Influence of clinical education models on professional socialization and commitment to athletic training

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Janah E. Fletcher (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Pamela Kocher Brown

Abstract: The clinical education experiences of athletic training students present the optimal environment for fostering professional socialization and improving professional preparation. It is in the clinical settings that students have the greatest opportunity to learn the norms, behaviors, culture, and ideology of athletic training. Currently, there is variation in the delivery of clinical education experiences among athletic training programs with some programs utilizing a clinical integration model in which students complete clinical rotations and courses concurrently, and others offering immersive experiences where students are in the clinical setting full-time with little or no concurrent coursework. However, the impact that the use of a clinical immersion model has on the socialization and development of professional commitment is still unknown. The aim of this study was to determine the influence of clinical immersion and clinical integration experiences in fostering professional socialization and professional commitment in athletic training students. Additionally, the study explored athletic training students’ views on the role of clinical experiences on their career goals and commitment. Study participants included 115 final year athletic training students enrolled in accredited athletic training programs at both the bachelor’s and master’s level in Districts Three and Four of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association. Participants completed an online survey that included measures of professional socialization and career commitment. The survey also identified participants’ career intentions as well as their attitudes and views of their clinical experiences. The results of the study indicate that there are no significant differences in professional socialization and career commitment between students that completed clinical integration experiences as compared to clinical immersion experiences. Open-ended response data revealed that athletic training students identify hands-on and autonomous experiences in addition to quality preceptors as indicators of positive clinical experiences and outcomes. This study adds to the previous research that has recognized the importance of clinical education and suggests that athletic training programs should place greater focus on the quality of the clinical experience and the individuals charged with teaching students, rather than the amount of time spent at the clinical rotation.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2019
Athletic training, Career commitment, Professional socialization
Physical education and training $x Study and teaching
Clinical medicine $x Study and teaching
Professional socialization
Commitment (Psychology)

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