It’s March and that means it’s time for National Athletic Training Month! We like to take this time each year to recognize the hard work of our Athletic Trainers and the vital role they play in the wellbeing of student athletes both on and off of the field.
Professional’s Sports Medicine Department is proud to have the largest team in the New York Metro area. Our crew works hard to serve schools across Westchester, Long Island, New York City, New Jersey, Massachusetts, as well as per diem coverage for more than 2,000 events each year.
“March is always an exciting time, as it rejuvenates me and reminds me why I’ve been an Athletic Trainer for 20 years. Through collaboration with communities, families, coaches and other healthcare professionals such as physicians, physician assistants, nurses and physical therapists, to name a few, I can attest to the many ways ‘ATs are Essential to Health Care,’ which happens to be this year’s NATA slogan! This past year has been a challenging one to say the least but it provided us the ability to highlight what we do and our ability to adapt throughout this pandemic,” states Angelo Marsella, MA, ATC, USAW, Partner and Director of Sports Medicine at Professional Physical Therapy.
The Role of an Athletic Trainer
Athletic Trainers are the vital link between an injured athlete, the physician, and the coach. According to NATA.org, “Athletic trainers (ATs) are highly qualified, multi-skilled health care professionals who render service or treatment, under the direction of or in collaboration with a physician, in accordance with their education, training and the state’s statutes, rules and regulations. As a part of the health care team, services provided by athletic trainers include primary care, injury and illness prevention, wellness promotion and education, emergent care, examination and clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions.”
These individuals work closely with sports teams to manage existing injuries, prevent future ones, and assist athletes along the recovery process. This close communication allows for ATs to properly determine when the appropriate time is to return to play. Typically employed by secondary schools, colleges and universities, professional and Olympic sports, ATs are typically the first on scene to an injury and are dedicated to developed injury prevention and treatment plans that are personalized to each athlete.
Why Are AT’s Important?
- 62% of organized sports-related injuries occur during practice.
- Schools/Organizations with Athletic Trainers have lower injury rates
- Only 37% of public High Schools employ a full-time athletic trainer.
- 54% of athletes said they have played while injured.
These are just a few of the reasons why it’s important to have an Athletic Trainer on the field. These multi-skilled medical professionals play a critical role in keeping athletes safe through injury and illness prevention as well as promoting and healthy lifestyle. ATs are trained to be able to recognize, identity, evaluate, and care for injuries early on, as well as provide education to avoid a recurrence in the future. When necessary, these individuals are able to refer athletes to the appropriate medical professional for their injury.
Curious about what it takes to become an athletic trainer? Entry-level positions currently require a bachelor’s degree, but will be moving to the requirement of a master’s degree by 2024. As of now, about 70% of ATs have post-bachelor degree (MA, MS, PA, DPT, PhD, EdD, etc) and nearly all states require either licensure of credentialing. After completing an appropriate education program, students will take a Board of Certification (BOC) exam to become an Athletic Trainer.
For more information on Professional’s Athletic Training services, visit https://www.professionalpt.com/services/athletic-training-sports-medicine/.