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Is having athletic training experience helpful if I was interested in going into Physical Theraphy?

I will be starting college in the fall and pursuing an athletic training degree. When I graduate I will be a certified athletic trainer. I also have the option to go into Physical Therapy post-grad. I am wondering if it would be good to get some experience with my athletic training degree before going into PT school. Would there be a benefit to have some AT experience before going into PT school? #healthcare #physical-therapist #athletic-training #physical-trainer #physical-fitness

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Nicolas’s Answer

Absolutely! I completed my BS in athletic training at the University of Texas at Austin and am also going to apply for PT school in the near future. My top 2 classmates from my grade completed their BS in AT too and had automatic acceptance to UTMB for their Doctorate in PT. They told me they are ahead of the other people in their class because they got all their basics out of the way in their undergrad.
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Tammy’s Answer

Definitely! I received a degree in Health/Fitness Studies & Athletic Training at Baylor University, and was a student athletic trainer for 4 years. I did my internship at a Physical Therapy clinic, and decided that I prefer to work with athletes. I think it is great to see the types of people you will work with in these two different settings before you decide to continue your education with a Physical Therapy degree.
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James Constantine’s Answer

Dear Jordan,

The Advantages of Athletic Training Experience for Aspiring Physical Therapists

Gaining athletic training experience can be a game-changer for those aiming for a career in physical therapy. Here's why:

1. Practical Experience: Athletic training offers the golden opportunity to work directly with athletes and those recovering from sports injuries. This hands-on experience helps you hone vital skills in injury prevention, assessment, treatment, and rehabilitation - skills that are directly transferable to physical therapy.

2. Sports Injury Knowledge: As an athletic trainer, you'll learn to handle a broad spectrum of sports injuries, from sudden trauma to repetitive strain injuries. This expertise is a boon when moving into physical therapy, providing a strong grounding in musculoskeletal anatomy, biomechanics, and injury causation.

3. Teamwork in Healthcare: Athletic trainers frequently collaborate with other healthcare professionals, such as physical therapists, doctors, and coaches, to deliver all-round care for athletes. This team-based approach nurtures communication skills and teamwork, both of which are crucial for success in physical therapy.

4. Patient Care Skills: Working with athletes allows athletic trainers to gain experience in delivering patient-focused care, devising treatment plans, and tracking progress throughout the healing process. This experience cultivates empathy, communication skills, and clinical judgement, all of which are essential for a career in physical therapy.

5. Competitive Edge: Previous experience as an athletic trainer can give you an edge over other candidates when applying to physical therapy programs. Admissions panels often appreciate varied experiences and a robust background in healthcare-related fields, making athletic training experience a valuable advantage.

In essence, securing athletic training experience before embarking on a career in physical therapy can equip you with a robust foundation of knowledge and skills that will serve you well throughout your educational and professional journey.

Top 3 Credible References Used:

1. National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA): The NATA is a respected professional body that advocates for and supports athletic trainers nationwide. Their resources on education, certification prerequisites, and career paths in athletic training offer valuable insights.

2. American Physical Therapy Association (APTA): As a leading organization for physical therapists, the APTA provides information on education, licensing, practice guidelines, and professional development opportunities in the physical therapy field.

3. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy (JOSPT): The JOSPT is a peer-reviewed publication that features research articles and clinical practice guidelines related to orthopedic and sports physical therapy. It provides evidence-based information on the most effective rehabilitation and injury management practices.

God Bless!
James Constantine Frangos.
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