Skill Set – Student Aides/Athletic Training Students

2 Mar

The typical athletic trainer has a diverse skill set that they constantly develop.  This series of blog entries will seek to focus on the skill set that most athletic trainers possess in order to effectively do their job in the traditional setting.  Collectively, this skill set makes the AT a very valuable and unique resource to the athletes, coaches and administration that they serve.

Teaching/ Supervision of Students

The profession of athletic training has a long history of mentoring, internship, teaching and passing on knowledge to students.  The long preparation road to athletic training certification was built on this process.  In the 1960’s and 70’s many college ATs developed formal education programs but still many ATs continued to seek certification through the internship route.  The internship route required a bachelor’s degree, 7 core sports medicine courses and 1,500 hours of real life experience with an ATC.  The formal education program’s academic rigors where much more thorough in the formal education of the student and generally required around 800 hours for the student to sit for the NATABOC certification exam.  Around 2000, the internship route to NATABOC certification was abandoned in lieu of the formal educational programs (ATEP).  AT students these days must complete a difficult academic schedule along with clinical experiences with different sports and settings.  Throughout the history of the profession and continuing today, students must spend many, many hours in the athletic training room experiencing the profession first hand.

In the high school, ATs also have a long history of providing an informal education opportunity to the high school students.  Not only have secondary school ATs passed athletic training knowledge on to thousands of students, but they have also encouraged them to enter the health care field.

I worked with a well respected physician last week during a large wrestling tournament and I asked him what got him interested in being an MD.  His response was taking an student athletic trainer course in high school sponsored by Cramer.  In my years, I have seen my student aides go on to college for EMT, nursing, athletic training, physical therapy and physician assistant.  By spending time in the training room, they learned many health care techniques including first aid and CPR.

If a school district hires the services of an athletic trainer, they also provide a great opportunity to their high school students to get their “hands dirty” in a health career.  Students interested in any allied health field not only get real life experience  in high school, they can also use the experience to help in getting in to college.  Many colleges today want to see more than the student’s transcript, they want to see what they do out of school.  Showing hundreds of hours volunteering in the training room often impresses the Admissions office at the college.

Every school should offer the services of a skilled athletic trainer!

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