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Care and Prevention Chapter 1

Introduction to Athletic Training and Sports Medicine

What is Sports Medicine?

Sports Medicine is a broad term that describes any area of specialization having to do with athletes' health or performance.

What is an Athletic Trainer?

An athletic trainer is an allied-health professional that is concerned with the well-being of the athlete, and generally assumes the responsibility for overseeing the total health care for the athlete.

History of Athletic Training

Athletic training has its roots in early Greece. Athenians- Gymnastes- had coaches, strength coaches, and physicians took care of everything to prepare the athlete for competition.

Athletic training as we know it did not come into existence until the late nineteenth century, when intercollegiate and interscholastic athletics were firmly established in the U.S.

Early athletic trainers were "hangers on" who "rubbed down" the athletes, and carried water to the athletes. These "trainers" possessed no technical knowledge, and their athletic training techniques usually consisted of the application of some type of counterirritant, and occasionally the prescription of some type of home remedy.

Because many of those early athletic trainers were persons of questionable background and experience, it has taken many years for the athletic trainer to become recognized as a well qualified allied health care professional.

1950--athletic trainers from various institutions met in Kansas City, MO and officially formed the National Athletic Trainers' Association.

The Purpose of the NATA was to establish professional standards for athletic trainers.


You must obtain a bachelor's degree.
Classes must include the following:
Exercise physiology
Kinesiology or Biomechanics
Health, General Health, or Nutrition
Psychology- General, adolescent, abnormal
Sports Psychology
Care and Prevention of Athletic Injuries

Additional classes Include:
Advanced Athletic Training
Evaluation or Assessment
Medical Aspects
Organization and Administration
Field work or Internship

Students can become candidates for the NATABOC national certification examination through 2 tracks.

Internship (expires January 1, 2004)
Must include the minimum class work, and complete 1500 hours of internship under an ATC. These hours must be done over a period of 2-5 years.

Approved Curriculum (must be approved by CAAHEP & NATA-JRC)
Must have specific course work, and complete 1000 hours of internship under a certified ATC over a period of 2-5 years.

The NATABOC national exam is comprised of 3 parts:
150 written multiple choice
Written simulation
Oral practical exam

You must score 70% or better to pass each part. All parts are taken at the same time. If you fail a part, you may retake only that part at a later date.

You have 3 chances to pass. After 3 times you must reapply retake the entire test.

After passing the NATABOC Exam, you must also obtain a license in each state that you work in.

AR requires proof of NATA Certification or pass state test.  $125 initial fee.  $50 renewal fee. 

Work settings for ATC's
1. Secondary school
2. School districts
3. College or University
4. Professional sports
5. Sports Medicine Clinic
6. Industrial settings

NATA has developed 6 performance domains for athletic training:
1. Prevention of athletic injuries
2. Recognition, evaluation, and assessment of injuries
3. Immediate care
4. Treatment, rehabilitation, and reconditioning
5. Organization and administration
6. Professional development and responsibility (Continuing Education Units) (CEUs)

Educational Council has developed 12 educational competencies to be taught:
1. Acute care of injury and illness
2. Assessment and evaluation
3. General medical conditions and disabilities
4. Health care administration
5. Nutritional aspects of injury and illnesses
6. Pathology of illness and injury
7. Pharmacological aspects of injury
8. Professional development and responsibility
9. Psychological intervention and referral
10. Risk management and injury prevention
11. Therapeutic exercise
12. Therapeutic modalities

Injury prevention and risk management
1. Developing training and conditioning programs
2. Ensuring safe playing environment
3. Selecting, fitting, and maintaining protective equipment
4. Explaining the importance of nutrition
5. Using medications appropriately.

Recognition, Evaluation and Assessment of injuries (ATCs do not diagnose)
1. Conducting physical examinations
2. Understanding the pathology of injury and illness
3. Referring to medical care

Immediate care of injury and illness
First aid and CPR

Treatment, Rehabilitation, and Reconditioning
1. Designing rehabilitation programs
2. Supervising rehabilitation programs
3. Incorporating therapeutic modalities
4. Offering psychosocial intervention

Organization and Administration
1. Record keeping
2. Ordering equipment and supplies
3. Supervising personnel
4. Establishing policies for operation of an athletic training program

Professional Development and Responsibilities
1. The athletic trainer as an educator
2. The athletic trainer as a counselor

Team Physician
Athletic Trainer

Responsibilities of the team physician
The athletic trainer works primarily under the supervision of the team physician, who is ultimately responsible for directing the total health care of the athlete.
1. Compiling medical histories
2. Diagnosing injury
3. Deciding on disqualification and return to play
4. Attending practice and games
5. Committing to sports and the athlete

The Coach
The coach is directly responsible for preventing injuries by seeing that the athlete has undergone a preventive injury conditioning program. The coach must ensure tat sports equipment, especially protective equipment, is of the highest quality and is properly fitted.

School health services
Physician assistant
Strength and conditioning specialist
Sport psychologist
Physical therapist
Exercise physiologist
Social worker

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