This March is the 16th annual National Athletic Training Month. National Athletic Training Month is a time to celebrate, recognize, and bring awareness to the services that athletic trainers provide. The UNLV Athletic Training Staff is celebrating by stepping into the spotlight, which they steadily avoid, to bring information about the field and department.
Athletic Trainers are unique healthcare professionals who collaborate with physicians to provide optimal care to athletes and patients for sport and life. Athletic Trainers are highly trained in the prevention, examination, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of acute and chronic musculoskeletal injuries. Traditionally, Athletic Trainers provided services to university, high school, and professional venues; however, due to the versatility of athletic training education, services have been extended to hospitals, rehabilitation clinics, physicians’ offices, industry, military, and the performing arts settings.
Athletic training education is governed by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE). In order to become an athletic trainer, students must participate in an CAATE approved education program then sit for the nationally certifying Board of Certification Exam. Once nationally certified, most states require Athletic Trainers to become licensed. Traditionally, athletic training education is a bachelor’s degree with greater than 70% completing a master’s degree, post certification. However, upcoming changes to the educational requirements will mandate all programs become entry-level master’s programs by 2021.
The Athletic Training Department at UNLV consists of five full-time staff members: Assistant Athletic TrainerBernie Chavies, Director of Sports Medicine Dave Tomchek, Assistant Athletic Trainer Rachael Waddle, Assistant Athletic Director of Sports Medicine/Head Athletic Trainer Kyle Wilson, and Assistant Athletic Trainer Geoff Zonn. Additional support comes from eight graduate interns: Courtney Alley, Kylee Bundschuh, Kathleen Duncanson, Tyler Ellwein, Ashley Figaro, Kyle Lessard, Addie Lucci, andSamantha Reynolds, who along with providing care to their athletes are completing graduate school. This 12 person team predominantly operates and provides care out of the Lied Athletic Complex, which houses a rehab room, rehab pool, cold whirlpool, warm whirlpool, and treatment room. Together, they provides exceptional care to the athletes of UNLV. Be on the lookout this month for more information regarding the athletic trainers at UNLV.