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Athletic Trainers Are Essential To Healthcare

Every March, PT360 likes to recognize all the hard-working athletic trainers who are a part of our cooperative and all of the athletic trainers within our community. To celebrate National Athletic Trainers Month, the National Athletic Trainers' Association creates a theme - this year’s theme is, Athletic Trainers Are Essential To Healthcare.  When I first read the NATA’s message, I quickly had flash backs to the beginning of the pandemic. Sports came to a halt, schools shut down, and businesses closed their doors.  Our cooperative sat down via Zoom meeting to discuss our future as a business and how we were going to operate going forward.  We have always believed that athletic trainers are essential to health care. Throughout this pandemic, our athletic trainers have worked right beside our physical therapists to provide exceptional health care and rehabilitation services to our community members who were in need.


So, who are Athletic Trainers?


Athletic Trainers are allied health care professionals educated to provide comprehensive preventive services and care. Athletic Trainers are required to pass a rigorous educational program. Their 4-year bachelors’ program is currently being phased out into a Master’s program by the Fall of 2022. Athletic trainers’ educations, backgrounds, and required clinical experience prior to sitting for a National Board Exam results in a highly specialized and educated allied health care provider. Their areas of expertise include: prevention, clinical evaluation & diagnosis, immediate care on/off the field, treatment, and rehabilitation techniques to correct functional deficits.


Over the past decade, Athletic Trainers have seen quite a shift in the professional practice settings. The traditional setting included secondary educational positions, higher educational positions, and positions in the professional sports arena. Fast forward to today and you might find Athletic Trainers not only in the traditional settings, but in medical offices, hospitals, fitness centers, and in rehabilitation clinics.


What’s changed? Many allied health care professions have recognized the value that Athletic Trainers provide.  These highly specialized therapists are not only able to work in the field to provide emergency care, but are also well-versed in examination, evaluation, diagnosis, and rehabilitating most orthopedic cases. For this reason, you will find many Athletic Trainers working among physical therapists, exercise & movement specialists, medical doctors, physician's assistants, nurse practitioners, etc. to provide quality care.


It has been challenging year for everyone within our community and for our local businesses, including ourselves.  While the world is still navigating the pandemic, there is light at the end of the tunnel and a breath of fresh air.