Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between “sports medicine” and “athletic training?”

  • Sports medicine refers generically to a broad field of medical practice related to physical activity.  There are many health care professionals that practice under the “umbrella” of sports medicine.  Athletic training is considered a specialization under this broad health care field.

What are Certified Athletic Trainers?

  • Certified Athletic Trainers are unique health care professionals who specialize in the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of injuries and illnesses.

Where do Certified Athletic Trainers work?

  • Certified Athletic Trainers work in a number of settings which include: secondary schools, college & universities, professional sports, sports medicine clinics, corporate/industrial settings, military and more.

Is “athletic training” the same as “personal training?”

  • No, athletic training is not the same profession as personal training. In fact these two professions are quite different. Athletic training is a specialization in sports medicine used to prevent, diagnose, treat, and rehabilitate sports related injuries; while personal training is a professional who is hired to help people gain muscle or lose weight.

What does the Athletic Training Student Internship (ATSI) require from the students?

  • The ATSI requires dedication and responsibility. The internship is designed to prepare students to transfer to a 4-year institute with the basic knowledge necessary for entry to an accredited athletic training education program.

Does the athletic training staff travel with sports?

  • We travel to all Football events and to institutes that do not have a Certified Athletic Trainer. There is also travel privileges for deserving students based on sport request, experience level and staff size.

What kind of interaction do athletic training students have with the athletes?

  • Our primary interaction with athletes is on a professional level and often occurs after an injury. Although we do get to know our diverse population of athletes on a personal level, it is important to maintain a separation of professional to personal relationships. This allows for proper care of situations and injuries without any emotional involvement or distractions.

Is prior knowledge of “athletic training” required before joining the ATSI?

  • No, it’s not necessary, but some knowledge does help in succeeding. The internship provides a lot of hands –on experience and education that will help in learning the proper techniques for evaluation, treatments and rehabilitation.

Is there any courses recommended to take while participating in the ATSI?

  • Yes, the college offers an Intro to Athletic Training/ Sports Medicine (PE7) class. This course helps the student be able to recognize and understand the injuries and the treatments that they will inevitably see in the Sports Medicine Center. Anatomy (BIO 20) and Physiology (BIO 21) are also recommended, as these courses provide a much deeper understanding of the human body and its processes. Basic Nutrition (FN 2) and Health & Wellness (HLTH 2) are recommended as well.

What should athletic training students obtain after completion of the ATSI that they can take with them to a 4-year university?

  • By the end of the internship, students should be able to properly utilize athletic tape and wraps to support injured body parts, along with the skills and knowledge to evaluate an injury using the H.O.P.S. method (History, Observation, Palpation, Special Tests). Students are also taught proper work ethic and the importance of teamwork.

How long does it take to become a Certified Athletic Trainer?

  • On average it takes four years to fulfill all requirements to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Athletic Training. Usually that can be accomplished with two years at Butte College fulfilling lower division GE requirements and two years at an accredited 4-year institute that offers and athletic training education program. Once a degree is obtained, the next step is to take and pass the exam administered by the NATABOC.

What types of injury care will students have learned at the end of their internship?

  • The students will know how to provide immediate care and first aid to an athlete, along with the proper application of different modalities for various types of injuries. Students will be able to assist in the rehabilitation of acute and chronic injuries as well as post surgical rehabilitation.  Soft tissue mobilization, edema and friction massage are a few of the different massage techniques performed on the athletes for management of an injury.

Can athletic training students play a sport while in the program?

  • Yes, playing a sport is possible as long as the coach and Sports Medicine Coordinator are in agreement with the necessary time needed for success in the ATSI. The student-athlete will have more time to observe and gain experience during the off season of their chosen sport. The sports medicine staff is reasonable with the scheduled hours and collaborates with the student-athlete to create a successful experience.

Are there scholarships available for Athletic Training Students?

  • Yes, there are some scholarships available for deserving students. The Far West Athletic Trainers’ Association provides many scholarships, which can be viewed on their website;  The National Athletic Trainers’ Association also provides scholarships annually, for those who are members of the NATA and choose to apply.



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