The Role and Function of the Athletic Trainer
Today's athletic trainer is a highly skilled professional who serves as an integral part of a complete athletic program. An athletic trainer's duties consist of implementing prevention of injury programs, administering immediate treatment of injuries, and supervising reconditioning of the injured athlete as directed by the team physician.
Because an athletic trainer's responsibilities are varied, he or she must have a thorough knowledge of anatomy, physiology, psychology, hygiene, nutrition, taping, conditioning, prevention of injury methodology, and protective equipment. Acquiring knowledge on these subjects is part of a continuous process. Many athletic trainers have earned advanced degrees to improve their ability to meet the requirements of this demanding profession, for the care of athletic injuries must be administered with great skill.
Sports Medicine & Athletic Training
- Field of Sports Medicine
- Field of Athletic Training
- 1. Injury prevention
- 2. Recognition and evaluation of injuries/illness
- 3. Injury management/treatment and disposition
- 4. Injury rehabilitation
- 5. Organization and administration
- 6. Education and counseling
Sports medicine is a generic term that includes many areas of sports related to both performance and injury. Some of the areas of specialization within sports medicine are athletic training, biomechanics, exercise physiology, the practice of medicine relative to the athlete, physical therapy, sports nutrition, and sports psychology. The American College of Sports Medicine has defined sports medicine as "multidisciplinary, including the physiological, biochemical, psychological, and pathological phenomena associated with exercise and sports. The clinical application of the work of these disciplines is performed to improve and maintain an individual's functional capacities for physical labor, and sports." Sports medicine also includes the prevention and treatment of diseases and injuries related to exercise and sports.
Athletic training is one of the areas of specialization within sports medicine. Athletic training works with the sports program and the areas of necessary medical care. It provides a means for the implementation of injury prevention, emergency care, and rehabilitation procedures. The athletic trainer is recognized as a paramedical profession by the American Medical Association. The primary duties and responsibilities of an athletic trainer are as follows: