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Chapter 1. Athletic Training: The Profession and Its History. What Is a Profession?. A profession, by definition, involves six essential components: Skills based on theoretical knowledge Skills requiring training and education Demonstrated competence through formal testing

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Chapter 1

Chapter 1

Athletic Training: The Profession and Its History

What is a profession

What Is a Profession?

  • A profession, by definition, involves six essential components:

    • Skills based on theoretical knowledge

    • Skills requiring training and education

    • Demonstrated competence through formal testing

    • Integrity maintained by adherence to a formal, written code of conduct

    • Service is provided for the public good

    • Formal organization through a professional body

Is athletic training a profession

Is Athletic Training a Profession?

  • Skill-based theoretical knowledge

    • Involves the skill of evaluating a patient’s problem

    • Evaluation is based on theoretical knowledge—knowledge drawn from sound scientific information

    • Strong research emphasis

Is athletic training a profession1

Is Athletic Training a Profession?

  • Training and education

    • CAATE-accredited athletic training education programs (undergraduate and entry-level master’s degrees)

    • Hands-on practice in the evaluation, prevention, and management of athletic injuries

    • Coursework must be completed in a specified period of time

    • A person must accumulate a set number of clinical hours under the guidance of a certified athletic trainer to become certified by the BOC (Board of Certification)

Is athletic training a profession2

Is Athletic Training a Profession?

  • Certification

    • A person must pass a national certification exam, which includes the following:

      • Written questions

      • Skills application questions

      • Scenario questions

      • Now completely on-line through ACT testing centers

    • Maintenance of BOC certification

      • Continuing education units

      • Three-year cycle

      • BOC Standards of Professional Practice

Is athletic training a profession3

Is Athletic Training a Profession?

  • Code of ethics

    • NATA has a well-established code of ethics

      • The code was written by athletic trainers and is enforced by fellow members of the organization

      • The NATA code of ethics includes a system of evaluating infractions, which may result in the loss of certification privileges

  • Public good

    • Broadening focus into workplace and industrial settings, expanding role in physical therapy service, maintaining strong base in school and professional athletic programs

Is athletic training a profession4

Is Athletic Training a Profession?

  • Organization

    • NATA governmental structure

      • Ten districts

      • Reporting structure: State organizations report to the district level, and district organizations report to the national level

      • Research, scholarship programs, educational programs, and a multitude of committees operate throughout the various levels in the NATA

Athletic training

Athletic Training

  • Specialization within the field of sports medicine responsible for the direct administration of injury prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation

  • Certification obtained through Board of Certification (BOC)

  • Licensure & registration varies by state

Athletic training1

Athletic Training

  • Be careful with using the term “trainer”

  • In Europe, “trainer” is synonymous w/ coach

  • Others:

    • Personal

    • Boxers

    • Dogs

    • Horses

Athletic training history

Athletic Training History

  • 1930s & 1940s: Initial organization efforts

    • Athletic trainers at 1938 Drake Relays realized the need for an association

    • Cramer brothers and others established such an organization

    • This early phase of the NATA continued until 1944

Athletic training history1

Athletic Training History

  • 1950s: Formation of the NATA

    • Increased number of schools employed athletic trainers

    • 1950: First national meeting of the NATA

    • 1956: Journal of the National Athletic Trainers' Association began publication

    • 1959: Code of ethics adopted

    • First approved undergraduate programs at Indiana State, New Mexico, Lamar, and Mankato State

Athletic training history2

Athletic Training History

  • 1960s: Continued growth

    • 1969: The American Medical Association (AMA) acknowledged the importance of the role of the athletic trainer and commended the NATA for its role in developing professional standards

Athletic training history3

Athletic Training History

  • 1970s: More formalized education

    • Development of standards for certification and educational programs continued through the decade

    • 1970: First NATA certification examination

    • 1972: First graduate athletic training curricula approved

    • By 1979, the NATA had established continuing education requirements for all certified athletic trainers

Athletic training history4

Athletic Training History

  • The 1980s: Strengthening the NATA's role

    • Heightened interest in the certification of the athletic trainer

    • Continued emphasis on education

    • Role delineation study of 1982

    • 1982: The National Commission for Health Certifying Agencies granted membership to the NATA, evidencing continued respect on the part of other health professions for the athletic trainer

Athletic training history5

Athletic Training History

  • The 1990s: Becoming a recognized allied health profession

    • Tremendous growth of association membership and status in the medical community

    • June 22, 1990: AMA officially recognized athletic training as an allied health profession

    • Research and scholarly publication

    • Athletic trainers found not only in school and team environments but also in clinical and workplace settings

    • More than 23,000 certified and student members worldwide

Athletic training history6

Athletic Training History

  • Training and guiding the next generation

    • First woman elected president of the NATA (1999-2003)

    • Accredited Athletic Training Education Programs are the singular route to BOC certification

    • NATA Education Council continues to refine and develop educational competencies

Chapter 1


  • National Athletic Trainers’ Association

  • Formally established in 1950

  • Currently nearly 30,000 members

Chapter 1


  • Two professional publications

    • Journal of athletic training

    • NATA news

  • Central offices located in Dallas, TX


The field of sports medicine

The Field of Sports Medicine

  • Generic term that includes many aspects of athletic healthcare

  • What fields could be considered part of sports medicine?

Sports medicine

Sports Medicine

  • Multi-disciplinary

  • Care for athletes and physically active individuals

Sports medicine1

Sports Medicine

  • May include athletic training, biomechanics, exercise physiology, the practice of medicine (including numerous surgical specialties), physical therapy, sports nutrition, and sports psychology

The sports medicine team

The Sports Medicine Team



Athletic Trainer


The athletic trainer

The Athletic Trainer

  • Qualifications

    • BOC Certification

      • Graduation from an accredited undergraduate ATEP

    • State licensure or registration (varies by state)

      • Licensure in Texas…only state that requires additional test for BOC certified athletic trainers

The athletic trainer do you have what it takes

The Athletic Trainer: Do You Have What It Takes?

  • Stamina and adaptability

    • Burnout rates very high among athletic trainers. Why?

  • Empathy

  • Sense of humor

The athletic trainer do you have what it takes1

The Athletic Trainer: Do You Have What It Takes?

  • Communication

  • Intellectual curiosity

  • Ethical practice

  • Professional memberships

The sports medicine team1

The Sports Medicine Team



Athletic Trainer


The team physician

The Team Physician

  • Medical histories / pre-participation physical examinations

  • Diagnosing injury and/or illness

  • Disqualification decisions

The team physician1

The Team Physician

  • Attending practices and games

  • Athlete advocacy

The sports medicine team2

The Sports Medicine Team



Athletic Trainer


The coach

The Coach

  • Directly responsible for preventing injury

    • Equipment

    • Technique & common sources of injury

    • Conditioning

    • First aid and CPR training

The coach1

The Coach

  • Physician and athletic trainer must have last word in all healthcare matters…not the coach

    • Must be supported by administration

Other members of the team

Other Members of the Team

  • Nurse

  • Orthopedist

  • Dentist

  • EMT

Other members of the team1

Other Members of the Team

  • Podiatrist

  • Physician’s assistant

  • Biomechanist

  • Massage therapist

Other members of the team2

Other Members of the Team

  • Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS)

  • Sport psychologist

  • Physical therapist (PT)

Other members of the team3

Other Members of the Team

  • Exercise physiologist

  • RD or nutritional specialist

  • Equipment staff

  • Referees and umpires

Employment opportunities

Employment Opportunities

  • Many opportunities in various settings

    • Be open minded!

  • Current new-grad job placement results

    • 20% take jobs in clinics

    • 10% in colleges and high schools

    • < 2% with professional sport teams

    • Remainder either continue education or go into non-AT related field

Employment opportunities1

Employment Opportunities

  • High schools

    • Some are full-time; others serve in a dual capacity, as athletic trainer and teacher

      • Teaching credential will help, not always necessary

    • Increased salary with increased education (Master’s degree)

    • Some school systems contract with a sports medicine or physical therapy clinic that employs athletic trainers

    • Salary typically in high 20’s to low to mid 30’s (starting)

Employment opportunities2

Employment Opportunities

  • College/University

    • Clinical positions

      • Undergraduate degree in AT PLUS graduate assistantship & master’s degree

      • Salary in low 20’s and up, DOE

    • Teaching/research positions

      • Doctoral degree plus experience

      • Salary in the mid 30’s to mid 50’s depending upon institution & position

Employment opportunities3

Employment Opportunities

  • College/university

    • Graduate assistant/interns

      • Need bachelor’s degree plus certification

      • Benefit package usually includes graduate tuition plus nominal stipend ($5000-$10,000 per year)

Employment opportunities4

Employment Opportunities

  • Pro sports

    • NOT a progression

    • Difficult to obtain

    • Fewer athletic trainers are employed in this setting than in the other settings

    • Some professional teams employ students or other certified athletic trainers during camps

    • Some professional sports, such as tennis, golf, and even rodeo, hire certified athletic trainers to provide evaluation and treatment at major events

    • Salary ranges from 0-infinite, depending on team, sport, and level

Employment opportunities5

Employment Opportunities

  • Sports medicine clinics

    • May have outreach responsibilities

    • Salary in the 30’s

Employment opportunities6

Employment Opportunities

  • Industrial

    • Relatively new setting

    • Large companies seeking to keep healthcare costs down

    • Health maintenance

    • A growing number of companies employ athletic trainers to care for both work-related and non-work-related injuries, allowing the employee to manage the injury without having to leave the corporate grounds

    • Salaries in 30’s to 40’s

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