(March 8, 2017) — March is National Athletic Training Month! The month is dedicated to spreading awareness about who Certified Athletic Trainers (ATCs) are, the environments in which they work and the importance of their role in rehabilitation.
What are ATCs?
According to the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, ATCs are highly qualified, multi-skilled healthcare professionals who collaborate with physicians, physical therapists and other healthcare professionals in a variety of settings. ATCs can provide preventative services, emergency care, clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention and rehabilitation to injuries and various medical conditions.
Distinguishing an ATC’s Role
ATCs are not personal trainers. While they can be confused with trainers, there is a big difference from the amount of education necessary to be a certified athletic trainer, their skills, their jobs requirements and the kinds of patients they treat.
Athletic Trainers must graduate from a Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Trainer Education (CAATE) accredited baccalaureate or master’s program. In addition to their studies in the classroom, an ATC performs clinical rotations to put their skills to the test. These could be in high schools, colleges, clinics or hospitals.
Once they complete the undergraduate or master’s program, every athletic training student is eligible to sit for the national Board of Certification Exam.
After they are certified and can officially put the letters ATC after their name, ATC’s apply to become licensed to practice in their state of employment.
Where do ATCs work?
It might surprise you that ATCs don’t just work on the sidelines of sporting events. Here at Loudoun Sports Therapy Center, an outpatient clinic, our ATCs work alongside our therapists to help with patient care.
Were you an athlete in high school or college? You might have had to see your ATC for an injury during practice or at a game. Some other places ATCs work that might surprise you:
- Working with professional and semi-professional athletes including NASCAR and rodeo
- Treating performing artists including Cirque du Soleil performers
- Law enforcement and government agencies like NASA and the Pentagon
- Factory, occupational and industrial settings for on-the-job ergonomics, body mechanics and lifting safety as well as injury prevention
Note from our sponsor: At Loudoun Sports Therapy Center, all of our clinicians work together to ensure that our patients get the best care possible to help them achieve their goals for physical therapy. If you have questions about how physical therapy can help you, call our office at 703-450-4300 TODAY!