math and science, technology design and control, and leadership.

Athletic Trainers work with people of all ages and all skill levels, from young children to soldiers and professional athletes. Athletic Trainers are usually one of the first healthcare providers on the scene when an injury occurs. They work under the direction of a licensed physician and with other healthcare providers, often discussing specific injuries and treatment options or evaluating and treating patients as directed by a physician.

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