Future athletic trainers promote national training awareness month

Nicole Socala

March is National Training Awareness month with the purpose of shedding light on the frequently understated responsibilities of athletic trainers (ATs).

In order to help others better understand what athletic trainers work toward, the Athletic Training program and club at CSUN created t-shirts that say, “We’ve Got Your Back,” and “I Heart My Athletic Trainer” for non-AT individuals.

The program ties into the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) national competition, which involves spreading athletic training awareness through social media.

On the back of each shirt is a Rod of Asclepius, a familiar symbol for medical organizations, including NATA. The image of the rod places additional emphasis on the medical role athletic trainers are required to fulfill and their duty to rehabilitate injured athletes.

Athletic training is often mistaken for personal training, which is centered around personal fitness and conditioning. However, athletic trainers are a team of healthcare professionals who work to prevent and treat musculoskeletal injuries and sports-related illnesses, said Michelle Avedissian, the social chairman of the Athletic Training Club on campus.

Promoting the many facets of training and medicine that ATs are responsible for is an integral part to making National Athletic Training month a success.

“We’re a healthcare profession so we rehabilitate, we treat, we do so much for these athletes and others that call themselves athletic trainers might not help a specific person in the way that we can,” Avedissian said.

It is mandatory to have a certified athletic trainer’s license in all but two states, California and Alaska. Avedissian believes California should start implementing a rule requiring all athletic instructors to be certified ATs, who would be able to help athletes according to their needs.

Senate bill AB 864, which aimed to discourage non-certified individuals to identify themselves as trainers, gained traction last year, but ultimately was not decided upon.

Avedissian is steadfast in her belief in CSUN’s athletic training program.

“I have not only grown as a student but as a healthcare professional and look forward to my promising future career after graduation,” Avedissian said.