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The athletic trainer, with the consultation and direction of attending and/or consulting physicians, is an integral part of the health care system associated with physical activity and sports. Through preparation in both academic education and clinical experience, the athletic trainer provides a variety of services, including injury prevention, assessment, immediate care, treatment, and rehabilitation after physical injury or trauma .
Entry-level athletic training education uses a competency-based approach in both the classroom and clinical settings. Using a medical-based education model, athletic training students are educated to serve in the role of physician extenders, with an emphasis on clinical reasoning skills. Educational content is based on cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skill), affective competencies (professional behaviors) and clinical proficiencies (professional, practice-oriented outcomes).
Students are required to participate in a minimum of two years of academic clinical education. Using an outcomes-based approach, students are instructed and evaluated by Approved Clinical Instructors or physicians in the following venues: Colleges/universities Industrial settings, Secondary schools Hospitals, Professional sports Olympic sports, Clinics, and other settings that employ a certified athletic trainer
A segment of the clinical education experience must be directed towards a patient population having general medical ailments (eg, cardio-respiratory, metabolic). Almost all states require that athletic trainers hold the ATC (Athletic Trainer Certified) credential, which is issued by the Board of Certification Inc. The ATC credential is supported by three pillars: the BOC certification examination, BOC Standards of Practice and Disciplinary Process, and continuing competence requirements. The 1-day, three-part examination verifies tat the knowledge, skills, and abilities required for the competent performance as an entry-level athletic trainer have been met.