Athletic trainers are NOT trainers. Athletic trainers and trainers are two different professions. I’m not trying to knock or belittle trainers, I have a number of friends that are trainers and I think they do great work and are well trained and qualified, but they can’t do the job of an athletic trainer. Athletic trainers work in the field of sports medicine, and trainers are limited to fitness and strength training.
Depending upon where you go as to whether there is much or any regulation of trainers. They may or may not have any formal education. They may or may not have any special certification or training. They may or may not have to pass a competency exam to get their certification. They may or may not be required to have continuing education. They have no formal medical training (though some may have a basic first aid or CPR certification that anyone may get).
Athletic trainers are required to have a minimum of a four year degree from an accredited athletic training program at a college or university. Over 70% of athletic trainers also hold a master’s degree and a number of them even have Phd’s. They take classes in anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, injury prevention, injury evaluation, injury management, modalities, rehab techniques, and more. In addition to all of the class work student athletic trainers will spend over 1500 hours working under the supervision of a certified athletic trainer and working with athletes and patients to help improve skills they learn in the classroom. The certified athletic trainers that they work under are only allowed a small number of students that they can work with so that they can better monitor and guide the learning of their students.
After they have completed the undergraduate schooling, student athletic trainers must pass a very comprehensive national certification exam. In some states they may also be required to pass an additional exam and/or submit their transcripts, and proof of national certification to obtain a state license before they can practice as an athletic trainer.
The requirements of an athletic trainer don’t end with school and certification. They are required to regularly be recertified in a professional level/emergency responder level CPR course, and must always maintain a valid certification. They are also required to have 75 hours of continuing education every three years. On top of this athletic trainers are always reevaluating and practicing their emergency action plans and other procedures and techniques that they may need in emergencies.
Both athletic trainers and trainers can help get you fit and in shape, but only one of them can help you prevent injuries and properly care for them when they occur. Make sure it is an athletic trainer you seek help from when it comes to injuries.
Please help keep our youth athletes safe. **(petition failed)