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Sports Medicine Moment: National Athletic Trainer’s Month – What is an Athletic Trainer?

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Sports Medicine Moment: National Athletic Trainer’s Month – What is an Athletic Trainer?

Written by: Tristen Robinson

Tristen Robinson, M.S., ATC, LAT is a BUZZ Gear Up Blogger and an instructor at Andrew Jackson High School, for the sports medicine magnet program. Checkout the program’s Facebook page at Andrew Jackson High School Sports Medicine.


The month of March is special to me for two reasons: 1) It is my birthday month and 2) It is national Athletic Trainer’s month! A month dedicated to recognizing and educating the public about the profession of athletic training. I would be remise if I didn’t take this opportunity and this platform to do my due diligence for the profession; so this month we will take a break from injuries and discuss Athletic Trainers.

Let’s start by asking, what is an Athletic Trainer? Is it the same thing as a “trainer”? Are they doctors? How can they help me or my child? Well according to the National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA), Athletic Trainers are health care professionals who collaborate with physicians in prevention, emergency care, clinical diagnosis, and therapeutic intervention and rehabilitation of injuries and illnesses. However, I like to the think of being an Athletic Trainer as more than that. We are extensions of the physicians, extensions of the therapist (both mental and physical), and sometimes more importantly, extensions of your family. In many settings, athletes and patients confide things to their Athletic Trainers that they wouldn’t tell anyone else, including their family. I like to describe the profession as a whole like this, the Swiss army knife of medical professions, capable of being utilized, to a degree, in any health care setting.

It is important for Athletic Trainers to be knowledgeable not only about the muscles and bones of the body but how to care for them acutely and post-acute, for different age groups, with minimal equipment/supplies (most times), on a minimal budget. In addition to muscles and bones, the Athletic Trainer should be knowledgeable in skin conditions, systemic diseases (e.g. diabetes, sickle cell), and psychological techniques. This umbrella of knowledge is not only for personal use, but to educate patients and athletes alike.

As we continue throughout this month, we will discuss how to become an Athletic Trainer (education), why athletic training (significance), and where you can find Athletic Trainers other than in the professional and collegiate setting. If you want to learn more about athletic training, please visit the website below:


This has been your sports medicine moment…