The traditional work settings for athletic trainers has been training facilities such professional sports organizations, sports clubs, military installations, rehabilitation clinics, hospitals, schools(colleges and universities), community facilities, gyms and physician offices. In the recent past, the health care professionals have also found work in both commercial and government workplaces (Hunt 25).
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The work environment which I would prefer to work most is the occupational health setting. This is partly because of my passion in ergonomics and the opportunity that occupational health setting presents in identifying the ergonomic stressors, analyzing the work station for potential health risk and assisting in implementation of both the engineering ergonomic solutions and administrative controls. Along with implementing these solutions, occupational health setting is a perfect place to provide specific workplace ergonomic training and education (Malcolm 54).
Working in the occupational health setting also places one on a leadership role in helping the organization in achieving its health, safety and profitability goals (Jordan 33).
Athletic trainers working in an occupational health setting are often tasked with the responsibility of developing and managing programs designed to ensure safety and health of employees, while reducing healthcare and insurance costs. Occupational health setting is therefore rewarding, not only in terms of wages but also in terms of skills development and career advancement.
The major disadvantage of working in occupational health setting is that the working hours can be long and unpredictable (Carl 89). Typically, the position is a Monday to Friday job but in an industry with teams working around the clock, the athletic trainer is more likely to work regular hours and possibly at night and during the weekends.
But even with the possibility of working long hours, the structured nature of work and the fact that the athletic trainer will be dealing mostly with little discomforts and prevention of injuries is something that I would look forward to in occupational setting.
One area that I would like to see more athletic trainers working is in the lab in the field of research. True, over the years, athletic trainers have been involved in concussion research programs and have been in the forefront in transforming the way we evaluate and treat injuries. However, there are many programs such as research in injury prevention and ergonomics that still require more involvement of professional athletic trainers (Albert 60).
Injury prevention and treatment is very important for solving emerging health problems and in helping saving lives. Indeed, there are many Government institutions (such as NASA), companies and universities which are looking for experienced athletic trainers in research programs into various issues such as rehabilitation, injury prevention strategies and design of protective equipment.
The athletic training profession is evolving and continues to be recognized as one of the most essential fields in health care (Richie 87). Most practices that involve some form of physical activity often require the services of a professional athletic trainer along with the medical personnel. The entertainment industry (particularly television reality shows) is one of the emerging practices attracting many athletic trainers.
Shows like The Biggest Loser, WWE, The Ultimate Challenge, among others offer lucrative packages for top experienced trainers to keep the contestants healthy as they participate in physically demanding activities. The profession continues to expand into nearly every area where people are active, which calls for more highly qualified and motivated athletic trainers to offer the best quality of health care.
Albert, Wilson. Evolution of Athletic Training Education. Washington: Wilson press Publishers, 2013. Print.
Carl, Kristine. The Future of Athletic Training. New York: McGraw-Hill Press Publishers, 2014. Print.
Hunt, Valerie. Athletic Trainers: Professionals in Health Care. Chicago: Foundation Press Publishers, 2012. Print.
Jordan, Swartz. Athletic Training, Injury Prevention and Treatment. London: University Publishers, 2013. Print.
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Malcolm, Hernandez. The Work of Athletic Trainers Redefined. Oxford: University Press Publishers, 2011. Print.
Richie, Wilber. Risk Management and Injury Prevention. New York: McGraw-Hill Press Publishers, 2015. Print.