• The Sports Medicine Team
    The success of the athletic training program requires constant communication between the parents, athletic trainer, athlete, medical personnel, and coaches involved in each sport.
    The Team Physician is the “corner stone” of the medical team and promotes the success of the athletic training program.  Duties and responsibilities of the team physician include attending high risk sporting activities, being available when emergency situations arise, supervising pre-participation physical exams, clearing players for return to activity after injury, and working with the ATC and athletic training students in further development of the athletic training program.
    The NATABOC Certified Athletic Trainer is a highly educated and skilled professional specializing in the health care of the physically active.  This allied health professional has fulfilled the requirements for national certification, and in some cases, met state licensure requirements.  The certification exam administered by the NATA consists of a written test, practical examination, and written simulation questions.  The certification exam covers a variety of topics within the current domains of athletic training:
    • Prevention of athletic injuries
    • Recognition, evaluation, and assessment of athletic injuries
    • Immediate care of athletic injuries
    • Treatment, rehabilitation, and reconditioning of athletic injuries
    • Health care administration
    • Professional development and responsibility
    Once athletic trainers pass the NATABOC certification exam, these allied health professionals use the designation ATC as their professional credential.
    The ATC serves as the liaison between team physician, coach, parent, and athlete.  Communications regarding the health of the players must be channeled through the athletic trainer in order to have an efficient program.  Under the direction of the team physician, the ATC will evaluate and provide first aid care, give basic treatments, design and implement rehabilitation programs, and apply protective/supportive techniques that will allow the athlete to regain a physically active lifestyle.  Additional duties could include inventory and purchasing of supplies, and completing medical and accident record forms.
    The athlete has the responsibility to maintain good physical condition, practice the techniques taught by the coaches, play by the rules, and follow the instructions of the coaches and ATC.
    Parents can assist in keeping their son or daughter healthy if they are kept updated about the injury or illness.  The parents should be provided with information on nutrition and with recommended home treatments for injuries.  When an athlete is injured, the athletic trainer should immediately make the parents aware of the extent of the injury or illness.
    Coaches have numerous athletic training related responsibilities.  They must plan practices that include conditioning and teach techniques and rules of their sport.  These practices must be of reasonable duration, taking skill level, fatigue, and environmental conditions into consideration.  Coaches are often responsible for selecting, fitting, and maintaining protective equipment.  Coaches must update their education to review rule changes and have current CPR and first aid certifications.
    Athletic Training Students
    The duties of the athletic training student can be defined by their interest, experience, and desire to gain knowledge of the profession.  Once an athletic training student has obtained basic certification in CPR/AED and first aid, a supervising NATABOC ATC can assist them in developing skills in immediate care of injuries, preventive techniques, and basic treatment protocols.  Advancement of responsibilities depends upon the student’s ability to master introductory skills in athletic training.  Duties that can be assigned to the athletic training student include tracking inventory, stocking medical kits, preparing ice and water, assisting with record keeping, and becoming involved in taping and wrapping.
    Athletic Training Facility Management
    Establishing an athletic training room is very important.  Athletic training facilities at high schools vary from almost non-existent to those as modern and spacious as professional and college athletic training rooms.  While everyone prefers good working conditions, facilities at some schools will always be less than ideal because of spatial and budgetary limitations.  Typical athletic training rooms include the following areas: administrative office, prevention (taping), hydrotherapy, rehabilitation, treatment, physician’s examination, and storage.
Last Modified on October 26, 2008