Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is an athletic trainer?
According to the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (www.nata.org) an athletic trainer is an appropriately credentialed and licensed individual who collaborates with other health care providers such as physicians to optimize the activity and participation of patients and clients. Athletic trainers have skills in prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of acute and chronic medical conditions and injuries that result in impairment, loss of function or disability. Athletic trainers are also qualified to handle emergencies that result because of acute or chronic medical conditions or injuries.
2. How is an athletic trainer different from a personal trainer?
Athletic Trainers are required to complete a Bachelor’s Degree and pass a standardized examination while personal trainers may or may not have a Bachelor degree and do not have any national standard requirements at this time. Personal trainers can, however, acquire a variety of professional certifications. Athletic trainers are qualified to evaluate, diagnose, treat and rehabilitate a variety of acute and chronic conditions typically coordinating care with physicians and other health care professional while personal trainers focus on assessing clients’ physical fitness needs and developing programs that address the clients’ goals. Athletic trainers can work in a variety of settings including colleges, high schools, clinics and hospitals while personal trainers typically work in health clubs and wellness centers.
For more information: http://www.nata.org/sites/default/files/AT-Not-Trainer.pdf
3. Does applying to Hofstra University and declaring my major as Athletic Training allow me to ultimately graduate with an athletic training degree?
No. While declaring as an athletic training major as early as possible will help make sure you’re enrolled in the correct courses simply declaring your major does not guarantee you the ability to graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training. Upon your enrollment at Hofstra University you will complete course work that is part of the Pre-Athletic Training Phase of the major. During this time you will complete an application to petition for acceptance into the Professional Athletic Training Phase. Upon acceptance into this phase you can graduate from Hofstra University with a Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training.
4. Can I be an athlete and be an athletic training major?
Yes. The Athletic Training Education Program at Hofstra University will admit all students who meet the admissions criteria until all available slots are filled. We feel it is important not to exclude athletes from the profession of athletic training because of the experiences they bring with them into the classroom and clinical setting. While each athlete’s situation is different, every effort will be made to accommodate, within reason, any athlete who wishes to major in Athletic Training. The student-athlete must have good time management skills in order to handle the progressive increase in clinical experience hours and be able to prioritize key degree requirements along with your athletic team expectations.
5. Is acceptance into the Professional Athletic Training Phase competitive?
Yes. All interested Pre-Athletic Training Phase (Level 1) students must complete an application to be considered for admission into the Professional Athletic Training Phase of the Athletic Training Education Program. Should the number of qualified applicants exceed the number of available program slots those students ranked highest based on the application scoring system will be admitted first. Those students who do not meet the application requirements will be advised of his/her options and alternative majors.
6. What sorts of things will I learn and be qualified to do as an athletic trainer?
As an athletic training student you will need to develop a strong background in anatomy and physiology, with a particular focus on musculoskeletal anatomy and physiology. This background information will allow you to acquire skills in prevention, physical evaluation, treatment and rehabilitation of a variety of acute and chronic injuries and conditions. Students will become proficient in the application of therapeutic modalities, manual therapy techniques and rehabilitative exercise as well as first aid techniques, taping techniques and equipment fitting concepts.
7. When do I begin completing clinical experience hours as part of the athletic training major?
All Pre-Athletic Training Phase students will complete a minimum of 40 observation hours as part of PESP 169 during the spring semester. Upon entrance into the Professional Athletic Training Phase students begin clinical experience hours immediately and continue to gain an increasing amount of clinical experience hours throughout your remaining semesters until graduation.
8. Can I work while completing my degree requirements, especially my clinical experiences?
Yes, if you have good time management skills. It will be much easier to have a job or other outside commitments during the Pre-Athletic Training Phase and during the first year of the Professional Athletic Training Phase where the clinical education hour commitments are fewer. Once admitted into the Professional Athletic Training Phase students are required to complete 100 contact hours per semester, but that requirement increases to 150 hours and then finally 200 hours per semester as a senior athletic training student. Anyone wishing to work or coordinate other non-academic commitments must be sure to prioritize your educational requirements and schedule other commitments accordingly.
9. What type of clinical experiences are available to me?
Students will have the opportunity to complete a variety of clinical experiences while enrolled in the ATEP. A significant portion of your clinical experiences occur on-campus at Hofstra University with a variety of athletic teams. Additional experiences are available with other local colleges as well as area high schools, physical therapy clinics, medical offices and local professional sports teams. For those with a particular interest in football there are opportunities to gain experience at other local colleges and high schools given that Hofstra does not currently have a varsity football program.
10. Will all clinical experience hours be completed here at Hofstra University?
No. As a graduation and program requirement all students must complete at least one off-campus clinical experience. This requirement is addressed by your enrollment in PESP 195 as a senior. So, as a minimum, 200 hours of your total 1000 hour requirement will be completed at an off-campus affiliated site. For students with particular interests unable to be met at Hofstra University other clinical education courses can be scheduled off-campus at one of our affiliated clinical sites.
11. When traveling off-campus to my clinical experience am I required to provide my own transportation?
Yes. Any student traveling off-campus for his/her clinical experience must provide his/her own transportation. For those students who do not have a vehicle there are public transportation options as well as a Zipcar® program here at Hofstra University that may be beneficial to you.
12. When am I eligible to sit for the Board of Certification Examination?
Students are eligible to site for the Board of Certification Examination on the test date that falls closest to their anticipated graduation date, but not after. In other words, seniors who are scheduled to graduate in May would be allowed to sit for the examination in April, prior to their graduation.
For more information regarding the exam please go to: www.bocatc.org
13. Where can I work once I have earned my degree and passed the Board of Certification Examination?
Athletic Trainers work in a variety of settings. The traditional settings are colleges, high schools, professional sports and physical therapy clinics. As the profession grows athletic trainers are working in a variety of other settings including the military, performing arts, public safety (police and fire fighters) and physician extenders. The options for where you can work once you’ve graduated are continually expanding and are only limited by your imagination.
For more information on specific job settings please go to: http://www.nata.org/athletic-training/job-settings
14. Can I prepare to complete an advance degree in a related health care field while completing my athletic training degree requirements?
Yes. If you are aware early enough in your progress through the Athletic Training Education Program that you may have an interest earning an advanced degree in a related health care field such as physical therapy, physician assistant, physician or nursing it may be possible to utilize your unspecified general education requirements (such as your 12 liberal arts elective credits) to help you meet the application requirements for your given degree or program. The Athletic Training Education Program makes no guarantee that all application requirements will be met as part of the requirements for your undergraduate degree, but every effort will be made to help minimize the number of requirements a student may need complete outside the typical curriculum as long as the student notifies the ATEP of his/her intention to pursue an advanced degree in a related field in a timely fashion.