Clinical Experience Policy

The clinical education component of the Alfred University Athletic Training Program provides each student with the opportunity to observe, practice and display competence with the clinical proficiencies
concurrently instructed within the didactic portion of the program while obtaining academic credit hours tied to the clinical experience courses. All Athletic Training Students must be enrolled in a clinical experience course and is required to obtain the minimum number of clinical hours as set by the Athletic Training Program at Alfred University.

The formal clinical education phase of the athletic training program is a minimum of 6 semesters (unless approved otherwise by the Program Director). Appropriate clinical experiences will be determined and assigned by the Program Director and Clinical Coordinator with the purpose of assigning students to preceptors and sites that will be most beneficial for learning and practicing skills associated with clinical proficiencies.

Students will have access to the competencies and proficiencies assigned to the various Clinical Experience courses through the ATrack software package. 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 content listed in the matrix. This matrix must be completed in its’ entirety prior to any student being endorsed to sit for the BOC exam.

All athletic training students will be informed of the semester long hour requirement prior to admission into the ATP; Athletic Training Students will be given the entire semester to complete the hour requirement. Only acceptable athletic training clinical hours will count towards the clinical course requirement. The expectation to fulfill the hour requirement is the same for all athletic training students regardless of athletic participation.

Acceptable clinical experiences will be assigned and approved by the Program Director and Clinical Education Coordinator. Examples of acceptable clinical experiences may be but are not limited to: covering on and off campus practices, working 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. All hours must be completed under the direct supervision of Preceptor. Students should not be obtaining clinical experience under any circumstances without the direct supervision of his/her Preceptor. All hours must be verified by the Preceptor through a signature on the ATrack.


All students enroll in the formal ATP are expected to meet or exceed the required number of clinical hours as defined by their clinical course syllabi. While academic classes are in session, should not exceed twenty (20) clinical hours per week; however, students wishing to volunteer may work additional hours. The expectation is that all students admitted into the ATP complete clinical hours on a consistent basis, regardless of their clinical course requirement. Students must complete a minimum of three (3) hours per week while classes are in session to maintain consistency of clinical education.

Clinical Hours may be obtained on dates within the Alfred University Academic Calendar in which classes remain in session. Volunteer hours obtained during the preseason or over the winter break will not count towards any semester hour count. 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 Alfred University Athletic Training Program (AU ATP) accepted hours must be completed with an AU ATP-approved Preceptor. All Athletic Training Students enrolled in a clinical experience course are required to obtain the minimum number of clinical hours as set by the Athletic Training Program at Alfred University. The required number of hours for each course is clearly explained on the course syllabus. Athletic Training Students will be informed of the hour requirement at the beginning of the semester when reviewing the course syllabus. Athletic Training Students will be given the entire semester to complete the hour requirement. Only acceptable athletic training clinical hours will count towards the course requirement. The expectation to fulfill the hour requirement is the same for all athletic training students regardless of athletic participation. 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.

Acceptable athletic training clinical hours are defined as those hours working with an approved and assigned Preceptor affiliated with the Alfred University Athletic Training Program (ATP). Typical acceptable hours would include but are not limited to: covering on and off campus practices, working 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. All hours must be completed under the direct supervision of a Preceptor. No hours will be accepted if a Preceptor was not present during the documented time. All hours must be verified by the Preceptor through ATrack.

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.

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 yearly hour requirement will result in zero (0) points for the “Hours” category.

No sophomore student will participate in pre-season athletic responsibilities. Rather, the focus will be preparing students for experiential learning opportunities by engaging in discussions and simulations with the Program Director and Clinical Education Coordinator upon the commencement of the regular academic term.

Students are expected to participate in four (4), eight week (8) rotations (based on a 16-week semester) each semester for a total of eight (8) separate clinical opportunities.

FOCUS: Reinforce previously learned material from Year 1, including completion of proficiencies from material first introduced in Year 1 (rotations 1 & 2). As the sophomore year progresses, students will be assigned to preceptors and locations that emphasize the following:

  • Orthopedic Evaluation (Lower and Upper extremities)
  • Integrative Therapeutic Applications (Therapeutic Modalities and Therapeutic Rehabilitation)
  • Communication
  • Biomechanics
  • Nutrition

Examples of approved clinical sites are as follows:

  • Alfred University Men’s and Women’s Soccer
  • Alfred University Volleyball
  • Alfred University Swimming & Diving
  • Alfred University Cross Country
  • Alfred University Men’s and Women’s Basketball
  • Alfred State College Men’s and Women’s Soccer
  • Alfred State College Volleyball

Students entering their Junior year in the Athletic Training Program may participate in voluntary hours during pre-season and/or the winter break. Students will be responsible for documenting hours but only to ensure the seven-day policy is followed. There are no minimum or maximum hours. Because the hours are STRICTLY voluntary, no competencies or proficiencies can be completed. Students will be supervised by a preceptor at all times; thus, they may engage in Athletic Training skills in addition to basic first aid and CPR.

Students are expected to participate in two (2), eight (8) week rotations (based on a 16-week semester) at a non-Alfred University rotation. One of the 8 week rotations must be completed at a high school. The alternative semester will be a 16-week rotation at an Alfred University site. By requiring off-campus rotations, students will have the opportunity to learn from preceptors not associated with the university in addition to working with student-athletes/patients in non-traditional settings.

FOCUS: Reinforce previously learned material from years 1 & 2 as well as introducing more autonomy in developing diagnoses and rehabilitation plans.

Logistics

  • Minimum number of hours in a week: 3
  • Maximum number of hours in a week: 20
  • Students and Preceptors must adhere to the seven-day rule mandated by the CAATE.
  • 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.

Students entering their Senior year in the Athletic Training Program may participate in voluntary hours during pre-season and/or the winter break. Students will be responsible for documenting hours but only to ensure the seven-day policy is followed. There are no minimum or maximum hours. Because the hours are STRICTLY voluntary, no competencies or proficiencies can be completed. Students will be supervised by a preceptor at all times; thus, they may engage in Athletic Training skills in addition to basic first aid and CPR.

During the Spring semester of the student’s Junior year, students will participate in a formal interview with the Program Director, Clinical Education Coordinator, AT Program Faculty, and an AU Athletics representative. Students will have the opportunity to interview for a 16-week rotation “Real-World Experience” of their choice for the upcoming Senior year. This will empower students to consider their professional goals and plans once they graduate from AU. Although students may not receive their first choice, attempts will be made to consider the holistic student= didactic performance, clinical performance (including preceptor evaluations), professionalism, etc. The remaining 16 weeks will be determined by the interview committee. If a student is weak in a particular area, the student will be assigned to a preceptor/site to assist in areas of weakness. If a student is identified to be strong in all areas, the student may be assigned to a 16-week rotation that enhances the long-term goals of the student. For example, if a student wants to pursue a career in professional Baseball, the alternative 16-week rotation could focus on rehabilitation.

FOCUS: Develop autonomy and post-graduate skills in addition to opportunities to strengthen areas of weakness either didactically or clinically.

Logistics

  • Minimum number of hours in a week: 3
  • Maximum number of hours in a week: 20
  • Students and Preceptors must adhere to the seven-day rule mandated by the CAATE.
  • 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.

First year athletic training students are required to obtain two separate clinical experiences during their first year on campus. All students enrolled within this course (currently ATHT 103 and ATHT 104) are required to obtain twenty-five (25) hours (50 hours during academic year) of clinical experience in each course. Students must obtain all of the 25 hours during the course of the semester in which they are actively enrolled in the course.

All athletic training students formally admitted to the ATP may be invited to return to campus for reseason 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.

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.

Attire

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 regards 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.