I have decided to dedicate this post to athletic trainers. At the Sports Medicine Center, we are very fortunate to have eight highly skilled athletic trainers as a part of our team that are licensed by the state of Wisconsin. The involvement of athletic trainers in our clinic often brings up with question: What is the difference between athletic trainers and personal trainers?
Athletic trainers, at a minimum, complete a bachelor's degree program in an accredited athletic training program and must pass a national exam. But that's a minimum. In fact, 70 percent of athletic trainers have gone on to receive a Master's degree. Personal trainers are not required to have any degree nor are they licensed by the state.
Athletic trainers work very closely with sports teams in the areas of on-field emergency care, injury prevention, treatment and rehab of injuries, and developing conditioning programs for athletes. In the clinical setting, athletic trainers are a valuable resource and part of the rehabilitation team. They provide another perspective to rehab and conditioning, especially when dealing with an athletic population. The involvement with sports teams affords them a unique insight to the demands and requirements of athletes participating in organized sports. As a result, given their education and experience, athletic trainers are much more qualified in preventing injury and dealing with individuals that are recovering from injury.