1. FACT: Athletic trainers know and practice health care at the highest professional, ethical and quality standards in order to protect the public.
Athletic training is practiced by athletic trainers, health care professionals who collaborate with physicians to optimize activity and participation of patients and clients. Athletic training encompasses the prevention, diagnosis, and intervention of emergency, acute, and chronic medical conditions involving impairment, functional limitations, and disabilities.
Members of the NATA must agree to abide by the Association’s Code of Ethics. The Board of Certification Inc. requires that all credential holders abide by the Standards of Practice.
2. FACT: Athletic trainers are regulated and licensed health care workers.
While practice act oversight varies by state, athletic trainers practice under state statutes recognizing them as qualified health care professionals similar to physical therapists, occupational therapists and other health care professionals. Athletic training licensure/regulation exists in 46 states, with aggressive efforts underway to pursue licensure in the remaining states and to update outdated licensure. Athletic trainers practice under the direction of physicians.
3. FACT: More than 50 percent of athletic trainers work outside of school athletic settings; they provide services to people of all ages.
Athletic trainers work in physician offices as physician extenders. They also work in rural and urban hospitals, hospital emergency rooms, urgent and ambulatory care centers, military hospitals, physical therapy clinics, secondary schools, colleges/universities, youth leagues, commercial settings and professional sports teams. They are in great demand for their versatile health and wellness services and injury and illness prevention skills. The skills of ATs have been sought and valued by sports medicine specialists and other physicians for more than 60 years. As the U.S. continues its focus on reducing the effects of obesity and other chronic diseases, it is important that people have access to health care professionals who can support lifelong, safe physical activity. ATs are an important part of the health care workforce, especially as the demand for workers is projected to greatly increase over the next decade.
4. FACT: ATs improve patient functional and physical outcomes.
Results from a nationwide Medical Outcomes Survey demonstrate that care provided by ATs effects a significant change in all outcome variables measured, with the greatest change in functional outcomes and physical outcomes. The investigation indicates that care provided by ATs generates a positive change in health-related quality of life patient outcomes. (Ref: Albohm MJ, Wilkerson GB. An outcomes assessment of care provided by certified athletic trainers.)