ERIC Number: EJ1044366
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 21
Factors Influencing Athletic Training Students' Perceptions of the Athletic Training Profession and Career Choice
Benes, Sarah S.; Mazerolle, Stephanie M.
Athletic Training Education Journal, v9 n3 p104-112 Jul-Sep 2014
Context: Successful athletic training programs should help students develop a desire to work within the athletic training profession while providing adequate preparation for them to enter the workforce. Understanding athletic training students' perceptions of the profession as they leave programs and the factors that influence these perceptions is critical in ensuring retention of graduating students in the field. Objective: To examine senior athletic training students' [SATSs] attitudes, opinions, and perceptions of the athletic training profession and to gain insight into the factors that influence their career choice. Design: Qualitative study. Setting: Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education-accredited athletic training education programs. Patients or Other Participants: A total of 26 SATSs (7 men, 19 women) who graduated in 2011. Main Outcome Measure(s): We collected data using semistructured phone interviews and implemented a grounded theory approach to analyze the data. We used member checks and multiple-analyst triangulation strategies to establish the trustworthiness of the data. Results: The SATSs reported positive and negative perceptions about the profession within 2 major categories: (1) aspects of the profession and (2) public understanding of the profession. "Aspects of the profession" was described by long hours/schedule, low salary, family conflict issues, future of the profession, dynamism of the profession, and profession people enjoy. The "Public understanding of the profession" was articulated by public misconception and a lack of respect for the profession. Factors that influence their perceptions are related to prior experience with athletic training/sports, clinical experiences, and interaction with athletic training professionals. Conclusions: The SATSs have developed positive and negative perceptions about the profession through their professional preparations. These are influenced by their progression through the program wherein they develop confidence and feel prepared to enter the workforce with a better understanding of and passion for the profession.
Descriptors: Career Choice, College Athletics, Performance Factors, Student Attitudes, Professional Development, Opinions, Qualitative Research, Accreditation (Institutions), Outcome Measures, Graduate Surveys, Grounded Theory, Semi Structured Interviews, Training Methods, Scheduling, Salary Wage Differentials, Professional Identity, Family Characteristics, Physical Education, Participant Satisfaction
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A