Certified Athletic Therapists are best known for their quick-thinking on-field emergency care of professional and elite athletes. The first to respond when someone gets hurt, they are experts at injury assessment and rehabilitation. It’s that same mix of on-site care and active rehabilitation skills that makes Athletic Therapists so effective in treating the musculoskeletal (muscles, bones, and joints) injuries of all Canadians, whether on the field or in the clinic.
The scope of practice of a Certified Athletic Therapist starts with the in-depth knowledge, education and training in the areas of the human musculoskeletal system, exercise physiology, biomechanics, and basic emergency care. Within this, the scope of practice is divided into five practice domains: prevention, assessment, intervention, practice management and professional responsibility. These domains represent the core areas of competency that the CATA accredited institutions follow in educating Certification Candidates to become entry level, practicing Certified Athletic Therapists.
Athletic therapists adhere to the Sports Medicine Model of care. They treat a wide range of patients, from kids with concussions to seniors recovering from hip replacement surgery, using various manual therapies, modalities, exercise prescription and even bracing and taping. The treatment varies but the objective doesn’t: an Athletic Therapist’s goal is to help clients return to their usual activities, whether that means playing competitive sports or walking to the mailbox and back.