Our Profession

Athletic Trainers are multi-skilled health care professionals who are college educated to provide services for those who are physically active. At this time, Athletic Trainers have a minimum of a bachelors degree from a four-year accredited institution; however, more than seventy percent of nationally certified Athletic Trainers have masters or doctoral degrees. The education of Athletic Trainers is steeped heavily in the basic and applied sciences, such as chemistry, physics, biology, physiology, anatomy, psychology, and sociology. There also is a strong clinical internship requirement for all Athletic Training students, mandating experience under a nationally Certified Athletic Trainer. Pennsylvania boasts the one of the highest number of accredited Athletic Training Programs in the nation (20). To learn more about the Pennsylvania universities which offer accredited Athletic Training Programs, click here

Athletic Trainers are educated to function within a scope of practice which includes 12 competency areas identified by the Board of Certification (BOC):

  • Risk Management and Injury Prevention
  • Pathology of Injuries and Illnesses
  • Assessment and Evaluation 
  • Acute Care of Injury and Illness 
  • Pharmacology 
  • Therapeutic Modalities
  • Therapeutic Exercise 
  • General Medical Conditions and Disabilities 
  • Nutritional Aspects of Injury and Illness 
  • Psychosocial Intervention and Referral 
  • Health Care Administration 
  • Professional Development and Responsibilities

These competency areas fall under the following domains: domains include the prevention of injuries and illness, the recognition, evaluation, and immediate care of injuries (first aid and emergency care), and referral of illnesses, rehabilitation and reconditioning of injuries, health care administration, and professional development and responsibility. Athletic Trainers provide services to athletes and physically active individuals of all levels of physical and mental ability.

The national professional organization for Athletic Trainers, the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA), was established in 1950, and now has over 25,000 members. The NATA is divided into ten distinct districts.  Pennsylvania is a member of NATA District-II along with New York, Delaware, and New Jersey. NATA District-I and NATA District-II form a regional organization known as the Eastern Athletic Trainers' Association (EATA). The American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, and the American Medical Association cooperate to establish, maintain, and promote appropriate standards of quality for educational programs in Athletic Training.

To find out more information about P.A.T.S., feel free to E-Mail any member of the P.A.T.S. Board of Directors. If you are interested in becoming a member, please print our membership application, fill out the application and mail it to the PATS Membership Chair.



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