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ERIC Number: EJ1085333
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1947-380X
Supervising Athletic Trainers' Perceptions of Graduate Assistant Athletic Trainers' Professional Preparation
Thrasher, Ashley B.; Walker, Stacy E.; Hankemeier, Dorice A.; Pitney, William A.
Athletic Training Education Journal, v10 n4 p275-286 Oct-Dec 2015
Context: Recent debate has ensued regarding the readiness of newly credentialed athletic trainers (ATs) to function as independent clinicians. Some ATs believe the professional preparation of athletic training students is not adequate. Objective: To describe supervisors' perceptions regarding the preparation of college graduate assistants (GAs) to practice as independent practitioners. Design: Consensual qualitative research. Setting: Individual phone interviews. Patients or Other Participants: Twenty-one collegiate ATs who had supervised GAs in the collegiate setting for a minimum of 8 years (16 men, 5 women; years of supervision experience, 14.6 ± 6.6 years). Participants who met the inclusion criteria were recruited via e-mail from the Board of Certification database and through snowball sampling. Interviews were conducted until data saturation occurred. Main Outcome Measure(s): Data were collected via phone interviews, which were recorded and transcribed verbatim. Data were analyzed by a 4-person consensus team, who independently coded the data and compared ideas until consensus was reached and a codebook was created. Trustworthiness was established through member checks and multi-analyst triangulation. Results: Three themes emerged: (1) previous preparation, (2) shortcomings in GAs, and (3) suggestions for athletic training program improvement. Supervisors felt GAs were prepared academically, but there were some gaps in preparation, such as their ability to independently practice and their rehabilitation skills. Shortcomings were professional communication, role execution, and personality. Supervisors felt preparation could be improved by increasing time in clinical education, developing communication skills, and having increased experience with psychosocial intervention, rehabilitation, and nonorthopedic conditions. Conclusions: Didactic preparation of GAs is the best it has ever been, yet new ATs still need more experience while being mentored by experienced ATs. Professional programs could implement standardized patient experiences to provide opportunities for new ATs to practice in communication or in other areas of weakness.
National Athletic Trainers' Association. 2952 Stemmons Freeway Suite 200, Dallas, TX 75247. Tel: 214-637-6282; Fax: 214-637-2206; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A