Athletic trainers are vital members of the medical support team for physically active populations such as athletes, dancers/artists, military personnel and industrial workers.
The job of an athletic trainer includes prevention of injury, recognition and evaluation of injuries and illnesses, emergency care, rehabilitation, and administration. Athletic trainers provide immediate care for those who sustain injuries, and they often continue providing care as the patient goes through surgery, rehabilitation and return to play. Athletic trainers must be able to stay focused and perform their jobs in situations with high stress and excitement while interacting with a highly motivated population.
The education athletic trainers receive is as challenging as any in the medical field because of the multiple skills required. Courses in the program require two years, including summers, of full-time study and include both didactic and clinical education courses. Courses stress recognition and evaluation of injury, therapeutic modalities, therapeutic exercise, exercise science, administration and leadership. Each athletic training course emphasizes the skills and competencies necessary for successful clinical practice in a variety of settings. A significant and important aspect of the educational process is clinical experience under the direction of an athletic trainer.