Athletic training encompasses the prevention, examination, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of emergent, acute or chronic injuries and medical conditions. Athletic training is recognized by the American Medical Association (AMA), Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as an allied health care profession.
Athletic trainers (ATs) are highly qualified, multi-skilled health care professionals who collaborate with physicians to provide preventative services, emergency care, clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions. Athletic trainers work under the direction of a physician as prescribed by state licensure statutes. Athletic trainers are sometimes confused with personal trainers. There is, however, a large difference in the education, skillset, job duties and patients of an athletic trainer and a personal trainer. The athletic training academic curriculum and clinical training follows the medical model. Athletic trainers must graduate from an accredited baccalaureate or master’s program, and 70% of ATs have a master’s degree
Why use athletic trainers?
Athletic trainers provide medical services to all types of patients, not just athletes participating in sports, and can work in a variety of job settings. Athletic trainers relieve widespread and future workforce shortages in primary care support and outpatient rehab professions and provide an unparalleled continuum of care for the patients. Athletic trainers improve functional outcomes and specialize in patient education to prevent injury and re-injury. Preventative care provided by an athletic trainer has a positive return on investment for employers. ATs are able to reduce injury and shorten rehabilitation time for their patients, which translates to lower absenteeism from work or school and reduced health care costs
- Public and private secondary schools, colleges and universities, professional and Olympic sports
- Youth leagues, municipal and independently owned youth sports facilities
- Physician offices as physician extenders, similar to nurses, physician assistants, physical therapists and other professional clinical personnel
- Rural and urban hospitals, hospital emergency rooms, urgent and ambulatory care centers
- Clinics with specialties in sports medicine, cardiac rehab, medical fitness, wellness and physical therapy
- Occupational health departments in commercial settings, which include manufacturing, distribution and offices to assist with ergonomics
- Police and fire departments and academies, municipal departments, branches of the military
- Performing arts including professional and collegiate level dance and music
The Certified / Licensed Athletic Trainers of the Rio Grande Valley are represented by the Valley Athletic Trainers Association.
The mission of the Valley Athletic Trainers Association is:
To promote the profession of Athletic Training in the Rio Grande Valley, and support our member's efforts to provide appropriate quality services to their patients and student athletes.
To provide continuing education and training for our members, in order to enhance the quality of the services they provide to their patients and student athletes.
To provide a professional forum for our members to exchange ideas and methods for the practice of Athletic Training.