Clinical Experience Policy
Clinical education is a fundamental learning experience of the Alfred University Athletic Training Program (AU ATP). The clinical experience component of the program was designed with the purpose of assigning students to preceptors and sites that will be most beneficial for learning and practicing skills associated with clinical proficiencies. The intent of this policy is to create a uniform framework for all athletic training students to be held to the same standards and guidelines regarding their clinical education.
Clinical education for students formally admitted to the AU ATP is a minimum of 6 semesters (unless approved otherwise by the Program Director). All Athletic Training Students must be enrolled in a clinical experience course and are required to obtain the minimum number of clinical hours as set by the Athletic Training Program at Alfred University. All athletic training students will be informed of the programmatic hour requirement for each semester and associated clinical experience course prior to admission into the ATP. These clinical experiences provide each student with opportunity to earn academic course credit while observing, practicing, or demonstrating the knowledge, skills, and/or clinical abilities instructed within the didactic portion of the AU ATP.
Appropriate clinical education experiences will be assigned by the Clinical Education Coordinator and approved by the Program Director. All clinical education experiences are supervised by a preceptor (certified athletic trainer or physician) who is specifically trained on the policies and procedures of the AU ATP. Examples of acceptable clinical experiences may be but are not limited to: covering on and off campus practices, participating in on and off campus athletic events, assisting with treatments and rehabilitation of Alfred University athletes, helping administer pre-participation physical examinations for Alfred University athletes, speaking with various outside groups about the profession of athletic training, and other duties assigned by a Preceptor. When necessary, simulation experiences may also be developed and implemented as a component of clinical education. The objective of these unique experiences is to present the student with scenarios less often experienced to allow them to practice and develop their knowledge, skills, and clinical abilities under unique circumstances.
Competencies and Proficiencies
Competencies and proficiencies are skills and knowledge that each student must demonstrate mastery of prior to being advanced to the next clinical experience level. Only AU approved preceptors will have the authority to evaluate student performance on athletic training knowledge, skills, and clinical abilities. Students will have access to the competencies and proficiencies assigned to the various Clinical Experience courses through the ATrack software package. Students may not complete competencies or proficiencies during the preseason or over the winter break as well. Students must be enrolled in a Clinical Experience course in order to complete proficiencies and competencies as well as accumulate clinical hours.
All Athletic Training Students enrolled in the ATP and registered for a clinical experience course are required to obtain the minimum number of clinical hours as set by the AU ATP. Only acceptable athletic training clinical hours will count towards the clinical course requirement. Acceptable athletic training clinical hours are defined as those hours interacting with an approved and assigned Preceptor affiliated with the Alfred University Athletic Training Program (ATP). All Alfred University Athletic Training Program (AU ATP) accepted hours must be completed under the direct supervision of an AU ATP-approved Preceptor. Students should not be obtaining clinical experience under any circumstances without the direct supervision of his/her Preceptor. All clinical hours must be entered into and saved in the ATrack system within 48 hours of completion. If hours are not logged within two days of completion, the hours will not count towards the required number of clinical hours that are required for passing the course. All hours must be verified by the Preceptor through a signature on the ATrack.
Athletic Training Students will be informed of the hour requirement at the beginning of the semester when reviewing their clinical experience course syllabus. All students are expected to meet or exceed the required number of clinical hours as defined by their clinical course syllabi. Clinical Hours may only be obtained on dates within the Alfred University Academic Calendar in which classes remain in session. Athletic Training Students will be given the entire semester to complete the hour requirement. The expectation is that all students admitted into the ATP complete clinical hours on a consistent basis, regardless of their clinical course requirement. Therefore, students must complete a minimum of three (3) hours per week while classes are in session to maintain consistency of clinical education. The requirement to for obtaining clinical hours is the same for all athletic training students regardless of athletic participation. Students will sign-up for time slots one week ahead with their individual preceptors. Preceptors will not make the schedule but will empower students to consider all requirements of the program: didactic, clinical, proficiencies, future endeavors, program assessments, etc. Volunteer hours obtained during the preseason or over the winter break will not count towards any semester hour count.
- Students must receive a day off in every seven-day period
- Students must complete a minimum of three (3) hours per week while classes are in session to maintain consistency of clinical education.
- Students may complete the maximum of twenty (20) hours per week while classes are in session to control students from overworking.
- Students may NOT accumulate additional volunteer clinical education experience hours beyond the maximum weekly limit
- Sophomore and Junior Students
- 45 Hours/Semester for Clinical Experience in Athletic Training I & III
- 45 Hours/Semester for Clinical Experience in Athletic Training II & IV
- 90 Hours/Academic Year
- Senior Students
- 45 Hours/Semester for Clinical Experience in Athletic Training V
- 150 Hours for Clinical Internship in Athletic Training
- 195 Hours/Academic Year
NOTE: All ATS must complete a minimum of 3 hours per week. Failure to abide by the minimum of three (3) hours per week will result in a deduction of 4% per week the requirement was not fulfilled for the “Hours” category of Clinical Experience in Athletic Training courses. Excuses may only be accepted by the Clinical Education Coordinator. Failure to complete the semester hour requirement will result in zero (0) points for the “Hours” category.
Junior and Senior athletic training students formally admitted to the ATP may be invited to return to campus for pre-season in-services and practices. Returning to campus for pre-season camp is voluntary. The preseason typically occurs two (2) weeks prior to the beginning of classes. During the preseason, in-services students will review such topics as: emergency action plans, CPR / First Aid, pre-participation physical examinations, back boarding, splinting, heat illnesses, various administrative duties, insurance, and various other athletic training related duties. Athletic training students will be allowed to accumulate hours over the course of the two weeks prior to initiation of classes. Hours obtained during this period will not count towards fulfilling the fall semester clinical experience course hour requirement. Athletic training students who are athletes during the fall semester will be excused to attend their practices during the pre-season. For more information regarding athletic participation and athletic training responsibilities please consult the “Athletic Participation for Athletic Training Students Policy.”
All athletic training students enrolled in the Alfred University Athletic Training Program must adhere to certain guidelines while performing athletic training skills. These skills are to be limited to the athletic training students’ skill level. Alfred University approved preceptors are responsible for the supervision of AU athletic training students. The preceptor must be physically present and have the ability to intervene on behalf of the athletic training student and the patient. The athletic training student’s assigned preceptor will properly evaluate and test the student in their education competencies and clinical integrated proficiencies. The preceptor must supervise the students during all clinical and/or field experiences, have regular communication, and demonstrate understanding of, and compliance, with the policies and procedures of the ATP. The preceptors will additionally complete two performance evaluations each semester on each athletic training student. The second/final evaluation of each semester will have a numerical score that will be reflected in the athletic training students’ clinical experience grade.
If a Preceptor deems that the ATS are not receiving something educationally beneficial they have the authority to dismiss ATS prior to the scheduled clinical experience. In the event that an ATS is dismissed, the Preceptor that dismisses the ATS will confirm the dismissal with an email to the ATS with a carbon copy to be sent to the clinical coordinator. Any early dismissal of ATS is at the sole discretion of the Preceptor.
All athletic training students must provide evidence of current certification in Professional Rescuer CPR/AED by the first day of clinical exposure. This certification will be offered in conjunction with the American Red Cross annually at Alfred University. Regardless of the athletic training students’ certification expiration date, all students are required to take part in an annual refresher course at Alfred University. In addition, all athletic training students must take Emergency Medicine in Athletic Training (ATHT 111). All emergency care protocols will be reviewed on an annual basis for all clinical experiences.
Cultural Assessment, HIPAA and Blood-Bourne Pathogens Policy Awareness
All athletic training students must complete online modules and quizzes pertaining to Cultural Assessment, HIPAA, and BBP Policy awareness each Academic Year that they obtain clinical experience.
Students should dress professionally, as the definition applies to the profession of Athletic Training. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Khaki pants/shorts or dress pants. Shorts must be of the appropriate length. Shorts deemed too short by the preceptor will need to be changed before completing clinical hours.
- AU Athletic Training Polo or dress shirt during competition events. Per the discretion of the Preceptor, an AU AT t-shirt may be acceptable.
- Tennis shoes or dress shoes (no heel, closed toe)
- Hats should not be worn indoors. Whether they are worn elsewhere is at the discretion of the Preceptor. Please refer to specific Athletic Training Room policies in regard to the wearing of hats.
- All clothing should be clean and in good condition.
- Please prepare to dress for the weather. As weather conditions deteriorate, Preceptors have the autonomy to determine appropriate clothing for the conditions.
- Deviations from the aforementioned will not be tolerated and the student may be asked by the Preceptor to leave the clinical assignment until (s)he is able to comply with the above standards.