"There’s an AT for that."
This is the national athletic training slogan for 2023, and it couldn’t be more accurate. You have probably witnessed an athletic trainer at work, but had no idea at the time. Athletic trainers can be found in many common places, yet many people do not realize it. Athletic trainers are employed at hospitals and clinics, high schools, colleges, professional sports, in the military, law enforcement agencies, physician offices, performing arts, and many other settings where physical activity takes place. Most people see athletic trainers as the ones running on the field or court when an injury occurs during an athletic competition. However, there are so many other opportunities to utilize these healthcare professionals.
Athletic trainers are recognized by the American Medical Association as allied healthcare professionals. Athletic trainers specialize in the prevention, assessment, immediate care, and rehabilitation of injuries that are sustained due to physical activity. Certified athletic trainers are an important part of every sports medicine team.
The education of an athletic trainer involves a masters degree from an accredited program in athletic training. Subjects in this field include anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, emergency medicine, injury prevention and rehabilitation, taping and bracing, strength and conditioning, nutrition, and psychology. An athletic training student must then pass a national board exam to become certified. Most states require licensure as well. After becoming a licensed and certified athletic trainer, they adhere to a code of ethics and complete continuing education to maintain their certification.
As you can see, an athletic trainer learns a lot more than simply taping ankles and running onto the field for injuries. One of the major parts of the job is becoming someone that an athlete can trust to talk to about anything. Creating strong relationships with athletes is a crucial part of the job that many people do not think about. The athletic trainer is side by side with the athlete through some of the best and worst times of the athlete’s life.
Currently, the athletic trainers at Iowa Specialty Hospital and Clinics provide education and coverage of all sports and activities to the Clarion-Goldfield-Dows and Belmond-Klemme athletes, parents, and coaches.