Clinical Experience Requirements
The athletic training Board of Certification (BOC) requirements, as well as the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) Standards for and Accreditation of a Professional Athletic Training Education Programs, state that a graduate of a CAATE accredited educational program, must complete an academic program, and clinical experiences in "no less than two years." The BOC no longer maintains a minimal clinical hour requirement, however four of the programs courses (HP 584, 585, 684, 685) have a substantial clinical requirement (Please see the "Notes" below). In effect, directly supervised clinical experiences where the student integrates clinical skills (psychomotor skills and clinical proficiencies) into the practical setting, must be accumulated each semester during the junior and senior years as requirements of the clinical courses listed above. The supervised clinical experiences of those graduating from an accredited program must be obtained in athletic training and clinical settings formally affiliated with this accredited program.
To be eligible to take the board examination, the BOC requires candidates to have graduated from a CAATE accredited athletic training program. As such, you are required to complete all didactic and clinical requirements of the program which includes the four clinical techniques courses (HP 584, 585, 684, 685). Requirements for these courses include clinical experiences under the direct supervision of a program "Preceptor" while gaining clinical experience "with a variety of different populations including genders, varying levels of risk, protective equipment (to minimally include helmets and shoulder pads), and medical experiences that address the continuum of care that would prepare a student to function in a variety of settings." As such, the student will gain clinical experience at local high schools, sports medicine clinics, family practice clinics, emergency care settings, and student health center, among others. These clinical experiences will be evaluated by your assigned preceptor and will constitute a part of your grade for each clinical course. Any course required for the program that is not completed, or passed with a grade of C or higher, must be repeated or the student will not graduate. In addition, athletic training students may not perform any clinical task for which s/he has not received formal classroom instruction and assessment.
During the first year of clinical experience, following formal admission into the program, the student will attend weekly clinical experiences, supervised by, and scheduled with, an preceptor as assigned by the program. This experience will include evening and weekend assignments but is limited to a maximum (average) of 25 hours per week during the academic year and a minimum of 15 hours per week. The student will be assigned three ten–week rotations per academic year (1.5 per semester) with various clinical instructors and involving a variety of collegiate sport settings, including rotations in the University Athletic Training Facility, and at a local high school. The students will be assigned both practice and game/event coverage. The anticipated experiences obtained by the students should include cognitive, psychomotor and affective skills in the prevention, recognition/evaluation, management/treatment, rehabilitation, organization/administration, and education/counseling of patients with injuries related to activity. It is during this year that the student will learn skills, be evaluated in class with oral–practical examinations, and begin utilizing these skills in the clinical setting under the direct supervision of clinical instructors.
During the second year of formal clinical experience, the student will attend weekly clinical experiences, supervised by, and scheduled with, an preceptor as assigned by the program. This experience will include evening and weekend assignments but is limited to a maximum (average) of 25 hours per week during the academic year and a minimum of 15 hours. The student will be assigned three ten–week rotations per academic year (1.5 per semester) with various clinical instructors and involving a variety of clinical, collegiate sport settings, including rotations in the University Athletic Training Facility, and at a local high school. The student will be assigned to a clinical instructor each rotation, and not to a specific sport or facility. This will include evening and weekend assignments and is limited to a maximum of 25 hours per week during the academic year. In turn, the student will gain exposures, under direct supervision, to patients that are involved in high–risk physical activity including equipment intensive, upper extremity and lower extremity intensive injury sports. These clinical experiences will include practice and game coverage, pre–event preparation, athletic training room coverage, clinical rotations, and a variety of clinical experiences. In addition, the second year clinical experience will involve a general medical and an orthopedic clinical experience at local health care facilities. The experiences obtained by each student will include cognitive, psychomotor and affective skills in the prevention, recognition/evaluation, management/treatment, rehabilitation, organization/administration, and education/counseling of injuries related to activity.
During this second year of clinical experiences, in conjunction with the clinical techniques courses, the student will be provided a clinical proficiencies assessment booklet, (there is an additional copy of this bookletin the ATS Handbook), and must have each of the clinical skills evaluated and signed by an approved clinical instructor (if satisfactorily completed) prior to the completion of the academic year. Please refer to the ATS program Requirements contract.
In addition, both the first and second year students are assessed by their respective preceptor during each clinical experience (this will occur twice each semester). Each assessment contains three major components 1) personal attributes of the student, 2) professional attributes of the student, and 3) overall clinical proficiencies commensurate with the student's level in the program. These assessments are also used in determining the clinical course grades.
Note: Clinical experiences in athletic training are a required component of the athletic training students' education and is the scheduling priority; outside work, outside activities, or obligations (other than personal or family related emergencies) will not be considered during the clinical scheduling process.
Note: Clinical experiences will take place during each weekday afternoons, evenings and weekends will also be required by the assigned clinical instructor based on the clinical experiences practice and competition schedule for that venue (within the 20 hour per week limit). The student is to have at least one day per week (Monday - Sunday) where no clinical experiences are assigned or obtained.
Note: The student bears the cost and responsibility of transportation to and from assigned clinical settings (e.g. travel to local clinics and high schools) as well as the cost of appropriate clothing as per program dress code. The student is not required to travel outside of Mankato/North Mankato city limits, at his/her own expense, for a clinical experience.