Sports Medicine Career Video
Sports Medicine Career Video Transcript
If you enjoy sports and are interested in helping athletes train, stay healthy and improve performance you might enjoy a job in sports medicine. There are career opportunities for people with all levels of education, including personal trainer, athletic trainer, massage therapist, physical therapist and sports medicine doctor. Sports medicine includes many specialties, such as cardiology, pulmonology, orthopedics and biomechanics.
Sports medicine is a multidisciplinary field of healthcare focusing on the diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation and prevention of sports or exercise related injuries, as well as the effects of exercise and sports on the human body. The sports medicine team of workers includes medical doctors, allied healthcare workers and a variety of certified specialists. In addition to rehabilitation, many of these sports medicine workers focus on practical improvements in training, performance and endurance for individual athletes.
Some common positions in the sports medicine field include personal fitness trainers, athletic trainers, massage therapists, physical therapists and sports medicine doctors. Each of these jobs in sports medicine requires different levels of skill and training.
Job Skills and Duties
People who choose a career in the field of sports medicine are often interested in or involved with sports on either a recreational or professional level. Many of the careers in sports medicine require physical strength for lifting patients and helping clients on and off of equipment. It also helps to have a positive, encouraging attitude because many parts of injury rehabilitation and athletic training can be painful and exhausting for the patient or athlete.
Personal trainers are fitness workers hired to work one-on-one with a client. They help their clients set personal fitness goals and help them find the motivation to work toward that goal. Personal trainers typically work in clients' homes, health clubs, gyms, resorts and some workplaces. Many personal trainers specialize in one area of exercise, such as weight training, cardiovascular training, yoga or the martial arts.
Athletic trainers are allied health professionals trained to help their clients, who are often professional athletes, prevent and treat injuries. Athletic trainers specialize in treating musculo-skeletal injuries that may happen during sporting events or training sessions. Athletic trainers advise on the proper use of protective equipment and apply tape, bandages and braces to prevent injury. Athletic trainers work under the supervision of a licensed physician and may help execute treatment and rehabilitation plans for individual clients.
Massage therapists are trained to manipulate body muscles to alleviate pain and discomfort, improve circulation, relieve muscle spasm and reduce stress. Most massage therapists specialize in several methods of massage and use these methods to treat different types of injuries. Massage therapists typically work in private practice, hospitals, resorts, day spas or in clients' homes.
Physical therapists treat many conditions, including sports injuries. Physical therapists assess sports injuries then formulate a treatment plan and therapy schedule for the patient. Therapy plans are designed to reduce pain, improve a patient's ability to move and function, and help regain previous levels of performance. Plans may include focused exercise, strength building activities, heat and cold treatments, aqua therapy or therapeutic massage. Physical therapists work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics and private practice.
Many sports medicine physicians are primary care physicians who practice sports medicine in addition to their primary specialty, though some do specialize in sports medicine, physiology, rehabilitation, orthopedic surgery or cardiology. Some sports medicine physicians work as full-time team physicians.
Each specialty in the sports medicine field requires different levels of training and education. Some students interested in sports medicine earn a bachelors degree in Exercise Physiology or Sports Science on the way to their chosen career.
Personal trainers must have a high school diploma or equivalent and must obtain certification. Athletic trainers must have a bachelor's degree in Athletic Training from an accredited program and must pass a board certification exam, and in some states, be licensed as well. Many positions require a master's degree in Athletic Training.
In most states massage therapists must attend massage therapy schools or training programs and must pass either a national or state certification exam. Physical therapists are required to be licensed and have at least a Master of Physical Therapy degree, though many positions now require a doctoral degree in Physical therapy.
Sports medicine physicians must graduate from medical school and complete three to five years of residency and internship training in a sports medicine related discipline before practicing in sports medicine.
From trainer or therapist to physician, the field of sports medicine offers a wide variety of dynamic career possibilities for students interested in athletics and exercise.
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