Sports Medicine Outreach

Certified Athletic Trainer

What is a Certified Athletic Trainer (ATC)?


Every year thousands of students participate in interscholastic athletics. Unfortunately, many of them also suffer injuries as a result of their participation.

A certified athletic trainer (ATC) is an educated and skilled allied healthcare professional specializing in athletic injuries, specifically in the following domains:

  • Prevention of athletic injuries
  • Recognition, evaluation, and immediate care of athletic injuries
  • Rehabilitation and reconditioning of athletic injuries
  • Healthcare administration
  • Professional development

In an effort to treat injuries more effectively, certified athletic trainers work as part of a complete health care team that consists of a licensed physician, other healthcare professionals, athletic administrators, coaches, and parents.

Athletic trainers are certified by the National Athletic Trainers Association Board of Certification (NATABOC). They must earn a degree from an accredited athletic training curriculum and pass a three part test administered by the BOC. They are also required to stay current in the advancements in athletic training by obtaining continuing education credits.

In addition to certification, ATCs must meet individual state licensing requirements. In the state of Tennessee athletic trainers are licensed through the Board of Medical Examiners.