National Athletic Training Month: 20 Facts About Athletic Training

National Athletic Training Month is held every March in order to spread awareness about the important work of athletic trainers. The 2020 slogan is “ATs Impact Health Care Through Action.”  Here are 20 facts about athletic trainers provided by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association:

1. Athletic Trainers are health care professionals.

2. The appropriate title is athletic trainer or AT, but not trainer.

3. There are more than 58,000 certified athletic trainers around the world.

4. Athletic Training education follows a medical model that includes clinical rotations. This is on par with what is required of students pursuing other degrees in health care, such as physical therapy or nursing.

5. Athletic Trainers must receive a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited program. Beginning in Fall 2022, a Master’s degree will be the minimum entry point into the profession.

6. Upon graduation, Athletic Trainers must pass the national examination to obtain certification plus acquire necessary state licensure to practice in most states.

7. Athletic Trainers are educated in five domains including injury and illness prevention and wellness promotion, examination, assessment and diagnosis, immediate and emergency care, therapeutic intervention, and health care administration and professional responsibility.

8. Athletic Trainers work in many different settings including youth sports, high schools, colleges and universities, physician practices (in a similar capacity to nurses, physician assistants and other professional clinical personnel), rural and urban hospitals, sports medicine clinics, occupational health, public safety, military branches and performing arts.

9. Athletic Trainers provide emergency care for injury and illnesses such as concussion, cardiac arrest, spine injuries, heat stroke, diabetes, allergic reactions and asthma attacks.

10. Athletic Trainers are able to reduce absenteeism from work, school and sport through injury prevention measures, onsite health care and robust referral network for specialized care.

11. Athletic Trainers help reduce costs associated with unnecessary emergency room visits and diagnostic tests as well as rehabilitative costs before and after surgery.

12. Employing an Athletic Trainer has the potential to reduce insurance costs based on the standard prevention protocols that the athletic trainer manages and provides.

13. In some states, Athletic Trainers can bill insurances and be reimbursed for their services.

14. Athletic Trainers use best practices to promote optimal patient care and employee well-being.

15. Athletic Trainers play an important role in educating coaches and players on sport specific rules and regulations.

16. The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) encourages schools that provide an interscholastic sports program to create policies that enhance the well-being of their student athletes including the utilization of an athletic trainer as part of their health care team.

17. An American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) study found that the presence of Athletic Trainers can have a significant positive impact on student athlete health, resulting in lower injury rates, improved diagnosis and return-to-play decisions for injuries such as concussion, and fewer recurrent injuries.

18. According to the latest research in the Journal of Athletic Training, 34% of secondary schools have no access to an athletic trainer.

19. Schools with athletic trainers are better at identifying athletes with concussions.

20. Recurrent injury rates were six time higher in girls’ soccer and nearly three times higher in girls’ basketball in schools without athletic trainers.

March 17th, 2020

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