Clinical Education Policy
The clinical education phase of the ATEP provides each student with the opportunity to observe, practice and display competence with the clinical integrated proficiencies (CIP) concurrently instructed within the didactic portion of the program while obtaining credit hours tied to laboratory coursework. This clinical education phase of the program will not be less than 6 semesters (potentially 4 semesters for transferring students approved by the Program Director, please refer to the Transfer Policy for more details). These clinical education opportunities are arranged by the Program Director in conjunction with the Clinical Coordinator for the purpose of each student acquiring the knowledge and skills necessary to practice Athletic Training upon completion of the Program. Each required clinical education opportunity is first established via a completed affiliated agreement and is designed to have an approved clinical instructor (ACI) or clinical instructor (CI) provide direct supervision of an athletic training student with regular instruction and guided practice opportunity. Only ACI’s will have the authority to approve competency of any clinical integrated proficiency required as part of the ISU Competency and Proficiency Matrix. This Matrix is issued to each student at the beginning of the didactic portion of the program. However, any CI may evaluate the performance of an athletic training student based on their current level in the program and the subsequent skill set they have acquired. It is the goal of these clinical experiences for the athletic training student to perform clinical skills while supervised and to receive constructive, regular feedback so the student is made aware of ways he or she may improve.
It is the responsibility of the student to:
1. Comply with all portions of the ISU Athletic Training Student Handbook including all ATEP policies and procedures.
2. Follow the instructions of the ACI/CI assigned to supervise your clinical experience.
3. Complete the required evaluation forms and clinical hour logs as directed.
4. Be responsible for additional costs incurred by their participation within the program. (E.g. room and board during academic breaks, lab fees, clothing fees, professional liability insurance, CPR fees, NATA Membership fees, etc.)
5. Play an active role on obtaining experiences that are provided to you. Evening, weekend and time during academic breaks are requirements of the program and therefore part of the clinical experience.
6. Understand that any unsupervised activities are not required nor allowed to occur within the ATEP. An ACI or CI must be physically present and have the ability to intervene on behalf of the athletic training student to provide on-going and consistent education during clinical hour’s experience.
It is the responsibility of the ACI/CI to:
1. Comply with all portions of the ISU ACI/CI handbook including all policies and procedures.
2. Provide a positive learning environment for athletic training students while offering regular, constructive feedback. Be able to assimilate teaching to different learning styles of the students in order to provide the optimal environment free of bias or discrimination.
3. Provide supervised clinical education opportunities, the ACI or CI must be physically present and have the ability to intervene on behalf of the athletic training student to provide on-going and consistent education.
4. Maintain professional behavior according to the standards set forth by applicable professional organization’s ethical conduct standards.
5. Maintain regular communication with the Clinical Coordinator of the ISU ATEP.
6. Accurately assess and evaluate the student’s ability to perform clinical proficiencies.
Clinical Hours and Relief Days
Athletic training students should expect to obtain a significant number of clinical education hours over the course of their three years in the ATEP. Gathering this number of hours of experience is beneficial to the advancement of the clinical education experience of the student. Clinical skill assimilation occurs via repetition and exposure to common scenarios the student will eventually be faced upon completion of the ATEP.
Clinical Hours Policy Statement
Observation hours during the pre-professional phase of the ATEP will be assigned by the Program Director in conjunction with the Introductory Athletic Training Course (KIN 221, 222). These hours will be recorded on the provided “Observation Hours Log” and submitted to the Program Director prior to the end of the Spring Semester in which the applicant is applying. These observation hours are not to be less than 75 hours nor more than 200 hours over the course of the semester and will be recorded in the student’s clinical hours summary if approved for acceptance in the ATEP.
Once accepted to the ATEP, the student will continue to acquire clinical experience hours over the course of a minimum of 6 semesters (4 for approved transfer students) at various affiliated sites. These sites will be assigned to the student by the Program Director in conjunction with the Clinical Coordinator. All hours will be supervised by an Approved Clinical Instructor or Clinical Instructor on record with the ATEP. Each semester of clinical experience will be tied to an academic credit via the appropriate practicum for the student’s level in the ATEP. The following is an approximate breakdown of how those hours will be obtained. This policy is to be consistent across all clinical sites.
SOPHOMORE (First Year)
Responsibilities: approximately 10-15 hours/week*
Not to be less than 200 hours per 16 week semester
JUNIOR (Second Year)
Responsibilities: approximately 15-20 hours/week *
Not to be less than 200 hours per 16 week semester
SENIOR (Third Year)
Responsibilities: approximately 20+ hours/week*
Not to be less than 200 hours per 16 week semester
*Any hours acquired while classes are not in session and/or ISU is on a break are to be recorded separately and not to be included in the semester total. Clinical hours are to be reported to the Clinical Coordinator by the 10th day of the following month the hours are completed. Any students weekly total may not exceed 40 minus the student’s credit load expressed as hours for the current semester. (i.e., 40 – 15 credits = 25 hours maximum) Hours are to be separated between clinical hours (time spent treating, rehabilitating, counseling, practice coverage, applying first aid and practicing clinical skills) and administrative hours (time spent with documentation, practice or treatment preparation, maintenance or repair of equipment, stocking supplies and communication with coaches). Please do not include study time, traveling time or other idle time.
Clinical Relief Days
Students at all of the affiliated sites are to be granted one scheduled relief day per seven day week. This day is to be mutually agreed upon between the ACI/CI and student. The scheduled relief day may vary within the seven day period but it should be indicated on the students recorded hours log. This policy is to be consistent across all clinical sites.
Each student is to be aware that athletic training is a profession requiring non-traditional work schedules involving early mornings and evenings, weekend and holiday hours as well as greater than 40 hours of work per week. It is not a requirement of the student to be present at all times the staff are present but it is hoped the student will have the desire to participate in enough of the clinical experiences in order to seek mastery of education competencies and clinical integrated proficiencies expected of each student. This is the best way a student may assimilate to the professional requirements of athletic training.
Additionally, it is the position of the ATEP that a student may be allowed to occasionally request additional time away from the clinical experience if a student has a need for such a relief day. The student should provide adequate advance notice for this absence to the ACI/CI and the time off shall be granted with no negative consequences placed upon the student. These requested relief days should not exceed 3 per semester. Additional requested days off are up to the discretion of the Program Director and supervising ACI/CI. The student should also note during the clinical experience, some periods are busier than others (e.g. spring football vs. winter conditioning) and there are frequently periods where students are given multiple relief days during such times resulting in fewer hours per week.
All athletic training students enrolled in the CAATE (Commission of Accreditation of Athletic Training Education) accredited Iowa State University Athletic Training Education Program must adhere to certain guidelines while performing athletic training skills. These skills are to be limited to the athletic training students’ level in the education program. Supervision of the athletic training student is to be done by the ACI (Approved Clinical Instructor) or CI (Clinical Instructor). The ACI or the CI 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 ACI will properly evaluate and test the student in their education competencies and clinical integrated proficiencies. This will be documented in the athletic training student’s clinical proficiency book and maintained by the athletic training education program following the student’s completion of the education program. The CI must supervise the students during clinical and/or field experiences, have regular communication with the appropriate ATEP administrator, and demonstrate understanding of, and compliance, with the policies and procedures of the ATEP (CAATE Standard B3.5, B3.51, B3.52, and B3.53). The CI will also evaluate an assigned student’s Affective, Cognitive, Psychomotor and overall performance during their assignment.
First Aid and CPR Certification
All athletic training students must provide evidence of current certification in Professional Rescuer CPR/AED by the first day of clinical exposure. This certification may be through the American Red Cross, the National Safety Council, or comparable organization. In addition, all athletic training students must take H S 305 Instructor’s First Aid and Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation. Although all students must obtain these certifications, there is no duty, implied or otherwise, for students to perform first aid in association neither with their clinical assignments nor as a clinical volunteer. All emergency care protocols will be reviewed on an annual basis for all clinical sites and the student will become incorporated into the delivery of emergency care as appropriate, but not as an employee with implicit duties toward the patient.
First responder roles are not part of the required academic/clinical experience and any athletic training student privately contracting for these roles are not required or supported by the CAATE. Students may not be referred to as Athletic Trainers or Athletic Training Students if such positions are held as they are not participating in the requirements of the ISU Athletic Training Program. If you have any questions or concerns, please see the Athletic Training Education Program Director or the Athletic Training Clinical Coordinator.
Travel associated with affiliate sites or with ISU intercollegiate athletics may be involved under the supervision of an athletic training student’s Approved Clinical Instructor and/or Clinical Instructor. Unsupervised travel for athletic training students is not permitted by the CAATE or by the ATEP at ISU.
Iowa State University athletic training students incur additional costs in the form of purchasing personal liability insurance, NATA membership, and the option of purchasing discounted Nike clothing for wear in the clinical setting. Students can select what items and the quantity of what they wish to purchase. In addition, students will need to be certified in Professional Rescuer CPR/AED and they are responsible for travel expenses to off site clinical sites, meals and housing.