Athletic trainers are highly qualified, multi-skilled healthcare professionals who practice in the field of sports medicine. You’ve likely seen a certified athletic trainer on-site at a sporting event and may have wondered what their day-to-day job entails. Their roles and responsibilities may vary, depending on the environment, yet in every setting, they remain a crucial component of healthcare teams.
What do athletic trainers do?
While athletic trainers can work in a wide variety of environments, they primarily work with medical professionals, coaches, and athletes to ensure that players are ready to play, maintain proper diets, and receive proper treatment in the event of illness or injury. It’s common to find an athletic trainer on staff for professional sports teams, school athletic departments, and physicians’ offices.
A few key job functions of an athletic trainer include:
- Providing preventive care and educating athletes about how to avoid injury with braces or tape
- Diagnosing injuries, performing the necessary immediate care, and creating a plan for further treatment
- Fully assessing athletes and developing therapies to alleviate pain and increase mobility
- Establishing a rehabilitation program for more serious and long-term injuries
- Providing recommendations about helpful exercises and nutrition or diet information
- Performing administrative duties, including writing reports, ordering supplies and maintaining records
How do athletic trainers advance health care teams?
Athletic trainers are a valuable component of comprehensive health care teams. The presence of on-site healthcare in schools and educational facilities is becoming increasingly important as student participation in sports continues to increase and school sports continue to become more popular. Additionally, the healthcare conditions present in athletes have become more complex and are proving to have long-term implications if not recognized and treated early; these include concussions, for instance.
When an injury does occur, it’s common for athletes to begin a return-to-play program. These programs often require daily follow-up and involve care until the athlete is healed and ready to compete again. In these situations, athletic trainers can collaborate with physicians and the larger medical team to ensure that the return-to-play protocol is followed correctly and the athlete can return to their normal activity safely and efficiently.
At Campbell Clinic, our team supports several high schools and sports clubs in the Memphis area by supplying them with certified athletic trainers. These athletic trainers cover practices, games, and other school events to ensure that athletes stay safe. If a student-athlete is injured on the field or court of play, our athletic trainers provide exceptional care and can help guide student-athletes to the appropriate orthopaedic physician for a timely, efficient appointment.