Overview of the Athletic Training Profession
Athletic training is the art and science of the prevention, recognition, care, and rehabilitation of injuries and illnesses in physically active individuals. It involves the organization and administration of athletic training programs, as well as the education and counseling of a physically active population. Athletic training has been recognized by the American Medical Association as an allied health care profession and is practiced under the supervision of a physician. The governing body for the profession is the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA). The organization responsible for the certification of athletic trainers is the Board of Certification, Inc. (BOC).
Since the founding of the NATA in 1950, the role of the professional athletic trainer has changed dramatically. The certified athletic trainer is an essential member of the athletic health care team in a variety of settings including secondary schools, colleges and universities, professional sports teams, sports medicine clinics and industrial settings. Education standards implemented in the late 1960's, along with the concept of certification of athletic trainers, have greatly increased the demand for specific curricular content to meet the needs of the aspiring athletic trainer. Athletic training education is complex process. Undergraduate education in athletic training must seek accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE).