Skip to main content

Student Handbook: Section V, Professional Development

Master of Athletic Training Program: 2023-2024

Notice

This handbook is created to inform the athletic training student (ATS) of policies and procedures of the Athletic Training Program (ATP) at Boise State University. The overall intent of this handbook is to ensure a quality educational experience for each student, and to ensure safe and efficient operation of all athletic training facilities. To achieve the goals of the educational program, each student must be familiar with the policies and procedures listed herein. If you feel that a particular policy needs to be reviewed, you should bring it to the attention of the Athletic Training Program Director. Policies and procedures can be changed, but not ignored.

The information in this handbook is not all-inclusive. This handbook should be used as a guide throughout your progression in the ATP. As needed, the handbook will change as policies and procedures are modified, added, or deleted. Any alterations to the handbook will be made available to all students, faculty, and preceptors.

SECTION V: PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Introduction

Introduction

Students are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times when representing Boise State University and the Athletic Training Program. This includes upholding professional standards and ethical practice (national and state standards), ongoing learning and education, effective communication and dialogue, professional attitudes and behaviors, proper patient contact and interaction, professional appearance and dress that is indicative of a healthcare professional. Professional Behavior and Development is something learned, practiced, and modeled for others.

NATA Code of Ethics

*Reprinted from NATA website

PREAMBLE

The National Athletic Trainers’ Association Code of Ethics states the principles of ethical behavior that should be followed in the practice of athletic training. It is intended to establish and maintain high standards and professionalism for the Athletic Training profession.

The principles do not cover every situation encountered by the practicing athletic trainer but are representative of the spirit with which athletic trainers should make decisions. The principles are written generally; the circumstances of a situation will determine the interpretation and application of a given principle and of the Code as a whole. When a conflict exists between the Code and the law, the law prevails.

Please refer to: NATA code of ethics (updated 2022)

BOC Standards of Professional Practice

BOC Standards of Professional Practice ©Board of Certification, Inc.

Introduction

The mission of the Board of Certification Inc. (BOC) is to provide exceptional credentialing programs for healthcare professionals. The BOC has been responsible for the certification of Athletic Trainers since 1969. Upon its inception, the BOC was a division of the professional membership organization the National Athletic Trainersʹ Association. However, in 1989, the BOC became an independent non‐profit corporation. Accordingly, the BOC provides a certification program for the entry‐level Athletic Trainer that confers the ATC® credential and establishes requirements for maintaining status as a Certified Athletic Trainer (to be referred to as “Athletic Trainer” from this point forward). A nine member Board of Directors governs the BOC. There are six Athletic Trainer Directors, one Physician Director, one Public Director and one Corporate/Educational Director. The BOC is the only accredited certification program for Athletic Trainers in the United States. Every five years, the BOC must undergo review and re‐accreditation by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). The NCCA is the accreditation body of the National Organization for Competency Assurance.

Please refer to: bobcatc.org

Professional Membership/Association

It is strongly advised that athletic training students join appropriate professional associations. Specifically, the ATS is required to join the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA). Membership to the NATA will provide the student with access to ATrack and membership to the national association as well as Idaho Athletic Trainers Association (IATA) and district membership in the Northwest Athletic Trainers’ Association- NATA District 10 (NWATA). Membership in the NATA has numerous benefits for the student, including a subscription to the Journal of Athletic Training as well as significant discounts on conference registration costs and the fee for the national certification exam. Student members will also have access to the career center and online student blog provided through the NATA website at www.nata.org. To be eligible for most scholarships through state, district, and national associations, athletic training students must be members in the NATA.

Idaho State Board of Medicine: Athletic Training

Board of Athletic Trainers Mission Statement

To promote the public health, safety, and welfare and to promote the highest degree of professional conduct on the part of athletic trainers. The licensure of persons offering athletic trainer services to the public helps to assure the availability of athletic trainer services of high quality to persons in need of such services.

Please refer to Idaho Board of Athletic Trainers

Scholarship Opportunities

Numerous scholarship opportunities are available through IATA, NWATA and the NATA. Many require the student to be a member of the NATA and are competitive, merit-based awards. Information and eligibility requirements can be found on the websites for each of the above professional organizations or from the AT Program Director. Other awards are specifically available to BSU ATP students from organizations such as the Boise State Kinesiology Dept. and College of Health Sciences and Mountain West Athletic Conference). Eligibility requirements for these awards vary and information will be distributed to the ATS’ when received by the Program Director.

Athletic Training Student Qualities

Athletic Training Students are expected to demonstrate the following qualities:

  • a. Dependability – Fulfilling obligations, assignments (academic and clinical), and maintaining consistency within the general practices of the athletic training facilities.
  • b. Loyalty – Loyal to the ATP and the University. Maintaining integrity of self and the community. It is your responsibility not to participate in gossip or negative conversations.
  • c. Dedication – You must demonstrate dedication to the clinical and didactic opportunities. Preparation within both aspects will enhance the learning environment for both student and instructor.
  • d. Teach-ability – Students should always be willing to learn from a variety of sources, which may include both positive and negative learning environments. Students should have a “mindset” of “life-long-learners”.
  • e. Professionalism – Encompassing all other characteristics, professionals dress appropriately, are prompt, consistent, respectful to others, and organized. Professionals are not perfect and may make mistakes, yet a professional will learn from mistakes. In order to earn the respect as a professional, one must prove to emulate the characteristics of a professional.
  • f. Boise State University Shared Values: Academic Excellence, Caring, Citizenship, Fairness, Respect, Responsibility, Trustworthiness.

Dress Code

An important part of professional conduct is appearance. Athletic training students should be aware that clinical rotations require specific professional attire. Athletic training students who do not comply with the dress code will be excused and expected to return promptly in the appropriate attire. An ongoing pattern of inappropriate dress may be grounds for dismissal from the assignment and/or the ATP. Athletic training students at all clinical sites (on-campus and off campus) will be expected to comply with these guidelines. If the athletic event requires attire that is more “dressy” than the standard uniform, students will be expected to dress appropriately. At no time should worn clothing, excessively tight clothing, or clothing that exposes any midriff be worn. The clothing worn must allow the student to perform functions required of an athletic trainer appropriately, while never exposing any undergarments or skin around the midriff. Open-toed shoes or high heels are not appropriate at any time during the clinical education experiences. Attire of athletic training students should be professional, functional, and modest, and should not draw attention to the student.

Appearance

Personal hygiene and clean-cut grooming are essential for health care providers. ATSs should maintain a neat and professional appearance at all times during clinical rotations. Appearance of the ATS should not distract from the professional image they are trying to develop. Extremes of appearance are to be avoided during the clinical education experiences. Remember, how you look and dress is not only a reflection on you, but on the entire AT Program and Boise State University.

Professionalism and Personal Communications

Conducting oneself as a professional involves every aspect of life. AT students should pay close attention to the image they project via personal communications. This includes (but is not limited to): email messages/addresses, text messages, voice mail, voice recordings on cell/dorm/home phones, ringtones, personal websites and content displayed via Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. With the majority of the above being public domain, AT students should very closely monitor the contents and methods of their personal communications. Any inappropriate content or communications noticed or brought to the attention of the ATP faculty will be addressed immediately. AT students will be asked to rectify the situation by whatever means necessary (depending on the content/ communication type). Failure of the student to correct the issue in a timely, appropriate manner may result in further disciplinary action at the discretion of the program director and others with authority over the academic program.

Cellular Phones

Conducting oneself as a professional involves every aspect of life. AT students should pay close attention to the image they project via personal communications. This includes (but is not limited to): email messages/addresses, text messages, voice mail, voice recordings on cell/dorm/home phones, ringtones, personal websites and content displayed via Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. With the majority of the above being public domain, AT students should very closely monitor the contents and methods of their personal communications. Any inappropriate content or communications noticed or brought to the attention of the ATP faculty will be addressed immediately. AT students will be asked to rectify the situation by whatever means necessary (depending on the content/ communication type). Failure of the student to correct the issue in a timely, appropriate manner may result in further disciplinary action at the discretion of the program director and others with authority over the academic program.

Professional Relationships

Athletic training students have a twofold role, that of a general student and that of an athletic training student. Students should remember that they are filling both of these roles in and out of the clinical settings and act accordingly. It is recognized that while working closely with a sports team, friendships may arise between athletic training students and athletes. A professional demeanor should be exercised at all times. In the clinical setting, students should fulfill their roles as athletic training students for their respective teams/patients. In this role, they are not only responsible for assisting in the care of the team’s athletes, but also for being active learners and increasing their athletic training skills and knowledge. Students are strongly discouraged from entering into social or dating relationships with patients, preceptors and coaches or others affiliated with the education of the student.

Confidentiality of Records

During your experiences as a Boise State University ATS, you will encounter a variety of different people. As an ATS, you have an obligation to yourself, the athletes/patients you work with, your supervisors, team physicians, athlete’s parents, other athletic training students, and to Boise State University. As an ATS, you should always maintain a professional working relationship with the people you work with, especially the athletes. This is admittedly difficult at times, as the student-athletes/patients are often your peers. Socialization with the athlete/patient during working time is highly discouraged. As an ATS, you will never discuss any information concerning an athlete/patient with anyone other than your immediate supervisor. This includes any information regarding an athlete’s/patient’s medical condition, treatment or any information which you acquire in a locker room, athletic training room, physician’s office, or otherwise which is considered to be non-public information. If someone asks you a question about an athlete/patient, refer him/her to your supervisor. Remember that anything an athlete/patient tells you falls into the area of medical confidentiality. The unique opportunity you have to observe and participate in various clinical settings as an ATS can and will be terminated if you violate this confidentiality. The staff athletic trainer, team physician, or the coach will handle all public comments about injuries.

Greviances

Interpersonal problems between an ATS and another student, an athlete, a preceptor, a staff athletic trainer, or a faculty member should be handled between those involved if possible, at the appropriate time and in the appropriate place. If no progress can be made, the parties involved should look to the staff for arbitration, specifically for student-to-student problems. The preceptor or site-supervisor will hear both parties’ complaints separately and meet with those involved to discuss resolutions. For problems between students and staff members or faculty, another staff member or the Athletic Training Program Director should act the role of the arbitrator. In situations that are not easily resolved, the Boise State University Grievance Policy in conjunction with the office of student rights & responsibilities will be followed. Student records for the AT program are managed under the auspices of FERPA.