Athletic trainers in the State of Florida are certified by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association and work under the direction of a qualified medical professional to provide rehabilitation and pain management services to athletes and coaches. Athletic trainers typically work at athletic events and during training season to provide emergency and rehabilitative care. In Florida, certified and licensed athletic trainers have the option to join the Athletic Trainers’ Association of Florida (ATAF).
Here’s what you need to know about becoming an athletic trainer in Florida:
Training Requirements to Become an Athletic Trainer in Florida
Most athletic trainers in Florida have either a bachelor’s or a master’s degree in athletic training. The Florida Department of Health oversees its own Board of Athletic Training, offering continuing education programs and online licensing options.
Aspiring athletic trainers must complete a college or university program that has been accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training (CAATE). In addition to classroom instruction, students need to log in a certain number of hours in clinical studies, and may work side-by-side with an experienced student trainer.
Typical courses offered in an athletic trainer degree program include:
– Orthopedic injury and diagnosis
– Sports medicine
– Strength and conditioning exercises
– Clinical athletic training
– Examining orthopedic injuries and orthopedic care
– Athletic training administration
Athletic trainer degree programs in Florida prepare students for the National Athletic Trainer’s Association Board of Certification exam. Students are tested in several subjects, including immediate care, clinical evaluation, injury prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, organization and administration, and professional responsibility.
After completing a formal degree program, the candidate can apply for a license through the Florida Department of Health. The State of Florida requires all applicants to have completed an approved athletic training program from an accredited college or university, and also hold current CPR certification. Candidates also have to show proof of completing a two-hour course on the prevention of medical errors, a one-hour course on HIV/AIDS, and verify any licenses they may have received in another state.
The athletic trainer license application can be downloaded directly from the Florida Department of Health website.
Joining the Athletic Trainers’ Association of Florida (ATAF)
The Athletic Trainers’ Association of Florida (ATAF) is a professional organization that addresses the needs of Florida’s collegiate, high school and professional and amateur athletes, an works with certificated athletic trainers to provide services and wellness programs at area high schools, colleges, sports organizations and work places.
Once you have acquired certification from the National Athletic Trainer Association, you can apply for membership with the ATAF. The ATAF is comprised of several committees that promote the organization’s mission. These include the college and university athletic training student committee, an education committee, the Century Club and a governmental affairs committee. The organization also has an annual rewards and grant program.