Athletic therapy programs train students to quickly assess injuries and
decide on appropriate action.
Students commonly work towards a bachelor of science degree with a major
in kinesiology or athletic training.
Standards for enrollment can be quite high. "Students require core
athletic training, kinesiology courses and must demonstrate a commitment to
athletic training through directed observation," says professor Gerald Bell.
"Any advanced physical education or kinesiology courses which introduce
topics such as exercise physiology are very important," says Jayne Kalmar,
a lecturer and doctoral student in a kinesiology and health sciences department.
"In our program, students complete an arts or science degree, majoring in
kinesiology. Therefore, students must complete courses which are mandatory
for entrance into these faculties."
Classes in chemistry, physics, English, math and biology, with particular
focus on anatomy and physiology, are recommended for high school students
who are interested in becoming an athletic therapist or trainer.
"Volunteer work in local hospitals and clinics is definitely an
asset," adds Kalmar. Participation in sports is also good, since athletic
therapy students work with athletes.
So what kinds of things can you expect to study? "Core kinesiology courses
include such things as biomechanics, human physiology, exercise physiology,
nutrition, fitness assessment [and] human anatomy," says Kalmar. There
are also courses in sports therapy, regional anatomy, athletic injuries
and emergency care.
You'll have to pay for tuition and books. You may also have to buy things
like clinical shirts, name tags and tape supplies.
Make sure you take a program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation
of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). If the program is not accredited,
graduates cannot apply for professional certification.
Occupational Outlook Handbook
For more information related to this field of study, see: Athletes,
Coaches, Umpires and Related Workers
The Institute for Athletic Medicine
This site has info on a wide range of therapies
A good source of information about physical activity and health