Athletic trainers play vital role

Shelly Haberman
Athletic trainers

Ashlee Baer, MS, LAT, ATC, Licensed Athletic Trainer

March is National Athletic Training Month! Kudos for athletic trainers!

The majority of the population tends to think of athletic trainers as the person who goes out on the field with the doctor when a Packers player gets hurt, or the person that stretches the athletes on the sidelines.

Although these are true statements some of the time, athletic trainers are worth so much more and do so much more than what most people think! We have quite the amazing and broad spectrum for our profession. I graduated from Florida International University - a master’s program in athletic training that drilled into our brains to go where no one expects us to go. I have classmates working as athletic trainers in the military, in the rodeo, with extreme sports, in an industrial setting, and many others.

I am here to help educate you on how valuable athletic trainers really are and how versatile we can be!

  1. Health Care Administration/Rehab: This setting consists of athletic trainers working in hospitals, clinics and orthopedic, family, pediatric, physiatry and sports medicine office practices. In this role, athletic trainers help improve productivity, patient outcomes and satisfaction. We help move patients more effectively and efficiently through their appointment, evaluation and treatment process. We use our skills in triage, taking patient histories, performing evaluations, providing instruction on exercise prescriptions, rehabilitation and general patient education. By providing quality services to more patients in the same period of time, physicians are able to increase their patient load and revenue generation.
  2. Military: In the last few years, an increasing number of athletic trainers are being employed by the various Armed Forces to assist in the health and well-being of both active duty members and their dependents. Each branch has its own specific employment policies; however, most athletic trainers being hired are either independent contractors or part of the government civil service system.
  3. Occupational Health: In this setting, athletic trainers design and manage programs to keep employees working at their full ability. This helps improve company productivity and reduce health care and insurance costs. Athletic trainers design, implement, and measure injury prevention, injury reduction and return-to-work programs.
  4. Public Safety: Like athletes, police officers, firefighters and other emergency medical teams are often required to perform at high levels of intensity. Athletic trainers that work with these departments and academies provide injury prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and reconditioning. This helps keep our officers, firefighters and EMTs healthy and injury free so they can help save lives.

Don’t forget! It’s Athletic Training Month, so say THANK YOU to your athletic trainer!

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