March is National Athletic Training Month, which is a great opportunity to discuss what athletic trainers can do for athletes of all levels. Athletic trainers in Wisconsin are State Licensed and Nationally Certified healthcare professionals who collaborate with physicians to provide emergency, preventative, and diagnostic care to treat injuries – and we have some available right here on campus!
There are approximately 25,000 athletic trainers employed in the United States in a variety of settings. Most commonly, athletic trainers can be found in secondary schools, colleges and universities, and professional athletics. There has recently been an influx of athletic trainers in some non-traditional settings of large industry, military, performing arts, and physician offices as well.
Most people know that athletic trainers provide injury care at sporting events, and probably see them running out on the field to aid an athlete who just sustained a knee injury or assisting an athlete off the court after spraining an ankle. Although acute and emergency care is an important role of athletic trainers, it’s really just one of the many services they provide. The profession of athletic training is based on five domains:
- Injury & Illness Prevention/Wellness Promotion
- Examination, Assessment, & Diagnosis
- Immediate & Emergency Care
- Therapeutic Intervention (a.k.a. “how to make the injury feel better so you can get back to playing your sport!”)
- Healthcare Administration & Professional Responsibility
So, what can athletic training do for my Sport Club?
- Injury prevention training. Athletic trainers can work with individuals and teams to direct fitness and strength programs tailored to injury specific prevention (ACLs, lower back pain, shoulder injuries, etc.).
- Concussion education. Our goal is to teach every Sport Club athlete and coach what a concussion is and why it’s important to report and follow an all-encompassing management program to return. We only get one brain!
- Connect athletes with the McBurney Center for Students with Disabilities if a concussion or other injury is impeding upon academics.
- Clinical evaluation of injuries at one of our three clinic sites. Click here to check out hours and locations.
- On-field (or court, mat, etc.) immediate and emergency care for all home competitions. You’re not alone out there!
- Develop treatment plans and home exercise programs so that you can get back to your sport as soon as possible.
- Connect athletes with physicians who can assist with referrals for imaging and specialist care.
What are some things we’re doing for you behind the scenes?
- Developing and revising Emergency Action Plans to make sure everybody knows what to do in an emergency situation.
- Assisting with training staff on how to manage injuries and work in conjunction with athletic training staff.
- Collaborating with University Health Services to be able to provide the best care possible to our Sport Club athletes as well as students campus-wide. This includes Concussion Management Protocols, advanced medical care procedures, and other considerations on how to assist Sport Club athletes more efficiently.
- Programing educational opportunities for our contracted athletic training staff so we’re all best equipped to manage the unique sports offed by Rec Sports.
- Constantly analyzing and reviewing our current athletic training program to learn what we’re missing and what we can do to make athletic training more useful and attainable for a greater population. That’s why we survey! (We do actually read those things.)
This just touches the surface of an athletic trainer’s scope of practice. If you or your teams have any questions please don’t hesitate to reach out to Erin Clark, Coordinator of Athletic Training, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember to PLAY HARD. GET FIT. LIVE WELL. Athletic training can help you will all of the above! Happy Athletic Training Month!