An Athletic trainer can work for high schools, colleges, universities, and also for professional sports teams. Athletic Trainers prevent, examine, and treat injuries of athletes. Before and after games and practices they also treat minor injuries such as wrapping bandages around sprang ankles or wrists or spray an antiseptic on an knee that has an abrasion. Trainers do not work alone, they work with the team coaches, physicians, and the equipment manager. Responsibilities
Athletic trainers work along with the team coaches, physicians, and equipment manager to see that the players are receiving the best care possible. The team coaches and the athletic trainer work together to develop programs that will help the athletes meet the optimal level of physical condition. When players are in the best shape possible then they are less susceptible to major injuries that might occur. Athletic trainers also work with the equipment manager to make sure the playing and training areas are in working order (Field. 1999).
When working with the equipment manager their main priority is to make sure that the conditions of the playing and practice fields meet the changes of “local, state, and federal standards for safety and sanitation (Sigi Plus ,2000). The athletic trainer also works with the equipment manager to request equipment she may need to do her job such as braces, bandages, antiseptic, or cold packs. She is also responsible for recommending types of supplies she needs and making sure they are available. The trainer is also to work with the team physician in designing an rehabilitation program for an injured athlete.
The trainer is also responsible for implementing a program that will help the injured player heal properly and maintain is endurance and strength. The athletic trainer is also responsible for keeping records of each athletes progression throughout the rehabilitation process. The records must show when an athlete was injured, what the injury was, the prognosis, prescribed rehabilitation, and progress (Morais,1999). The athletic trainer holds the responsibility of releasing the athletes from rehabilitation also.
Many coaches will try and force the trainers to release the athletes before they are completely healed and the trainers must tell the coaches no for the safety of the player. Facilities and Working Conditions Athletic trainers work in the indoors and outdoors. They work in Athletic training rooms, gyms, playing fields, aquatic areas, track fields, sports medicine clinics, classrooms, fitness rooms, and health clubs (NATA, 2000). They must also be in the dugout or on the sidelines while the team is playing. They may also work in hot, cold, or rainy weather.
The job also consist of working nights and weekends along with traveling with the team. Athletic trainers also work with a variety of athletes so they mus be able to get along well with many different typed of people. They should be able to recognize an injured player when they see one. Another condition is that the trainer must also enjoy sports so that they receive satisfaction by helping athletes perform better. Salary Range The salary in the field of athletic training vary depending on where and who you work for.
The salary can range from $23,000 to over $115,000. While working in the school system the range will be from $23,00 to $60,000 depending on the type and size of school, the importance that the administration puts on the athletic programs, the prestige, and location of the schools. Athletic trainers working for professional teams earn from $25,000 to $115,000 plus (E. M. Guild, Inc. 1995). The salary for the professional teams also depend on the type of team, its prestige, and the responsibilities and experience of the trainer. Personal Characteristics and Skills
The personality traits that the trainer must have is the ability to get along well with people. Athletic trainers will be interacting with many athletes, coaches, physicians, and parents. Trainers should also feel comfortable working with injured athletes. They should be able to deal with blood, and stress. Athletic trainers should also understand the psychology of both team athletes and coaches. Some athletes who want to get back to a game say that their injuries are not serious or have healed when they really have not (Frank, 1986).
Trainers should have good communication skills because they deal with a variety of people. Trainers should have an understanding and enjoyment of the sports because of the fact that they will have to attend many games . Degrees and Basic Training Needed Athletic trainers should have a degree from a four year college and must also be certified by the National Athletic Association (USM, 2000). To become a certified trainer, you must complete an approved college program in athletic training, have 2 years of experience working under the supervision of an NATA – approved trainer.
NATA will also certify people who have a college degree in any subject plus 1,800 hours of on the job training under an NATA member (NATA, 2000). Certification, Lisensure, Continuing Education, and Professional Affiliations Athletic trainers must be certified by the NATA . They should also be certified in First Aid and CPR. Athletic Trainers should belong to the National Athletic Trainers Association . The NATA offers education, training, certification programs, and career guidance (NATA , 2000). The NATA brings people in the Athletic Training Profession together to maintain high standards.
Future Outlook for Employment Employment in the Athletic Training field are excellent. Trainers can find a job throughout the country in a variety of different settings. Trainers are hired in public and private high schools, junior colleges, four- year colleges and universities, and professional sports teams. Advancement prospects for Athletic Trainers are also excellent. A trainer might go from high school to college to minor leagues and then to professional league teams. Each level of advancement becomes more difficult.