March is National Athletic Training Month and STAR has plenty to celebrate. From our inception, athletic training and sports medicine outreach has been one of our main areas of service. In fact, one of our founding Partners is a Certified Athletic Trainer. STAR Physical Therapy began with a modest sports medicine outreach program providing Certified Athletic Trainers to schools in just one county in Tennessee. Today, we employ more than 50 Certified Athletic Trainers and cover more than 40 schools throughout Tennessee, Kentucky and Indiana. Our Certified Athletic Trainers also provide outreach in many recreation centers and sports venues.
Certified Athletic Trainers (ATC’s) are licensed medical professionals who typically work with athletes and teams to provide a safe competitive environment. They work to prevent, diagnose, and rehabilitate injuries and are advocates for keeping athletes safe. Our ATC’s coordinate care for injured athletes and are often the central communicator of the sports medicine team which includes the athlete, the athlete’s family, doctors and coaches.
A typical day for an ATC is usually long and very busy. Often times ATC’s will begin the day by following up with athletes who have existing injuries – establishing a functional rehabilitation program / assessing the athletes rehabilitation progress, communicating with the sports medicine team, and helping to determine a timetable for the athlete’s safe return to play. ATC’s also provide injury prevention advice and services including taping joints and applying supportive braces before athletes compete. ATC’s are typically present at sporting events and are often the first responders when an athlete gets injured during play. This school year alone, we have been on the field and provided care for dozens of severe injuries. One STAR Athletic Trainer was even credited with helping to save the life of a high school football player that suffered a traumatic spinal cord injury. Long after play has ended, ATC’s are still hard at work coordinating physician care for athletes that sustained serious injuries, tending to the less serious injuries, and making sure everybody on the sports medicine team has been communicated with.
Thank you to all of our wonderful Certified Athletic Trainers and to ATC’s everywhere for all you do to keep our athletes safe!