National Athletic Training Month: ATs Are Health Care $0.00

National Athletic Training Month: ATs Are Health Care

By: Emily Nichols |
National Athletic Training Month: ATs Are Health Care

Do you remember the hero coming to your rescue when you seriously injured yourself out on the soccer field? Or how about the person who had the initial contact with your favorite professional athlete while they were sitting on the sidelines writhing in pain? Those people just so happen to be athletic trainers.

Although this may be the setting we’re most used to seeing them, athletic trainers don’t ONLY work with athletes participating in sports. In fact, they play a crucial part in our health care system as they’re highly qualified, multi-skilled health care professionals. Athletic trainers “are health care”, “are military health care”, “are performance health care”, “are sports health care”, and are “work health care.” [1]

It’s time we give our athletic trainers the love and appreciation they deserve. With March being National Athletic Training Month, here’s our opportunity! (Of course, we can continue to give the support all year round).

We’re going to dive a little deeper into the athletic trainers’ professional organization and give you some details on the profession and the job outlook. After that, we’ll be sure to talk about this year’s slogan and all of the resources available to make the most of this month!

National Athletic Trainers’ Association

The professional membership association for certified athletic trainers and those who support the profession was founded back in 1950. It became known as the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA). With more than 45,000 members worldwide, a majority of certified athletic trainers choose to be a member of NATA because of the membership benefits and the support it provides their profession. [2]

The vision and mission of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, seen below, helped to create a strategic plan for the association back in 2015 during NATA held in St. Louis.


“Athletic trainers will be globally recognized as vital practitioners in the delivery and advancement of health care. Through passionate provision of unique services, athletic trainers will be an integral part of the inter-professional health care team.” [2]


Click here to see the strategic plan PDF [3]

Outlook on Athletic Training

According to the NATA website, athletic trainers are, “health care professionals who render service or treatment, under the direction of or in collaboration with a physician, in accordance with their education and training and the states’ statutes, rules and regulations. As a part of the health care team, services provided by athletic trainers include injury and illness prevention, wellness promotion and education, emergent care, examination and clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions.” [4

Athletic trainers are licensed or regulated in 49 out of the 50 states as well as the District of Columbia. [5]

Athletic trainers are currently required to complete a bachelor’s degree to enter into the profession, but that will soon be changing to require a minimum degree level of a master’s to enter into the profession. Although this will be implemented over the next few years, more than 70% of athletic trainers already hold a master’s degree. [5] Once an accredited athletic training program is completed, students are eligible to take the Board of Certification, Inc. (BOC) exam in order to become eligible for national certification.

The demand for athletic trainers is expected to increase as the years pass, however, it is already growing at a much faster rate than the average for all occupations. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “employment of athletic trainers is projected to grow 23 percent from 2016 to 2026.” [6] The middle-aged and older population remaining active as well as the increase in awareness of the effects of sports-related injuries will allow for an increase in demand for ATs.

National Athletic Training Month: ATs Are Health Care

Now that we’ve taken a look at the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, discussed the overall profession, and seen the outlook that this profession can look forward to, let’s CELEBRATE our athletic trainers!

Beginning in 2001, March became the annual National Athletic Training Month. It is an opportunity for external and internal communications to promote the profession and recognize member participation

We mentioned it before but how many of you knew that athletic trainers are well-known, recognized, qualified health care professionals? If you did, great! If you didn’t, well now you know. And the slogan for 2019 is “ATs Are Health Care.” [7]

Resources Available

The National Athletic Trainers’ Association provides athletic trainers, including its members, with many resources in hopes of them educating the public on the profession, organization, and each year’s theme.

Here’s a preview of some of the resources available on their website [8]:

  • Logos
  • 2019 Poster Series
  • AT Elevator Speech Supplement
  • Facebook Cover Image
  • Facebook Profile Image/Frame
  • Twitter Header/Profile Image
  • ATs Are Health Care Logo Overlay


Athletic trainers are some pretty fun people (so we’ve heard). Because of that, not only does the NATA provide their ATs with all of the resources above, but they hold multiple contests throughout the month to encourage people to get involved and help promote the profession and their message.

Here are the three contests available to participate in:

  1. Public Relations Contest [9]
    • NATA members must login to access the form
  2. Social Media Contest [10]
    • General Social Media Contest
    • Poster Contest
    • ATs Are Health Care Contest
  3. Student Leadership Committee Video Contest [11]
    • Open to athletic training students only

If you are an athletic trainer, how are you going to be sure to show pride in your profession, especially during this month?

And if you aren’t an athletic trainer, how are you going to be sure to educate yourself on all that athletic trainers do and how they are in fact, health care providers?