Certified athletic trainers are medical professionals who specialize in the prevention, assessment, treatment and rehabilitation of injuries and illnesses that occur in athletes and the physically active. Primary responsibilities include injury prevention, reduction of further injury by administering immediate care, development and implementation of rehabilitation programs and development of appropriate policies, including return-to-play guidelines.
Athletic trainers are certified by an independent organization that sets the standards for certification. Currently, athletic trainers must possess a bachelor’s of science degree from a college or university with an accredited athletic training program, however more than two-thirds hold master’s degrees. Athletic trainers must also pass a certification exam. To maintain the ATC (athletic trainer, certified) credential, an athletic trainer must complete 50 hours of continuing education every two years.
Certified Athletic Trainers (ATC’s) are the correct medical professionals to have on the sidelines of youth sport matches, especially when it’s a contact sport like rugby. EMTs, nurses, etc. are NOT trained specifically to manage sports injuries, including concussions (click here for a comparison of ATC and EMT qualifications). SCYR’s policy of requiring ATC’s improves the safety of our young athletes by taking medical decisions out of the hands of coaches and other uncertified personnel and putting it into the hands of those who have been educated, trained and certified to do this job.