Clinical education represents the athletic training student’s formal acquisition, practice, and preceptor evaluation of the Entry-Level Athletic Training Clinical Proficiencies through classroom, laboratory, and clinical education experiences under the direct supervision of a clinical preceptor. Formal evaluation of the application and integration of clinical proficiencies are completed by a preceptor and may be in conjunction with additional clinical instructors. Related to clinical education is field experience, in which students have the opportunity to practice clinical proficiencies under the supervision of a clinical preceptor. Clinical education shall occur in a minimum period of two academic years and be associated with course credit. Courses shall include academic syllabi that have measurable educational objectives and specific clinical proficiency outcomes that can be documented over time.
Clinical education experiences provide an opportunity for the integration of psychomotor, cognitive, and affective skills, and clinical proficiencies within the context of direct patient care. A clinical preceptor must directly supervise formal clinical education experiences.
In effect, clinical education is the process of presenting the clinical competencies, which are the building blocks of the education, to the athletic training student in such a manner that they are able to combine and implement them into use as clinical proficiencies in their clinical setting.
Clinical education is intended to be a learning experience. The athletic training student will acquire, practice, and implement skill and proficiency in the Athletic Training setting while they are concurrently learning the same components in the classroom or laboratory. They will build upon structured education by the addition of application, communication, and critical thinking in the clinical setting.
Where Can Clinical Education Occur?
Clinical education begins in the classroom and laboratory environments. This is where the athletic training student will be exposed to the basic cognitive and psychomotor components of Athletic Training knowledge and skill. These components are individually acquired and practiced in the classroom, laboratory, and clinical setting to achieve mastery of each skill.
Athletic Training; however, requires that the student can take each individual skill and perform a complete task upon demand. This is where the field experience, clinical setting, and clinical education aspect is imperative. The ability of the athletic training student to perform combined skills into a major task (clinical proficiencies) must be practiced and evaluated in the clinical setting.