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Physical Education, Sport, & Human Performance

Athletic Training

Clinical Experience Policies and Guidelines

Clinical experience is a key factor in the development of an athletic training student’s skills. Research indicates that up to 30% of a student’s knowledge is obtained in the clinical setting. For a student to gain the most from clinical experience, he/she should have complimentary didactic course work prior to or concurrent with the clinical exposure. Students are required to enroll in a clinical experience course each semester that they are enrolled in the WU-ATEP. The clinical experiences are designed to allow the student the opportunity to move from classroom theory and laboratory practice to application of skills with actual athletes/patients.

Each athletic training student is assigned to a particular clinical instructor for a specified amount of time in an effort to increase the opportunities for the student to work on specific clinical skills and receive consistent feedback and correction. Such assignment allows the clinical supervisor to measure the student’s skill development over time. While each semester has a particular clinical focus, it is recognized that review of skills and information gained in previous experiences will occur each semester.

CAATE requires that the educational process for athletic training students includes clinical experiences with a variety of populations both male and female, varying levels of risk, protective equipment intensive, and general medical. Equipment intensive experience is gained with outstanding certified athletic trainer supervisors working with local high school football programs or at Wofford College. General medical exposure is obtained during rotations at the Winthrop University student health services, Piedmont Family Practice, OrthoCarolina, and Palmetto Rehabilitation Specialists. All other experiences are obtained with certified athletic trainers at Winthrop University or at a local high school.

Clinical Experience Courses

Clinical Observations (ATRN 201) is typically taken concurrently with Assessment of Athletic Injuries and Illnesses: Lower Extremity (ATRN 310, 311). This is usually taken during the semester a student is applying for admission to the WU-ATEP. The student will be working on assessment and recognition of lower extremity injuries and skills appropriate to caring for such injuries. The clinical experiences involve “rotations” among a variety of sport settings and in both the collegiate and high school traditional athletic training setting. This clinical experience is designed to allow the student to verify that he/she wants to pursue athletic training as a profession and to provide him/her an opportunity to observe several certified athletic trainer role models.

Clinical Experiences I (ATRN 202) is typically taken during the spring semester concurrently with Assessment of Athletic Injuries and Illnesses: Upper Extremity (ATRN 320, 321) and Therapeutic Modalities for Athletic Training (ATRN 350, 351). This is taken during the student’s first semester of formal admission in the WU-ATEP. The student will be learning assessment and recognition of upper extremity and cervical spine injuries and skills appropriate to caring for such injuries. The student will alsoapply the knowledge gained with therapeutic modalities to the care of male and female athletes. The student will be assessed for proficiency in basic taping and wrapping skills and in lower extremity assessment and recognition skills. The clinical instructor for this experience is a certified athletic trainer at Winthrop University or a local high school.

Clinical Experiences II (ATRN 301) is typically taken during the fall or spring semester of the junior year. If it is taken during the fall, it is concurrent with Assessment of Athletic Injuries and Illnesses: Head, Trunk, and Spine (ATRN 330, 331), Medical Aspects of Sport (ATRN 563), and Capstone in Athletic Training Lab (ATRN 481). If it is taken during the spring, it is concurrent with Therapeutic Exercise and Rehabilitation for Athletic Training (ATRN 450, 451) and Special Topics in Physical Education: Strength Training and Conditioning (PHED 465). The student will be assessed for proficiency in the selection and use of therapeutic modalities and in upper extremity and cervical spine assessment and recognition skills. The clinical instructor for this experience is a certified athletic trainer at Winthrop University or a local high school.

Clinical Experiences III (ATRN 302) is typically taken during the fall or spring semester of the junior year. If it is taken during the fall, it is concurrent with Assessment of Athletic Injuries and Illnesses: Head, Trunk, and Spine (ATRN 330, 331), Medical Aspects of Sport (ATRN 563), and Capstone in Athletic Training Lab (ATRN 481). If it is taken during the spring, it is concurrent with Therapeutic Exercise and Rehabilitation for Athletic Training (ATRN 450, 451) and Special Topics in Physical Education: Strength Training and Conditioning (PHED 465). The student will be assessed for proficiency in head, trunk and spine assessment and recognition skills, including general medical skills. The course may include experiences in the Winthrop University Student Health Center, Piedmont Family Practice Center, OrthoCarolina, and Palmetto Rehabilitation Specialists. The clinical instructors for this experience are physicians, registered nurse practitioners, physical therapists and certified athletic trainers in various medical settings.

Clinical Experiences IV (ATRN 401) is typically taken during the fall semester of the senior year. It is concurrent with Capstone in Athletic Training (ATRN 480). The student will apply knowledge gained in administrative areas to the care of male and female athletes. The student will be assessed for proficiency in head and trunk evaluations, strengthening and rehabilitation techniques, and fitting and maintenance of protective equipment. The clinical instructor for this experience is a certified athletic trainer at a local high school or Wofford College.

Clinical Experiences V (ATRN 402) is typically taken during the spring semester of the senior year and is the student’s final semester in the ATEP. There is no other athletic training course work taken during this semester. This semester allows the student an opportunity to develop weak areas of skill and knowledge and to polish strong areas in preparation for the BOC Certification Exam. The student will be reassessed for proficiency in all clinical areas which have been evaluated in the previous clinical experience courses. The clinical instructor for this experience is a certified athletic trainer at Winthrop University or a high school.