Context: Employers have reported that the ability to communicate is the greatest deficiency of new athletic training graduates. New graduates must be able to communicate effectively with a wide range of stakeholders to ensure the best health care of their patients. To date there have been no studies to determine which stakeholders the students are communicating with during clinical experiences. Objective: To investigate the opportunity to communicate with various stakeholders by students during their clinical experiences. Patients or Other Participants: Participants were 932 students (308 male, 624 female) from university athletic training programs. Data Collection and Analysis: The study used an online survey instrument that allowed students to recall which stakeholders they had the opportunity to communicate with during the prior week of their clinical experiences. Basic descriptive statistics were calculated to describe the study sample and a χ2 contingency table analysis was used to determine significance. The dependent variables were stakeholders with whom they communicated (coach/clinic director, athlete/patient, parent, administrator, peer/colleague, and other health care professional) and the independent variables were demographics (sex, athletic affiliation of host institution, state/private affiliation of host institution, entry-level degree, year in program, clinical rotation setting, and athletic affiliation of clinical rotation). Results: Year in program indicated a significant correlation with all of the dependent variables, with Cramer V ranging from 0.098 to 0.157. The highest significant correlation was found between clinical rotation setting and communication with parents (Cramer V = 0.418). Conclusions: As one would expect, as students matriculate and gain higher levels of maturity, they report more opportunities to communicate. Similarly, students in multisport secondary schools or lower-level collegiate clinical experiences report more opportunities to communicate.


Sports Medicine and Athletic Training

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© National Athletic Trainers’ Association. Athletic Training Education Journal is an open access journal. All articles are free for users to access, read, download, and print. Information can be used providing that the source is appropriately acknowledged and/or referenced.


professional socialization, student interaction, clinical experience

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Athletic Training Education Journal