The following guidelines and job description refers to the duties of an athletic training student enrolled in the Athletic Training Education Program at William Paterson University. Please contact the program's faculty and staff for additional responsibilities each academic year.
Student Job Description and Guidelines
The role of the athletic training student is to gain athletic training knowledge and skills by assisting the preceptors in providing care for patients’ injuries during the student’s rotations and athletic training room assignments as a part of their clinical education experience in athletic training.
During the students’ athletic training room assignments and rotations, the student functions under the direct supervision of a certified Athletic Trainer (AT) preceptor. Students may also function under the direct supervision of a physician preceptor. Direct supervision involves daily personal/verbal contact between the student and the preceptor, who plans, directs, advises and evaluates the student’s athletic training experience. The preceptor must be physically present in order to intervene on behalf of the person being treated.
Some situations where students are not being directly supervised include:
- when a student is at a practice or competition venue without a preceptor physically present with the student at the venue;
- when a student is traveling with a team (i.e. in a hotel, restaurant, mode of transportation, practice or competition venue) and without a preceptor physically present to intervene on behalf of the person being treated;
- when a student is outside at a practice or competition venue and the preceptor is inside a building of facility and not physically present to intervene on behalf of the person being treated;
- when a student and preceptor are able to converse via walkie-talkie or cell phone with the preceptor not physically present to intervene on behalf of the person being treated.
If the student is not being directly supervised, then the student is not in the role of an athletic training student. In this situation, the student cannot perform any athletic training skills and must leave the venue until a WPUNJ or affiliate site AT is at the venue, directly supervising the student.
Students are only allowed to travel with athletic teams if a WPUNJ or affiliate site ATs are present and directly supervising the student. (Note: WPUNJ and affiliate site ATs are those persons employed at WPUNJ and affiliate sites to partake in athletic training duties. Therefore, coaches, graduate assistants, and other personnel who may be an AT but employed on campus or at the ffiliate site for another function do not qualify as WPUNJ or affiliate site ATs, and cannot directly supervise athletic training students.)
If at any time, for some unusual circumstance, a student is present in the athletic training room or at an athletic venue and is not directly supervised by an AT and a person requires emergency care, the student should summon campus police (or EMS as per affiliate site policy) and give the appropriate emergency care as allowed by the student’s Professional Rescuer CPR with AED, and Advanced First Aid certifications.
Student skills guidelines:
A student is not allowed to perform any skills (i.e. therapeutic modalities, therapeutic exercise) before receiving formal instruction and formal evaluation demonstrating that they are proficient in those skills. If the student is dealing with an patient that needs assistance beyond the material of which the student has been instructed and evaluated, then the student must refer the patient to a student who has been instructed in and evaluated on the material (and is being directly supervised by a preceptor). For example, if an patient needs an ultrasound treatment and the student caring for that patient has not completed the proficiency for ultrasound, then the student can NOT perform ultrasound on that patient.
If a student acts outside the scope of his or her responsibilities (i.e. functions as an athletic training student while unsupervised) or a student performs skills (i.e. therapeutic modalities) before having received formal instruction and shown proficiency in those skills through formal evaluation, the student may be sanctioned and may be legally responsible for any harm suffered by the person being treated. At no time will athletic training students take the place of qualified staff ATs.
Student Responsibility Policies and Procedures
Failure of a student abiding by the “Student Responsibility Policies and Procedures” below may be sanctioned as appropriate.
When a patient enters the athletic training room for injury care, the student should do the following:
- assess the patient to determine the nature and extent of the problem.
- determine the appropriate course of care that the student can give which is within the student’s level of education and proficiency
- administer care consistent with approval of a preceptor, under his/her direct supervision
- complete necessary medical reporting and administrative duties which include, but is not limited to, progress (SOAP) notes, treatment records and insurance forms.
Students must care for patients as the patients enter the athletic training room or as needed at athletic venues. No preferential treatment of patients (i.e. treating only certain patients, waiting for a certain patient to enter the athletic training room and not treating others) is allowed. All students must share in the treatment and care of all patients.
Students must not treat coaches, faculty, or other people in the athletic training room or at athletic venues without the prior approval of the supervising AT, unless an emergency situation exists requiring emergency care.
Decisions regarding referrals, treatments and course of care are to be made by the certified athletic training staff and medical physician who are ultimately providing care to the patient.
No patients are to administer self treatment or to tape themselves. All services are to be provided by the certified athletic training staff and athletic training students.
Medical information and communications in the athletic training setting are privileged. Anything students hear or see in the athletic training room regarding patients’ conditions, illnesses, or injuries is confidential and is not to be repeated to anyone. Students are not to discuss a patient’s condition, illness, or injury with other patients, peers, coaches, parents, etc. Any time anyone other than the patient involved wants any information regarding the patient’s condition, illness, or injury, the student must refer them to the head or assistant athletic trainer. Violation of this policy will result in immediate suspension from the program.
Students are to report all problems involving coaches and/or patients to the supervising preceptor and also the head and assistant athletic trainers immediately after the problem arises. Students are to avoid confrontations with coaches and patients.
Students must attend a bloodborne pathogens and environmental hazards workshop annually to be eligible to provide athletic training services. Students not attending a bloodborne pathogens and environmental hazards workshop may not partake in clinical education experiences until the workshop has been attended.
Students must be continually certified in Professional Rescuer CPR with AED, and Advanced First Aid or equivalents by one of the following organizations: American Red Cross, American Heart Association, National Safety Council, or the Emergency Care and Safety Institute. No lapse in certification is allowed.
Students must have personal protective equipment necessary to provide care for injuries involving blood or other bodily fluid and follow all OSHA guidelines. Likewise, students are obligated to inform patients, coaches, etc. to follow all OSHA guidelines while in the athletic training room facilities.
Students must follow the emergency action plan procedures that are posted in the athletic training rooms and in this handbook.
Students must wear a fanny pack containing, at minimum, first aid and personal protective equipment including a pocket mask, gloves and gauze, tape, scissors, and bandages at all times during their clinical education experiences (in the athletic training rooms and at athletic venues). Spot checks made by the Athletic Training Program faculty and staff will be made to see if students have their fanny packs, and the above mentioned items, with them during their clinical education experiences.
Students must be in the athletic training room during assigned times. Students are expected to be on time and not to leave early.
Under no circumstances are students allowed to drive the WPUNJ Athletics or affiliate site vehicles (van, bus, etc.)
When driving to and from the Clinical Experience in Athletic Training WPUNJ and affiliate sites, WPUNJ does not cover auto insurance for students; therefore, students must have their own personal auto insurance.
All students are responsible for the daily organizational and clean up duties in the athletic training room. Failure to comply with this responsibility will result in sanction.
All personal items, including backpacks, coats, books, etc. are to be neatly placed in the athletic training room storage area. Likewise, students are obligated to inform athletes, coaches, etc. to store their belongings in the designated area.
During slow times in the athletic training room, students are expected to work on material directly related to their athletic training education. Examples of acceptable projects include: working on clinical integration proficiencies, studying course material related to athletic training education, and practicing procedures and skills required in athletic training. Working on projects for other courses are not to be done in the athletic training room. This work should be done at another time in the library or appropriate study area.
The computer in the athletic training room is for athletic training record keeping, operation of equipment in the facility, and study related to athletic training. Students are not allowed to work on assignments which are not related to athletic training education on the computer in the athletic training room. The network connection on the computer in the athletic training room are for research and projects relating to athletic training. Work for other areas should be done in general access computer laboratories on campus. Students are not allowed to access or utilize personal e-mail accounts on the athletic training room computer. In order to use the computer, the students must get permission from the supervising AT. There must be no athletes in the athletic training room that need assistance or other athletic training room duties to be performed at the time in order for students to utilize the computer. Students must scan all floppy disks and CDs for viruses before opening them on the computer. Students cannot save any information on the computer’s hard drive. Anyone violating this policy will lose computer privileges in the athletic training room.
Students must check their WPUNJ student email account on a daily basis, since this is one means for the program faculty and staff to communicate with students. If a student neglects to check their WPUNJ student email account on a daily basis and is not aware of the communications, instructions, duties, etc. noted in the email by the program faculty and staff, then the student's grade may be penalized within their clinical experience courses for failure to follow email instructions, complete duties, etc.
Professional conduct is expected in the athletic training rooms and at the athletic venues at all times. The athletic training room is not a lounge; therefore, horseplay, profanity and lounging around on tables will not be tolerated. If a student engages in inappropriate or unprofessional behavior in the athletic training rooms and athletic venues, the student will be asked to leave immediately.
Students are prohibited from utilizing cell phones for personal communication (including phone calls, text messages, and email) while working as an athletic training student. Cell phones must be turned off when the students are in these areas during clinical education experiences in the athletic training room, sports venues, and physician offices. Students’ cell phones may only be utilized in an emergency situation (i.e. when Campus Police must be summoned), or with the permission of the supervising certified athletic trainer preceptor (i.e. to call or receive a call from a coach or another certified athletic trainer at another venue). Cell phones must be turned off during classes. Instructors will have individualized cell phone policies in their syllabi.
Students are prohibited from smoking or chewing tobacco during their athletic training room assignments and rotations. Likewise, if a student is at any venue “visiting” their peers, athletic training staff, athletes, etc. the student is prohibited from smoking. Smoking or chewing tobacco is also prohibited while wearing any Athletic Training Education Program labeled clothing (i.e. program shirts, jackets, pants, etc.) Smoking, chewing tobacco, etc. in indoor and outdoor athletic venues is an OSHA and NCAA violation possibly resulting in fines for the student. Any student who appears intoxicated or has an alcohol odor on their breath during their athletic training room assignment or rotation will be immediately removed from the assignment or rotation. Further disciplinary action will then result, as this will not be tolerated.
The Athletic Training Education Program Admissions and Retention Committee reserves the right to amend these policies and procedures at any time.