Clinical education experiences within the profession of athletic training serve to provide invaluable experiences and contacts that will enhance the student's educational process. Clinical experiences provide students with opportunities to practice and integrate the cognitive learning, with the associated psychomotor skill requirements of the profession, to develop entry-level clinical proficiency and professional behavior as an Athletic Trainer as defined the by the NATA Educational Competencies (CAATE Standards).
Students are assigned an average of 15-20 hours/week of clinical experience to provide a semester average of 225-300 hours. The intent of these clinical rotations is to allow students to gain hands-on experiences associated with a variety of populations including individual and team sports; sports requiring protective equipment (e.g., helmet and shoulder pads); patients of different sexes; non-sport patient populations (e.g., outpatient clinic, emergency room, primary care office, performing arts, military); a variety of conditions other than orthopedics (e.g., primary care, internal medicine, dermatology).
Some of the clinical rotations may be semester-long or short in length (mini-rotations), but this is to provide a variety of experiences over the 2-year program. These clinical hours and clinical experiences are part of academic courses (ATTR 651, ATTR 652, 653, 655 and 656) for which students receive academic credit.
At times, students will be assigned to clinical experiences at agencies outside of Texas A&M University. Students are expected to provide their own transportation to clinical sites and incur the cost of mileage.
Also, these agencies may require a criminal background check and a drug screening before clinical experiences. Students who are prevented from attending clinical experiences due to the results of the background check and or drug screening will be prevented from progressing in the MSAT program.
Clinical Rotation Plan and Schedule
Students are assigned to their preceptors and clinical sites by the clinical education coordinator (CEC) based on a rotation schedule through the various experience categories as well as such considerations as the student’s strengths and weaknesses, career interests and goals, and prior experience. Students are asked for their three top clinical rotation preferences (i.e., three wishes) which the CEC will take into consideration when planning a student’s clinical assignment.
Additional factors, such as availability of preceptors and physical capacity of the site, are also considered in the assignment of students to clinical rotation sites. The general rotation schedule can be seen below.
Depending on the competitive season for the sport, students may end a rotation before the end of a semester and begin another rotation before the beginning of the next semester, (i.e., basketball experience). Rotations may also continue over school breaks (winter, spring, etc.), or beyond the regular academic semester (i.e., August pre-season football, soccer, cross country and May-June post-season softball, baseball, track, etc.).
Clinical Experience Categories
|INDIVIDUAL SPORTS||TEAM SPORTS||PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT (TAMU OR HS)||MALE PATIENTS (TAMU OR HS)||FEMALE PATIENTS (TAMU OR HS)||NON-SPORT PATIENT POPULATIONS||NON-ORTHOPEDIC CONDITIONS||PEDIATRIC OR ADOLESCENTS|
|Track and Field||Basketball||Football||Football||Soccer||Emergency Room||TAMU Primary Care Physicians||HS Sports|
|Cross Country||Volleyball||Basketball||Volleyball||Surgical Observation||Central Texas Sports Medicine & Orthopedics||Central Texas Sports Medicine & Orthopedics|
|Swimming and Diving||Football||Baseball||Track and Field||Texas A&M Dance Science Program||Brazos Valley Sports Medicine||Brazos Valley Sports Medicine|
|Tennis||Baseball||Track and Field||Cross Country||Central Texas Sports Medicine & Orthopedics|
|Equestrian||Softball||Cross Country||Swimming and Diving||Brazos Valley Sports Medicine|
|Golf||Soccer||Swimming and Diving||Basketball||Aggie Corps of Cadets|