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Athletic Trainer versus Trainer – What’s the Difference?

Think athletic trainers are just personal trainers in disguise? Think again! In honor of National Athletic Training Month, we’re explaining all of the differences for you.

Each year, the month of March is dedicated by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association to bringing information and awareness to the role of certified athletic trainers.  This year’s theme is “Every Body Needs an Athletic Trainer.”

Often times, the difference in the professions of athletic training and personal training can be blurred. There is, however, a difference:

  • Athletic trainers are considered allied health care professionals, and must meet qualifications set by the Board of Certification, Inc., and the state licensing board.
  • They coordinate care under the direction of a physician and other health care professionals.
  • Athletic trainers are members of a health care profession recognized by the American Medical Association.
  • All certified athletic trainers must have a bachelor’s or master’s degree from an accredited college or university in order to practice athletic training, and must pass a comprehensive exam to earn their credentials.
  • Athletic trainers are experts at recognizing, treating and preventing musculoskeletal injures.

ATI Physical Therapy, the largest employer of athletic trainers in the nation, is celebrating National Athletic Training Month all month long.

"National Athletic Training Month gives us the chance to really promote what we do as athletic trainers," Lisa Boyer, Director of East Coast Sports Medicine for ATI Physical Therapy, said. "We don't just treat injuries. We learn to recognize symptoms before they turn into full-blown injuries. We educate athletes on how to prevent injuries. We teach athletes, parents, and coaches how athletes can perform at optimal levels -- from proper nutrition to good hydration to quality footwear and gear. Athletic trainers do much more than just tape and treat nose bleeds, and NATM is a great time to showcase all the hard work we do each day for our athletes." 

If you have a question for an athletic trainer, visit Ask the Athletic Trainer.

For more information about the athletic training profession, visit the National Athletic Trainers’ Association website at www.NATA.org.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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