Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Athletic Training and Sports Medicine

The K-State Athletic Department places a top priority on helping its student-athletes to reach and maintain their best health and achieve their conditioning goals. Because of this, K-State has developed excellent training and conditioning programs to help prevent injuries and insure safe practice and competition habits. However, if injuries do occur, the department is prepared to implement a comprehensive rehabilitation program.

At Kansas State, the Certified Athletic Trainers are highly educated and skilled professionals specializing in athletic health care. In cooperation with physicians and other allied health personnel, the athletic trainers function as integral members of the athletic health care team.

Certified athletic trainers have, at minimum, a bachelor's degree, usually in athletic training, health, physical education or exercise science. In addition, athletic trainers study human anatomy, human physiology, biomechanics, exercise physiology, athletic training, nutrition and psychology/counseling. Certified athletic trainers also participate in extensive clinical affiliations with athletic teams under appropriate supervision.

In addition, Certified Athletic Trainers are required to obtain 75 hours worth of Continuing Education Units (CEUs) within a three year period to remain in good standing. These CEUs, which are obtained from attending conferences, lectures, presentations, etc..., assist Certified Athletic Trainers in expanding their knowledge and training in the ever-changing world of medicine and rehabilitative therapy.

Certified athletic trainers have fulfilled the requirements for certification established by the National Athletic Trainers' Association Board of Certification, Inc. (NATABOC). The certification examination administered by NATABOC consists of a written portion with multiple choice questions; a practical section that evaluates the skill components of the domains within athletic training; and a written simulation test, consisting of athletic training related situations designed to approximate real-life decision making. This last portion of the test evaluates athletic trainers' ability to resolve cases similar to those they might encounter in actual practice.

The examination covers a variety of topics within the six practice domains of athletic training: Prevention Recognition, Evaluation and Assessment Immediate Care Treatment, Rehabilitation and Reconditioning Organization and Administration Professional Development and Responsibility. Once athletic trainers pass the certification examination proving skills and knowledge within each of the six domains, they use the designation "ATC" or "CAT."

Female Athletic Trainers
Although athletic training was once considered a male-dominated profession, more than 50% of all members of the National Athletic Trainers' Association are women. As of January 1990, more than half of the athletic trainers certified by the NATABOC have been women.

National Athletic Trainers' Association
The National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the health and well-being of athletes worldwide. The Association is committed to the advancement, encouragement and improvement of the athletic training profession. Founded in 1950 with a membership of 200 athletic trainers, the NATA today has more than 30,000 members worldwide. Approximately 92 percent of all certified athletic trainers in the country belong to the Association. In 1990, the American Medical Association recognized athletic training as an allied health profession. The Association sets the standards for athletic trainers through its education programs. Almost 100 universities and colleges offer NATA-approved curricula. Based in Dallas, Texas, the organization provides a variety of services to its membership including continuing education, governmental affairs, certification and public relations. The NATA also publishes the Journal of Athletic Training, a quarterly scientific journal; and NATA News, a monthly news magazine.

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