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About NATA
NATA is the unified national voice of athletic training, working through our grassroots organizations and government advocacy groups to enhance the quality of health care provided by certified athletic trainers and to advance the athletic training profession.

About Athletic Trainers
Athletic Trainers (ATs) are health care professionals who collaborate with physicians. The services provided by ATS comprise of prevention, emergency care, clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions.

State regulation of athletic trainers

  • Athletic trainers are licensed or otherwise regulated in 49 states; efforts continue to add licensure in California.
  • NATA has ongoing efforts to update obsolete state practice acts that do not reflect current qualifications and practice of ATs under health care reform.
  • Athletic trainers practice under the direction of physicians.
  • 47 states require ATs to hold the Board of Certification credential of “Athletic Trainer, Certified” (ATC).

AT Education
Academic curriculum and clinical training for athletic training students follows the medical model. Athletic trainers must graduate from an accredited baccalaureate or master’s program; 70 percent of ATs have a master’s degree.
AT Education Overview ( Learn more about the competencies, content standards, clinical and professional education to become an athletic trainer.

 Why ATs?
ATs are in demand by employers for their knowledge and skills in prevention and rehabilitation, as well as their proven cost savings, clinical efficiencies, and positive return on investment.

  • Many athletic trainers work outside of athletic settings; they provide physical medicine and rehabilitation, as well as other services to people of all ages. Learn more about where ATs work.
  • ATs commonly work with patients with asthma, diabetes, heart disease, obesity and other health conditions to safely improve their health and fitness.
  • ATs specialize in patient education to prevent injury and re-injury, which reduces rehabilitative and other health care costs.
  • Studies show that AT services save money for employers and improve quality of life for patients; for each dollar invested in preventive care, employers gained up to a $7 return on investment.

Key Issues
ATs are trained to treat, prevent and address key issues (such as nutrition, environmental conditions, brain injury and cardiac events) that impact athletes’ performance. NATA supports efforts by the health care team, school administration, coaches and parents to implement suggested safety protocols to keep athletes safe.

Review our position statements for more information on these key issues.

Action Center

Legislative Alert Center
Please visit the NATA Legislative Alert Center to contact your State and Federal legislators on issues important to the athletic training profession. You can make a tremendous impact with your words, and knowledge is power. It takes about five minutes to learn the issues and send a letter to Congress.

The National Action Plan for Youth Sports Safety
The National Action Plan for Youth Sports Safety addresses leading health conditions and specifically urges schools to adopt safety measures to protect students from injury or illness that mainly occur in four major areas: cardiac events, neurologic injuries, environmental/exertional conditions, and dietary/substance-induced conditions.
Read the full National Action Plan for Youth Sports Saftey.

Youth Sports Safety Alliance
The Youth Sports Safety Alliance, spearheaded in 2010 by NATA, aims to raise awareness, advance legislation and improve medical care for young athletes across the country. The Alliance is committed to improving the health and safety of young athletes. Make the Call to Action and join today!

Safe Sports School Award
The Safe Sports School Award recognizes secondary schools that take steps to keep their athletes free from injuries. The award requires sports safety actions, including that the school have a comprehensive athletic healthcare plan, promotes safe and appropriate environments, provides proper sporting equipment, develops injury intervention strategies, rehearses an emergency action plan and promotes a culture of safe play. Find out if your school qualifies. Take the Safe Sports School Quiz.

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