Athletic trainers hold at least a four-year degree from a BOC (Board of Certification) accredited institution. They are licensed, certified health professionals working with athletes on and off the field. Generally, they are the first responders when injuries occur during sporting events.
Athletic trainers work closely with coaches and parents and will refer athletes to other health care professionals such as physicians, physical therapists and surgeons when needed.
Athletic trainer's hours are determined by sports schedules. Typically they are available after school and stay until sporting events have concluded.
IN THE TRAINING ROOM ATHLETIC TRAINERS
- Prepare athletes for competition by taking preventative measures such as equipment fitting, taping and bracing
- Assess athletes with acute and chronic injuries to determine their participation status
- Perform sport-specific rehabilitation on injured athletes
- Provide opportunities for strengthening and conditioning
- Work with sports staff on proper warm-up, game-day preparation and on/off-season conditioning
- Educate athletes, coaches and parents on sports medicine strategies, nutrition and sports psychology
DURING THE GAME ATHLETIC TRAINERS
- Support athletes during sporting events
- Manage any type of musculoskeletal issues including:
- Shoulder, hip, knee, elbow, hand and ankle injuries
- Facial injuries
- Neck and back injuries, spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries like concussions
- Triage and wound care
- Heat-related illnesses
- Fractures and dislocations
- Catastrophic injuries
This information was written by the Center for Physical Rehabilitation, an outpatient physical therapy group with five locations in Western Michigan. The Center specializes in all-inclusive physical therapy services, such as: Sports Medicine, Orthopedic Post-Surgical and McKenzie Therapy. Our state-of-the-art facilities are conveniently located around Grand Rapids with extended hours. Independent and locally owned since 1994, we have the freedom to work with the most qualified healthcare professionals.