Athletic trainers are responsible for working with athletes on conditioning and training as well as injuries sustained during -- or outside of -- sports activities, which may impact their ability to perform. Like other career types, athletic trainers must be equipped with a certain skill set to help them do their jobs properly.
First Aid Skills
Athletic trainers must have first aid skills to help athletes address acute injuries, generally in a high-pressure situation such as a game. They must be able to apply bandaging and tape to hold the injury until the athlete can seek further medical attention. They must also be able to apply tapes and braces to hold bones and skin injuries in place to promote proper healing.
Athletic trainers must have the skills to educate coaching staff, athletes and their families on injuries, healing processes and the proper methods of exercise and conditioning. They must be able to convey information in a helpful manner to help athletes reduce the risk of injury during sporting activities. They should provide advice on healthy living standards for athletes and offer warnings on activities and supplements to avoid.
Athletic trainers must possess good people skills, as well as a good grasp on proper methods of communication. A large part of their job is to convey information to people and help athletes to understand the capabilities and limitations of their bodies. Often, this communication occurs in high-pressure situations, so an athletic trainer must have the skills to withstand high stress and display calm in times of duress.
Athletic trainers must have a certain level of medical skills to help diagnose issues on the spot. For example, a trainer must know when a bone has been broken in the middle of a game or the extent of an injury to determine whether or not a player can continue. Athletic trainers must also have the medical skills to determine if there may be an underlying medical condition causing problems or whether or not an athlete should pursue further medical attention before he engages in sports activities.