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Athletic Trainers vs. Personal Trainers: What is the Difference?

Athletic Trainers vs. Personal Trainers: What is the Difference?

What is athletic training?

Athletic training encompasses the prevention, examination, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of emergent, acute or chronic injuries and medical conditions. Athletic training is recognized by the American Medical Association (AMA), Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as an allied healthcare profession.

Who are athletic trainers?

Athletic trainers (ATs) are highly qualified, multi-skilled healthcare professionals who collaborate with physicians to provide preventative services, emergency care, clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions. Athletic trainers work under the direction of a physician as prescribed by state licensure statutes. The NATA Code of Ethics states the principles of ethical behavior that should be followed in the practice of athletic training.

Athletic trainers are sometimes confused with personal trainers. There is, however, a large difference in the education, skillset, job duties and patients of an athletic trainer and a personal trainer. The athletic training academic curriculum and clinical training follows the medical model. Athletic trainers must graduate from an accredited baccalaureate or master’s program, and 70% of ATs have a master’s degree. Learn more about the education of athletic trainers.

Why use athletic trainers?

Athletic trainers provide medical services to all types of patients, not just athletes participating in sports, and can work in a variety of job settings. Athletic trainers relieve widespread and future workforce shortages in primary care support and outpatient rehab professions and provide an unparalleled continuum of care for the patients.

Athletic trainers improve functional outcomes and specialize in patient education to prevent injury and re-injury. Preventative care provided by an athletic trainer has a positive return on investment for employers. ATs are able to reduce injury and shorten rehabilitation time for their patients, which translates to lower absenteeism from work or school and reduced health care costs. 

How can athletic trainers provide safety?

Schools with an athletic trainer report that their student athletes sustain fewer injuries (both acute and recurring) than athletes at schools without athletic trainers. Having athletic trainers on staff also improves the rate of early detection of dehydration, head injuries, and other sports-related health issues. 

To learn more, visit  https://www.ochsner.org/services/athletic-training-outreach-program

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