Omaha’s Athletic Training celebrates National Athletic Training month


Elle Love

UNO athletic training department celebrates national athletic training month

The University of Nebraska at Omaha’s Athletic Training celebrates National Athletic Training in March with their theme: “AT is our healthcare.”

National Athletic Training Month highlights the different areas that athletic trainers work in on a daily basis including military, performance, work, and sports health.

“From little leaguers to astronauts, and every physically demanding roll in between, people of all ages deserve access to healthcare,” said Dr. Adam Rosen, professor in Health and Kinesiology.

Athletic trainers provide preventative services, emergency care, clinical explanation, and diagnosis, therapeutic intervention and rehabilitative care. Athletic training helps keep athletes safe and covered with an athletic trainer.

“I think it really embodies what we do as a profession, athletic trainers are healthcare,” Rosen said.

Athletic training student Christine Center said National Athletic Training month is a time to celebrate the importance of athletic training and what it means to be a part of the field.

“Identifying a particular month allows us to purposefully reflect and honor our profession that not only is a chosen field of study for students on our very own UNO campus, but also represented around the world,” Center said.

National athletic training month allows people to understand more of what athletic trainers do, said Madi Johnson, an athletic training student.

“Us as athletic trainers promote the profession daily,” Johnston said. “But during this month we are aided by outside sources as well to help promote the profession and the daily responsibilities and tasks that we do to keep our athletes and/or patients safe.”

Center said athletic training is still a “baby profession,” which wasn’t recognized as an allied heath profession until 1990 by the American Medical Associaton.

“In 1950, athletic trainers had their first formal gathering in Kansas City Missouri with only 101 people” Center said. “Now our numbers are over 50,000.”

Johnston said some healthcare providers are not fully aware of what athletic trainers are competent in based off the training and education athletic trainers receive.

“There are times where we are not respected well enough to do our job depending on the setting that we are working in which does not help the advancement of our profession,” Johnston said.

Center said she finds herself explaining her profession to other people because athletic trainers are often confused as personal trainers or strength and conditioning coaches. She said she uses the month as a time to have conversations with family and friends to raising awareness about athletic training.

“We are young but want the world to know that we are here and ready to do big things,” Center said.

Johnston said explaining National Athletic Training Month to her classmates is easy for her. “I am able to explain to my friends that I do more than just tape ankles, hand out water, and watch a sporting event for free,” Johnston said. “The athletes that I am watching, I am 100 percent responsible for keeping them healthy and making sure they are safe while participating in athletics.”

Center said it is exciting to see how valued athletic trainers are in their work environments. “My current clinical rotation is with the UNO Softball team,” Center said. “I was super touched when the head coached wished us happy AT month at practice this week.”

Johnston said this year’s theme for National Athletic Training month is a message everyone can take away with understanding.

“With the title of athletic trainer, more often than not, people outside of the profession refer to us as “trainers” which then turns into everyone thinking we are personal trainers,” Johnston said.  “I feel as though with this theme; it helps other people realize and understand that we are a part of the medical profession.”

Center said she and other students love to be called “athletic trainers.” “Often we are just referred to as “trainers,” which is where confusion can occur as to what our profession is really about.”

“I am proud to be a part of the athletic training world,” Center said. “I am excited to join the ranks in a few months upon graduation.”