Can hiring a certified athletic trainer help keep your athletes safe? Are you concerned about their safety during school events or competitions? Will you be hosting an athletic event for any reason and want to be sure you’re looking out for the safety of the players? Hiring a certified athletic trainer puts someone on call to provide aid on the spot and give advice on the best steps to take for the health of players.
In This Article:
- Where You’ll Find Athletic Trainers
- Why Did You Become a Certified Trainer?
- What Are Your Normal Day-to-Day Responsibilities?
- How Much Schooling Did You Complete?
- Are You the Same Thing as a Personal Trainer?
- What Are the Biggest Challenges You Face?
How Athletic Trainers Can Help Athletes
Having a certified athlete on staff provides you with many benefits. They help educate players on the best ways to avoid getting injured. Those working in clinical settings aid doctors in coming up with the right treatment plans for an injured person’s recovery.
Where You’ll Find Athletic Trainers
Athletic trainers can be found in different types of settings, including:
- High schools
- Sports clinics
- Rehab facilities
- Professional sports teams
The training provided by athletic training programs teach trainers how to spot potential hazards before anything can go wrong. They can step in and advise you on the best ways to eliminate risks to your players. Many enter the field because they like having a personal connection with the people they help while providing a much-needed service.
If you want to bring in an athletic trainer temporarily or as a full-time staff member, it pays to do your homework first. Take the time to ask critical questions for each candidate and make sure they fit your needs.
1. Why Did You Become a Certified Trainer?
This might seem a little personal, but it’s a good way to understand the mindset of why someone would want to become an athletic trainer. Some enter the field out of a desire to see to the safety of athletes. They take the duty of keeping players out of potentially dangerous situations seriously.
Meanwhile, others choose to work in a medical setting out of a desire to focus on longer-term care for patients. They enjoy building more one-on-one relationships with patients. This gives them the opportunity to guide them through the process of recovery.
Understanding this allows you to know if you have the same goals in mind. You don’t want to bring in someone who won’t be comfortable in their surroundings.
2. What Are Your Normal Day-to-Day Responsibilities?
What does your candidate do each day? That’s going to depend on where they chose to focus their career efforts. Certified trainers who work with athletes check in on them daily. They make sure they’re properly taped up and address any physical or emotional concerns brought to them. Moreover, you should expect them to be the first one on the scene if an injury occurs.
They also conduct different tests on the spot to assess the severity of an injury and determine if the athlete requires hospital attention. They provide emotional support to athletes in a state of distress as well.
Other Duties Performed
- Conducting injury prevention training
- Demonstrating proper conditioning exercises
- Making sure conditions such as heat or field conditions are safe
- Assessing athletes when an injury occurs
Those working in a hospital or other clinical setting work as the go-between between patients and the doctors and other medical staff. The duties they’re asked to perform include:
- Getting patients checked in and out
- Collecting relevant patient data
- Guiding the patients through exercise protocols laid out by a doctor
- Removing sutures or staples
- Keeping supplies stocked in clinical rooms
- Fitting patients for braces or crutches and educating them on how to use them
You may prefer to hire someone used to the pace of athletic events if that’s the need you’re looking to fill. Or you might prefer someone who’s worked in a hospital if they’ll be in more of an advisory role.
3. How Much Schooling Did You Complete?
Becoming a certified trainer starts with obtaining a bachelor’s degree. You’re then required to pass a board of certification exam to obtain a license to work in the field. ATCs must complete 75 hours of continuing education every three years to keep their license current. That allows them to stay current on the latest training techniques and technologies available to pass on to those in their care.
More than 70% go on to obtain a master’s degree to gain more opportunities. That could be a benefit to you if you’re looking for someone who pushed themselves to gain as much education as possible.
4. Are You the Same Thing as a Personal Trainer?
Any qualified certified athletic trainer should immediately be able to distinguish how they differ. Personal trainers focus more on helping individuals meet specific weight and exercise goals. They’re not required to hold any type of license, though they should hold a Personal Trainer Certification (PTA) before working in most clubs or fitness centers.
They’re also not the same as physical therapists. Athletic trainers provide an immediate response to injury, while physical therapists help you with long-term recovery from an injury or physical ailment. They set up a long-term exercise program designed to build strength and help you heal. Use this question to confirm your desire to hire someone qualified for this role.
5. What Are the Biggest Challenges You Face?
Athletic trainers must be on call whenever the team is at practice or playing a game. The schedule can be very demanding and require a lot of mental stamina. You can be there when athletes suffer injuries likely to take them out of the sport they love, which can be very emotionally taxing.
Those working with professional sports teams must be prepared to travel as needed. That can mean spending a lot of time away from your family when the sport is in season. You don’t want someone not capable of holding up in stressful situations.
Getting Started in the Field
Bringing on an athletic trainer could inspire others around them to pursue a career in that area. Your school can be a good resource for finding internship opportunities with other certified athletic trainers in the area. They may be able to help you find a role where you can shadow a trainer going about their day to get an idea of what you would be doing.
Qualified candidates can also look for opportunities in hospitals or clinics and see how athletic trainers operate in that type of setting. That can help you decide where you want to place your focus after graduation.
Having athletic trainers available to your school or professional sports team provides players with access to someone trained to keep them safe. Moreover, someone would be available to provide the first response when an injury occurs. They also give patients someone to act as a go-between with other staff at medical facilities. Certified athletic trainers play a crucial role when it comes to the safety and comfort of those entrusted to their care. Aside from that, it increases the quality of your event or program by having one or more available.
Do you think having athletic trainers on standby for sporting events is important? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!