Clinical Education Experiences
Clinical education represents the athletic training students' formal acquisition, practice, and ACI evaluation of the Entry-Level Athletic Training Clinical Proficiencies through classroom, laboratory, and clinical education experiences under the direct supervision of an ACI or a clinical instructor. Formal evaluations of the application and integration of clinical proficiencies are completed by an ACI and may be in conjunction with additional clinical instructors. Part of clinical education is field experience, in which students have the opportunity to practice clinical proficiencies under the supervision of a clinical instructor. These experiences take place at an assigned clinical placement, one of which is with Truman State University sports' teams.
Students enroll in a series of six practicum courses throughout their education. Each practicum course is two credits and students complete a combination of clinical competency evaluations and 120 clinical hours throughout the course of the 15-week semester. The Athletic Training Practicum courses are designed to provide the student with observational and hands-on learning opportunities that correlate with the coursework for each semester. Each Practicum course contains a set of NATA Educational competencies that must be completed before progressing to the next level.
Clinical Education Policies and Procedures
Clinical education represents the athletic training students' formal acquisition, practice, and evaluation of the Entry-Level Athletic Training Clinical Proficiencies through classroom, laboratory, and clinical education experiences under the direct supervision of an ACI or a clinical instructor. The following are the policies and procedures that govern these learning opportunities.
Assignment of Clinical Experiences
The clinical experience assignments will be determined by the Program Director and/or Clinical Coordinator. Students are required to complete clinical experiences that involve all of the following: (1) upper extremity intensive, (2) lower body intensive, (3) equipment intensive, and (4) general medical. Assignments will be made prior to the start of each semester and students will be notified by email.
Requirements for Clinical Experiences
Each practicum has specific level dependent objectives that will be evaluated through the completion of clinical competencies, clinical hours, and assigned projects. To see the level objective for each practicum students can refer to either their practicum syllabi or the Level Dependent Skills posted on the program website.
Clinical competencies. Competencies are graded on a scale of 1-5. The first attempt on any competency is the only one that will count toward the final grade. Performance on competencies will contribute 60% of the final practicum grade. The student must repeat the performance for any grade lower than a 3. Students who, by the end of the semester, do not receive a 3 on every competency will not be allowed to enroll in the subsequent practicum. This will delay an individual’s progression in the program by one year. All competency grades will be recorded on the Athletic Training Student Assessment (ATSA) website. At the end of the semester, the ATSA proficiency record will be printed off and kept in the student’s file as evidence of successful completion of the practicum. Students should monitor and check the website frequency to verify that grades have been posted accurately.
Clinical Hours. Students are required to complete 120 hours of directed clinical experience during each of semester of the six practicum. Students are not allowed to obtain anymore than 20 hours per week, as outlined by federal guidelines for student work study. It is the responsibility of the student to meet with their assigned ACI to develop a schedule for these hours. The experience must be documented on the ATSA website and endorsed by your Clinical Instructor. The hours log on the ATSA website must be completed every month. All hours are due by the last day of the semester. Students with less than 120 hours will fail the course. Students are encouraged to keep hard copies of their hours for their own record. At the end of each semester ATSA hours logs are printed off and keep in students’ permanent program file.
Project. Each practicum will contain a relevant and level appropriate project that will be completed by the end of the semester. The nature of the project is left to the discretion of the practicum instructor. The project will constitute 10% of the final practicum grade.
Assessment of Clinical Experiences
Athletic Training Student Evaluations (ATSE): The supervising ACI/CI will assess the students’ performance of level dependent proficiencies and professional behavior factors. This assessment will take place at mid-term and then two weeks prior to the end of the semester. It is the responsibility of the student to schedule appointments with the ACI/CI to sit down and discuss the evaluations as well as any other concerns or issues. The student will be asked to also think of specific goals they have for the semester in terms of their clinical education. The score on the level-dependent portion of the second evaluation will contribute to 30% of the final grade for the practicum. ACI/CIs will complete the evaluation on the ATSA website, print it off, and then following the feedback meeting both the ACI/CI and student will sign and date the assessment. The student should receive a copy of the evaluation for their records and the signed copy should be submitted to the Program Director. All clinical instructor evaluations are kept in students’ permanent program file.
ACI and Clinical Site Evaluations: Student will be required to complete an evaluation of their supervising ACI and their primary clinical site at the end of each practicum. Completion of these evaluations fulfills both CAATE requirements for the ATEP and the program’s responsibility to provide students with the best possible experiences. Students’ timely and thoughtful completions of these evaluations is expected and appreciated.
Scheduling of Practicum Experiences
Students are expected to coordinate with their supervising CI what times each week they will be performing their practicum hours. These hours should occur during the scheduled times either the clinic is open or the team is practicing/playing, which ever applies. Students doing their general medical practicum will schedule times with the CIs at their assigned general medical site. The following two rules apply to scheduling of observation hours:
1. No student may engage in more than 20 clinical hours in any given week.
2. Students must have at least one weekday off in their weekly schedule.
If students are unable to make their scheduled practicum times due to illness or family emergency, they are to contact their supervising ACI/CI and inform them of their absence prior to their scheduled time. Absences from scheduled hours could result in deductions from the student’s practicum grade. Students are expected to manage their time in a responsible manner to be at their scheduled practicum times.
Traveling as Part of Clinical Experiences
In compliance with the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education, clinical experiences must be under the direct supervision of an approved clinical instructor or clinical instructor. The only instance in which a student is allowed to travel with a team would be under the direct supervision of an approved clinical instructor or clinical instructor. Traveling with teams to away competitions is not a requirement for clinical experiences and is provided as learning opportunities when an approved clinical instructor is traveling. Students who are interested in engaging in travel experiences should express their interest to their supervising ACI.
Traveling is a privilege for athletic training students and the ACI and program director/clinical coordinator have the discretion to allow or disallow students from traveling with teams at any given point. Students who are found to not conduct themselves in a professional and responsible manner will be denied travel privileges. Any suspected occurrence of inappropriate or unprofessional behavior by students while traveling will be investigated and documented by the program director and/or clinical coordinator and determine if suspension of travel privileges is warranted.
Grievance Policy for Clinical Experiences
The following steps are intended to resolve an apparently irresolvable problem that has occurred within the context of the student’s clinical experience. Any athletic training student who wishes to bring forth a grievance relative to the decisions made or operations or philosophies of the ATEP should follow the following steps:
1. The first option to solving a grievance is to directly address the person(s) or situation(s) causing the grievance.
2. If the problem is not satisfactorily solved, a written description of the problem and the attempts to resolve the problem will be presented to the administrators of the ATEP according to the following chain of command:
a. Clinical Instructor (i.e., ACI or CI)
b. Director of the ATEP
c. Exercise Science Department Chairperson
d. Dean of the School of Health Sciences and Education
e. Vice President for Academic Affairs
Truman State University
Athletic Training Education Program
Clinical Supervision Policy
In an effort to provide our students the highest quality clinical experiences and to maintain the quality and standards set forth by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) the following policies will apply to all supervision of clinical experiences.
Athletic training students must be provided direct supervision by a qualified approved clinical instructor (ACI) or clinical instructor (CI) during all regularly scheduled clinical learning opportunities.
Assignment of clinical supervision experiences must ensure that no ACI or CI supervises more than 8 athletic training students at one time.
ACIs or CIs must be physically present and within verbal communication distance at all times when a student is engaging in clinical experiences. If an ACI or CI is not physically present and within communication distance to the student, the student may not engage in clinical activities with patients.
The supervising ACI or CI must be able to intervene on behalf of the athletic training student to provide on-going and consistent education.
The ACI or CI will provide consistent supervision to the student(s) by giving timely verbal feedback and physical demonstration of developmentally appropriate competencies and proficiencies.
ACI(s) or CI(s) will maintain regularly planned communication with the Athletic Training Education Program to report on student performance and continuing education issues and policies regarding clinical education.