Athletic Trainer Responsibilities

Athletic trainers generally work in the company of athletes, athletic teams, physicians and coaches. The basic athletic trainer responsibilities are to provide rehabilitation care to the injured or accident prone patients, guide them on their diet and nutrition plans and provide them with immediate medical aid in an emergency situation.

Key Responsibilities

Athletic trainers are mostly referred to as allied healthcare professional by the American Medical Association. It is his primary responsibility to provide care and medical treatment for the athletes who have got injured. However, they function under the supervision and consultation of the physicians. They are involved in preventing the injuries and are actively involved in the rehabilitation programs for faster recovery. Let us see in detail the key responsibilities that need to be handled by an athletic trainer:

  1. He is the first person to contact whenever there is any injury or an accident. He should remain calm, cool and should be able to identify, assess and determine the depth and severity of the injury that has occurred. After proper evaluation he is supposed to provide the necessary medical aid by wrapping, bandaging, applying tapes, braces to minimize the pain of the wounds. Alternatively he may arrange to send the patients to the hospitals in severe conditions for proper diagnosis and treatment
  2. He trains the athletes on how to prevent the accidents or injuries. For this he conducts special training programs and ensures that there is full attendance during these workshops
  3. He is actively involved in conditioning and rehabilitation of the patients
  4. He maintains and updates the medical records and sends them to the physicians if required
  5. He advises them on the safe and effective use of the sports equipments
  6. He also guides them on taking proper diet to ensure physical fitness, strength and stamina. He advises them on following special diet plans especially when the athletes are injured or have met with an accident

He also meets and participates in the meetings that involve discussion about the latest sports equipments which need to be bought, their budget plans, recommendations for improvement in policy procedures and any other related issue that will assist in the development of athletes. He should be able to provide an accurate feedback about the health and fitness status of his athlete team mates. He provides an appropriate direction regarding the fitness of a particular athlete and gives clearance for participating in sports events.

Essential Skills

To ensure success as an athletic trainer you need to have at least some of the following essential skills:

  1. Should be able to lead and supervise a team of athletes
  2. Should have a desire to help the people, solve their problems and have a caring attitude
  3. Should be flexible to work in different climatic conditions with frequent traveling
  4. Should be able to remain cool during emergency situations and provide the right treatment and take proper decisions
  5. Should possess excellent interpersonal communication skills
  6. Should have thorough knowledge about the treatment and diagnosis of injuries and should be able to guide and counsel appropriately during the rehabilitation schedules

Educational Requirements

Those who are planning to take up a sports career and work as an athletic trainer should have a minimum of bachelor's degree in biomechancis, nutrition, physiology or anatomy. A master's or a doctoral degree would definitely prove to be an additional advantage. A sports medicine degree and NATA certification would be helpful.

Work Hours and Salary Details

The work hours vary according to the timings of practice sessions and schedules of sports events or competitions. During the peak season work hours last up to fifty five to sixty hours per week. During off season he will need to work for not more than forty to forty five hours per week.

The salary varies depending on the location, experience, skills and academic qualifications. The average annual salary normally ranges between $40,000 to $55,000.

Career Prospects

The career prospects are really bright for those individuals who have demonstrated excellent track record of success. They can be promoted to upper management or supervisory positions depending on their performance.

Thus an athletic trainer responsibilities need to be carried out efficiently to prevent injuries thereby ensuring excellent physical and mental fitness of the athletes.

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