When you think of a certified athletic trainer, you probably think of the person running onto the field/court when an athlete goes down with an injury or working endless hours taping extremities and rehabilitating injuries in a training room. These scenarios are very realistic but what you may not know is that certified athletic trainers are being used in work settings other than athletics.
Workplaces are realizing the value that certified athletic trainers have to offer. Certified athletic trainers are healthcare professionals who collaborate with physicians and other medical professionals to provide preventative services, emergency care, clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions.
Many physicians are using certified athletic trainers in their practice because of their triage skills, casting, ability to take histories, evaluate, rehabilitate and carry out exercise prescriptions.
Industrial athletic trainers are being hired by large corporations for work hardening programs. I was employed by FEDEX on location at the Los Angeles International Airport. My duties were to minimize OSHA injury incidents that happened on the job. Over 2,000 employees were offered my services which were triage, injury prevention programs, communication with the worker’s compensation physician and on-site rehabilitation.
The military has been using athletic trainers for years because of the high incidence of injuries that occurred during boot camp. Certified athletic trainers are also beneficial to the military because of their ability to perform orthopedic screening to identify any pre-existing conditions that could affect their physical ability during duty and in the future.
Dance and theater employ certified athletic trainers on performance days for pre and post show treatment and also travel with the show as staff to evaluate and rehabilitate injuries while on the road. The Joffrey Ballet and Cirque de Soleil are two world renown companies that benefit from the services of a certified athletic trainer.
Medical sales companies are hiring certified athletic trainers as sales consultants because of their experience with durable medical equipment, bracing, splinting and knowledge of the human anatomy and biomechanics. Being able to communicate with physicians in sales is a large part of the job and certified athletic trainers at one point in their career have worked along side and developed rapport with physicians.
These are just a few of the job settings that certified athletic trainers are now being utilized in not to mention ergonomic programs, operating rooms, rodeos and even NASA. Here at Oahu Spine and Rehab, certified athletic trainers offer their services along with physicans, nurse practitioners, chiropractors, physical therapists, physical therapy assistants, massage therapists, kinesiologists and weight management professionals to offer the highest quality of multi-disciplinary integrated care to as many people as humanly possible.
Scott Mochinaga, ATC (certified athletic trainer)
References: www.nata.org, www.athletico.com, http://science.howstuffworks.com/innovation/nasa-inventions/nasa-improve-athletic-training.htm