Have you made the decision to enter Sports Medicine as an Athletic Trainer? It is not uncommon for individuals to consider this an easy field to enter. It looks easy when you see an Athletic trainer sprint onto the field to help out a player with a sprained ankle. The reality is much different. An Athletic Trainer Education is demanding. The career is highly rewarding both personally and financially, but requires intensive preparation. Let us take a look at some of the requirement you will be facing.
Educational Options for Your Athletic Trainer Degree
You have two basic options for your Athletic major.
Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training
Masters Degree in Athletic Training
The bachelor degree programs required for certification are currently offered by 342 different colleges and universities around the USA. The Masters programs are more limited with only 24 programs currently being accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE).
Usually the College offering a Masters Degree program allows students with unrelated Bachelors degree to enter the program. If you have an existing degree and are wishing to change careers and become a Trainer this will be the fastest path. The athletic training graduate programs will include a combination of classroom education and hands-on clinical experience.
Athletic trainer schools are available in almost every state in the nation making it very easy to start.
Meeting All the Requirements for Certification
The education requirements are based on two critical factors. The first factor is the rules set forth by the CAATE. All programs must meet these standards. The second factor is matching state licensing or certification requirements. Many states accept the national certification while other states have local guidelines which must be met.
There is one other important factor for you to be prepared for. Even after you have graduated with your certification you will have an ongoing educational requirement. The National Athletics Training Association (NATA) requires recertification and ongoing training. This includes a module on Emergency Cardiac Care.
This is one career choice which requires you keep your skills sharp, focused, and ready for quick action.
Understanding Your Educational Future
Every college will have slight variation in their curriculum, but you can be certain to be taking many of the following classes:
Foundations of Athletic Training
Responding to Emergencies
Basic Human Physiology
Administrative Aspects of Athletic Training
Clinical Athletic Training Labs
These courses should be both exciting and challenging for most students. After completing your education in Athletic Training you will have an understanding of the human body exceeding almost every educational avenue except medicine.
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