An athletic trainer (AT) is an health care professional who collaborates with physicians to optimize activity and participation for individuals. After completing a four-year, accredited education program, a candidate sits for an exam to obtain the national credential of Certified Athletic Trainer (ATC). ATs are required to comply by National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) ethical standards and practice acts while remaining current with their continuing education hours.
The athletic trainers provide immediate care for injuries and illnesses, ranging from a scraped knee to a catastrophic head or neck injury. The Steers team has the tools to manage the situation and most injuries can be handled and resolved “in-house.” However, when more serious issues arise, the ATs serve as the link from school injury to timely medical care. The ATs can make a phone call to expedite an ER trip or to arrange a visit to a physician’s office.
Rehabilitation of injuries and return-to-play are other services the trainers provide for their teams. After any major injury, rehabilitation is necessary to restore range of motion, strength, and full function. Depending on the injury, the rehabilitation process may be as brief as one week, or as long as several months.
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