Clinical Education Policy
Clinical education is designed to present students with an opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills gained in the classroom in carefully selected and supervised practical situations. The clinical portion of the students’ education is housed within each of the Clinical Experiences courses (ATRG 2400, 2500, 3400, 3500, 4400, 4500). There are specific requirements, as mandated by CAATE and the BOC that students must achieve as part of those experiences. In addition to successfully completing the clinical portion of the course, students must also pass all psychomotor skills and clinical proficiencies assigned to each course in order to pass the course. All students involved in clinical education must be supervised at all times by a certified athletic trainer or designated clinical instructor.
The Clinical Coordinator, in conjunction with the athletic training faculty, determines all clinical assignments; it is the faculty’s goal to provide all students with similar experiences and opportunities. All students are given opportunities to experience several practice settings (i.e. collegiate, high school, clinical rehabilitation, various physician’s office settings) while gaining exposure to conditions that affect the upper and lower extremities, are equipment intensive, and include general medical/health conditions. Through this clinical education, students will develop and be evaluated by the athletic training faculty and approved clinical instructors on specific clinical competencies and proficiencies. These competencies and proficiencies are delineated by the level of the student.
During their tenure at Anderson University, students will be assigned to various clinical assignments and off-campus clinical affiliations. Clinical assignments are scheduled based on sport seasons, while off-campus clinical affiliations are based on the academic level of the student and scheduled around clinical assignments as best as possible. Generally, a student will be assigned 1-2 clinical assignments during the academic year. In addition, sophomore and junior ATS will participate in 1 off-campus clinical affiliation, while seniors will participate in 3 off-campus clinical affiliations. All students must complete a minimum of one clinical assignment per year. Students who may be involved in athletics or other education-based programs on campus may be required to complete an additional semester to fulfill the clinical education requirements.
While participating in clinical assignments, be involved! The student athlete is the reason we are here! When an athlete comes into the athletic training facility, find out what they need, then see that it is taken care of in the appropriate manner. All injuries should be reported and treatment discussed with a certified athletic trainer. Any taping, injury evaluation, treatment, or rehabilitation programs should be communicated with and performed under the supervision of a certified athletic trainer/clinical instructor. Take time to make sure that all treatments and rehabilitation programs are entered on the treatment log. It is your responsibility to observe and be involved with injury evaluations performed by the staff certified athletic trainers/clinical instructors to enable you to learn the skills. Ask questions at an appropriate time. When your clinical assignment involves Sports Medicine Center shifts, you should obtain a great deal of experience using the therapeutic modalities. It is your responsibility, not only learn how to administer all the various treatments, but also to understand the physiological basis of the treatment so that you may explain it to the student athlete. During periods of “down time,” it is expected that the student will practice injury evaluations and taping procedures, or be involved in administrative and maintenance duties (i.e. restock taping areas, clean equipment, reorganize cabinets, etc.).
All athletic training students (sophomores through seniors) are encouraged to limit their clinical education hours to average no more than 20 hours/week during the fall and spring semesters. Students should be granted at least one day off from clinical education in every 7 days during the academic semester. These clinical hours limits will be in effect while classes are in session and not during pre-season training or holidays. All attempts are made to have housing and meals paid by the university when the student is involved in clinical education during times when classes are not in session.
All students are responsible for transportation to and from all on- and off-campus clinical sites. Access to a vehicle is required, as most off-campus clinical sites are not accessible via public transportation. In addition, all students may incur some additional expenses related to clinical education in the form of clothing requirements and equipment needs.
The general policies are regulations for clinical assignments are as follows:
- All clinical assignments must be approved by the Athletic Training Education Program and be performed under the direct supervision of a certified athletic trainer or other clinical instructor for all activities.
- All clinical education hours must be documented; all ATS are required to save their clinical hours information on the form provided and stored in the computer.
- Generally, for athletic team practices, students should expect to arrive approximately 1 hour before the scheduled start of practice. This requirement is to ensure that all pre-practice needs are completed in sufficient time for the student to be on the field for the start of warm-up activities.
- Athletic training students should remain after practice to complete injury/treatment documentation, restock medical kits, complete athletic training facility maintenance tasks, and conduct post-practice treatments. The approximate time for after-practice activities is ½ hour, or when responsibilities are fulfilled. However, no student may leave the athletic training facility for the day without the permission of their supervising athletic trainer.
- Athletic training students who are traveling with a certified athletic trainer/athletic team to an away contest should be prepared to arrive ½ hour to 1 hour prior to the team’s departure time. Travel time should NOT be recorded in your record of clinical hours.
- During practice, athletic training students are expected to monitor all activities and perform only those clinical skills that have been previously evaluated in the classroom, laboratory, or Clinical Experiences course. These clinical activities may include, but not be limited to, providing water and ice as needed, administering first aid, performing injury evaluations, administration of therapeutic modalities, and conducting rehabilitation and reconditioning activities with patients.
- Athletic training students are expected to learn the rules and safety considerations for each sport with which they are working. It is the athletic trainer’s responsibility to prevent injuries from occurring, and by knowing the rules of a sport, an athletic trainer may be better able to prevent injury.
- Athletic training students are expected to attend all games, meetings, and practices as determined by the clinical instructor with whom they are assigned to and in accordance with the number of clinical hours obtained. Missing practices/events or arriving late to clinical assignments will not be tolerated! If an athletic training student is ill or must miss a practice or game, it is the student’s responsibility to contact the clinical instructor prior to the time of the scheduled event, in adequate time to allow substitute coverage to be established, and to gain permission to miss the clinical assignment that day.
- The Clinical Coordinator, your current clinical instructor, and your upcoming clinical instructor should be informed as to the dates of starting and ending of that clinical assignment. The ending date of the current clinical assignment will take priority over the starting date of a new clinical assignment. However, students assigned to an off-campus clinical affiliation while involved in a clinical assignment will be expected to participate in the off-campus clinical affiliation for the established time frame. Students who are engaged in off-campus clinical affiliations are not expected to attend any other clinical assignment during that time.
- Athletic training students should maintain daily injury records and perform administrative/record keeping task as assigned by the clinical instructor.
- Communication skills are vital to the success of the clinical assignment. The athletic training student is expected to regularly communicate the health status of the athlete with the clinical instructor, fellow athletic training students, and coach of that team (in compliance with HIPAA regulations).
- Athletic training students will be evaluated twice formally during the course of each clinical assignment. The mid-clinical assignment evaluation is designed to give the student feedback regarding his/her strengths and weaknesses, and allowing the student the opportunity for improvement. The end-clinical assignment evaluations are completed by the clinical instructor, with the final evaluation serving as a complete/incomplete component of the Clinical Experiences course. Successful completion of the clinical assignment is required.
- The use of drugs and/or alcohol will not be tolerated prior to or during any athletic training clinical assignments, including travel time, practice, and/or games. If there is suspicion of use, the student will be subjected to a formal inquiry from the Office of Student Life.
- Athletic training students are expected to behave and act as professionals at all times. Fraternization, dating, or other inappropriate behaviors with minors and/or student athletes at any of the high schools is unethical, illegal, and will not be tolerated by the Athletic Training Education Program. Violation of this policy will result in immediate removal from the clinical site and possible removal from the program. Fraternization with the student athletes on your team or patients under your care is strongly discouraged due to potential conflicts of interest.
- Athletic training students are expected to adhere to the rules and regulations established by Anderson University, the Athletic Training Education Program, the NATA Code of Ethics, the Department of Athletics, HIPAA, the NCAA, or other governing body of that clinical site.
- Athletic training students are expected to strictly follow all policies set forth in this handbook, as well as those specified by the clinical instructor(s).