Prioritizing Patient-Centered Care when Integrating Athletic Training Students into Clinical Practice


  • Amber Kingsley University of South Carolina
  • Amy L. Fraley University of South Carolina
  • Krista M. Richards University of South Carolina
  • Matthew J. Drescher North Dakota State University
  • Zachary K Winkelmann University of South Carolina



Athletic trainers are responsible for the patient care of student-athletes but also can be responsible for the education and mentorship of athletic training (AT) students through the role of preceptor. ATSs require extensive first-hand clinical experiences to prepare them for autonomous practice but must first feel comfortable with the skills they have learned to apply them in clinical practice. The unique clinical experience these ATSs experienced was the combined experience of a graduate assistant athletic trainer preceptor who also assisted as a teaching assistant in the classroom. This allowed the preceptor to help the ATSs expand on the information provided in the classroom and apply it directly to clinical experiences. The ATSs also used standardized patient encounters to practice clinical skills in a moderated environment to improve patient care before directly treating patients. The ATSs at this clinical education site each had the opportunity to practice autonomously in the treatment of patients. The preceptors taught by example and allowed each student to progress independently, making clinical decisions autonomously. Mock scenarios and standardized patients provided real-life clinical scenarios to the ATSs. These experiences helped determine the skills and knowledge that lacked proficiency and needed to be practiced before treating patients. To maximize patient-centered care, ATSs should be allowed to assist in daily decision-making and patient encounters until they feel ready to work more autonomously. Each AT student has a different learning style; early and frequent communication with ATSs will allow for a more beneficial clinical education experience.






Clinical Mentorship Case Studies

Most read articles by the same author(s)

1 2 3 > >>