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What is a Certified Athletic Trainer?

Certified athletic trainers (ATCs) are medical experts in preventing, recognizing, managing and rehabilitating injuries that result from physical activity. Athletic trainers can help you avoid unnecessary medical treatment and disruption of normal daily life; if you’re injured, they can get you on the mend and keep you on the move.

Athletic training is recognized by the American Medical Association as an allied health care profession, and the AMA recommends certified athletic trainers in every high school to keep America’s youth safe and healthy. Specifically, the ATC specializes in five practice areas or domains:

  • Prevention of athletic injuries
  • Recognition, evaluation and immediate care of athletic injuries
  • Rehabilitation and reconditioning of athletic injuries
  • Health care administration
  • Professional development
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As part of a complete health care team, the certified athletic trainer works under the direction of a licensed physician and in cooperation with other health care professionals, athletics administrators, coaches and parents. The ATC gets to know each athlete individually and can treat injuries more effectively.

A certified athletic trainer’s day may, for example, include these tasks:

  • Prepare athletes for practice or competition, including taping, bandaging and bracing;
  • Evaluate injuries to determine their management and possible referral;
  • Develop conditioning programs;
  • Implement treatment and rehabilitation programs.

Academic Program Overview

The Athletic Training Education Program at the University of Delaware has the distinction of being the only CAATE accredited program in the state of Delaware, and one of the oldest in the nation. The program began in 1972 and held National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA) approved status from 1975 to 1994. When the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) began accrediting athletic training education programs in 1994, our major was among the first programs in the country to meet the strict accreditation standards. Graduates of the program are eligible to sit for the Board of Certification (BOC) examination and will have obtained entry-level skills for the profession. Athletic Trainers employed in the State of Delaware must also register with the Examining Board of Physical Therapists and Athletic Trainers to practice.

Students enrolled in the Athletic Training major will matriculate toward a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree while completing a minimum of 120 credit hours of theoretical and clinical coursework. Additionally, students involved in the Athletic Training Education Program will encounter a variety of athletic training clinical experiences. A highly motivated staff of certified athletic trainers, physical therapists, team physicians, educational faculty /staff, strength specialists, and a cadre of health professionals from the Newark community contribute to the student's overall clinical experience. The approved clinical instructors (ACI's) lend their professional expertise and leadership skills in assisting the students with clinical responsibilities in each of the various settings. The diversity of the faculty/staff provides students with valuable learning opportunities. Additionally, our team physicians are actively involved with the educational process in both clinical and classroom environments. These exposures allow students to observe injury evaluations, surgeries, and engage in discussions concerning athletic health care.

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  • College of Health Sciences  •   Dept. of Kinesiology & Applied Physiology  •   541 South College Ave.  •   Newark, DE 19716  •   Phone: 302-831-29371   •  kaap-info@udel.edu   •  © 2013
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