Do you enjoy sitting in an office? How about dealing with the elderly? Or changing colostomy bags? If none of those sound fun then you have come to the right place. What about a career that allows you to work with elite level athletes ranging from college, professional and Olympic? How about working on the side cheering on your favorite team? What if you could be an instrumental part of a winning organization for your quick thinking and skills? If that sounds like your dream job, then Athletic Training might be for you.
What is Athletic Training?
It is a profession designed to take care of athletes. Certified Athletic Trainers are directly responsible for the health care of the athletic team(s) you work with. This can include injury assessment, rehabilitation, dental, physiological impairment sports psychology issues and concussion prevention and education. Not only will you be the person directly responsible for these needs, but you might also be the person in charge of ordering medical needs, managing student trainers and teaching the next generation of athletic trainers.
How do you Get Started?
The first step is to talk to an Athletic Trainer. Typically you will find one in a local high school. If your local high school doesn’t have one check out the National Athletic Trainers Association, nata.org. On their site you can browse a list of schools that offer Athletic Training as an undergraduate or Master’s degree. Both degree paths will allow you take the Board Certification Exam.
I highly recommend volunteering with your local athletic trainer and sports medicine staff to see if this is a type of field that is right for you. Once you start classes you will learn in-depth anatomy, upper and lower body evaluation, injury rehabilitation and prevention, basic medical condition and treatment, sports psychology, CPR, exercise physiology, medical nutrition, as well as learning the needs of the sports you will be working with. These could include the major college sports like: football, basketball, baseball, volleyball gymnastics or you could work rodeo, speed skating, rugby, lacrosse or perhaps you want to take it a different route and work alongside a physician as a physician extender. The role of an Athletic Trainer is limitless; some people work in industries like Boeing and others work in the Military alongside the Navy and Marine Corps.