Who is an Athletic Trainer?

Athletic trainers are highly qualified, multi-skilled health care professionals who work as part of the sports medicine health care team.  They connect the dots between basic health care and physical activity.  Although athletic trainers are most associated with school athletic departments, gyms, sports clubs, and professional sports organizations, their skills are helpful in many other settings as well.

Mercy’s certified Athletic Trainers (ATs) work under the direction of a licensed physician and in cooperation with other healthcare professionals, athletics administrators, coaches, and parents.  They are important “eyes and ears” on the playing field or court for making sure athletes stay safe and healthy and wellness educators for the community.

AT Services Provided

ATs are an essential part of Mercy’s community outreach programs with local athletes and can be found in a variety of professional settings, including traditional high school and college/university settings.  ATs interact with athletes and provide a number of services during the week and on game day:

  • Education for athletes on how to avoid putting themselves at risk for certain injuries by using the appropriate training techniques or safety gear
  • Identification of unsafe field or environmental conditions
  • Nutritional education, identification of athletes at risk for nutritional disorders, monitoring body composition of athletes to reduce the risk of injury and reinforcement of appropriate weight management strategies
  • Monitoring and intervention for heat-related illnesses
  • “On the field” or “on the court” immediate assessments when athlete injuries occur and recommend the best and most efficient injury management protocol
  • Training with injured student-athletes on a daily basis to help maximize the healing potential, taking into consideration the physical and emotional state of the athlete
  • Referrals to Sports Medicine physicians if the sports injury requires more aggressive and advanced rehabilitation

Mercy’s ATs are committed to the health and development of athletes at all levels. The decision to play or sit out isn’t always easy, but Mercy’s ATs are available to help athletes stay safe and to support the rehabilitation process when injuries do occur.