Clinical Education is a vital part of fulfilling the University of Utah Athletic Training Program’s mission of providing a “student-focused healthcare curriculum” to develop highly qualified athletic trainers that “practice in a wide variety of settings and become effective members of a healthcare team.” Through clinical education, students will progress their clinical skills and decision making from a novice learner to a competent entry-level athletic training practitioner.
Clinical Education, which includes athletic training and supplemental clinical experiences, is scheduled for students to develop in a variety of athletic training practice settings and with an array of patient populations. Students will engage in early clinical part-time experiences to solidify foundational clinical skills and full-time internships to refine clinical decision-making skills. In the final full-time internship, the student is expected to integrate all knowledge and skills learned in the classroom, laboratory, and prior clinical experiences achieving entry-level performance and behaviors. Students must exhibit a satisfactory level of performance for each clinical education course to progress in the Athletic Training Program.
Clinical Education Internship Sites
Clinical site selection and development is the responsibility of the Coordinator of Clinical Education (CCE). Clinical sites are selected based on their philosophy of clinical education, the unique opportunities offered to students, and the clinical expertise or experience of the preceptors. Clinical education preceptors must have at least 1-year of experience to oversee part-time experiences and 3-years of experience to oversee full-time internships. Preceptors must also attend the Athletic Training Program Annual Preceptor Training and be constantly actively engaged with the program.
The Coordinator of Clinical Education makes all clinical education assignments. At a minimum, students will be assigned to the following clinical education settings:
- Secondary school
- Clinic and hospital
The Coordinator of Clinical Education may also assign students to professional and Olympic sports, performing arts, occupational and industrial, and military or first responder settings.
We thank all of the great preceptors that facilitate quality clinical education!
Clinical Performance Feedback and Reflection
Clinical education is an important part of student development into a competent and proficient entry-level athletic training practitioner. Clinical preceptors, faculty, and students will reflect and provide feedback through the students’ entire clinical education. The Athletic Training Program will use the AT Milestones and program developed competency assessments to give feedback to and solicit reflection from students.
Student Requirements and Expectations
Before attending a clinical site, students must complete all pre-clinical site requirements which may include but is not limited to, immunizations, HIPAA training, BBP training, background, and drug screening. The Coordinator of Clinical Education will specify the required pre-clinical requirements to students well before the start of clinical assignments. Students will complete a clinical site orientation before starting their clinical education at a site.
Students must be engaged at the clinical site to achieve the full benefits of clinical education. Students should conduct themselves professionally. Students are expected to follow the schedule set by their preceptor to ensure maximum patient encounters and learning. The schedule may take a variety of formats based on the clinical site and learning opportunities. Students may not dictate their scheduled clinical hours. Tardiness will not be tolerated. Planned absence must be first approved by the CCE before addressing the preceptor.
Student Expenses for Clinical Education
The unique nature of clinical education does require students to allocate additional funds beyond tuition and fees to cover this requirement within the curriculum. Examples of additional costs may include but are not limited to, parking, travel, relocation and/or housing expenses (for out of area internships).
The majority of clinical sites can and will occur in the greater Salt Lake City area. Students may indicate their preference to be assigned to a clinical education site outside the greater Salt Lake City area or the State of Utah. If there are not enough in-state sites to fulfill student needs, then students may be placed outside the state. It is the students’ responsibility to allocate additional funds for clinical education, even for long-distance site assignments.
We highly recommend students do not maintain employment during clinical education courses but realize that may not be possible or realistic. Depending on the location and/or hours of the clinical experience, the student may need to adjust employment hours. If employment hours conflict with facility hours, the student will be expected to forfeit or change employment hours. The student should not request to leave early or request the clinical site to alter hours around employment demands.
Registration and Tuition
The student must register for all clinical experiences and internships. The student is responsible to acquire all necessary information and register prior to all University deadlines. Students should pay close attention to the University calendar and deadlines, as the standard University schedule is modified in order to accommodate the clinical internships. Registration is required in order to maintain full-time student status for professional liability and financial aid. Until registered, the student will not be able to participate in either part-time experiences or full-time internships.