When you think of an athletic trainer (AT) at work, most people envision the AT running out onto the field to attend to an injured athlete. While this is the most traditional work environment, many athletic trainers have found alternative work settings that are perfectly suited for the unique skill set that the AT provides.
Recently, it has become common place to find athletic trainers employed in sports medicine clinics, the United States Military, and industrial/occupational settings. It is estimated that 40% of athletic trainers work outside of school athletic settings.
Industrial or occupational athletic trainers are very popular in the work place. It is common for airlines to have an athletic training staff to provide emergency medical care for their employees and significantly reduce lost work time due to injury. In addition to providing emergency care, the athletic trainer can also provide ergonomic work place evaluations to help prevent overuse and job stress injuries. Along with acute injury care and ergonomic/overuse injury prevention, the athletic trainer can have a profound effect on the overall health and wellness of an entire organization. With a large breadth of knowledge the AT can counsel employees on fitness and nutrition and be a sounding board for many other employee health concerns.
Just like on an athletic team the AT is a trusted member, by both the coaches and athletes, so can this trust be evident in the work place. Employees may have health and safety concerns that they do not want to discuss with their supervisor however, just like a player on an athletic team, the employee feels comfortable going to the Athletic Trainer knowing the situation will be handled professionally and confidentially. The industrial Athletic Trainer can be a very valuable part of any businesses success.
This blog was curated from a presentation bt Eric Gunderson MS, LAT titled "Alternative Setting in Athletic Training: Industrial/ Occupational Athletic Training" and can be found here.