Document Type


Publication Date




Publication Title

Athletic Training Education Journal








Context: Over a decade ago, the Institute of Medicine indicated that all health care professionals should be educated in several health care competency areas (quality improvement, health care informatics, interprofessional education and collaborative practice, evidence-based practice, and patient-centered care). Despite this initiative, athletic training has only recently incorporated these competencies throughout education.

Objective: To assess postprofessional athletic training students' perceived abilities and importance regarding 6 core competencies.

Design: Cross-sectional. Setting: Self-reported paper survey. Patients or Other

Participants: A total of 221 from a convenience sample of 258 postprofessional athletic training students (85.7%) completed the survey (82 males, 138 females; age = 23.29 ± 2.05 years).

Main Outcome Measure(s): The survey consisted of several concept statements for each competency, and perceptions were collected via Likert-scale items (range 1-4). Composite perceived ability and importance Likert-scale scores were achieved by tabulating all values and then averaging the scores back to the Likert scale. Higher scores indicated that participants perceived themselves to have greater ability and that the concepts were more important for implementation in clinical practice.

Results: Overall, postprofessional athletic training students perceived they were able to implement the concepts of the competencies into their daily practice and perceived all of the competencies to be moderately to extremely important for implementation. However, while participants globally perceived they were able to implement the competencies, they disagreed or strongly disagreed they were able to implement some concepts, particularly within health care informatics and patient-centered care, as a part of their clinical practice.

Conclusions: Postprofessional athletic training students recognize the importance of the core competencies and perceive they are able to implement these competencies throughout clinical practice. However, as postprofessional athletic training students continue to advance their skills as clinicians, the benefits of health care informatics and incorporating real-time electronic patient data to support their clinical decisions should be emphasized.


The Athletic Training Education Journal is an open access journal.

Consistent with the Budapest open access initiative (BOAI), 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. An institution may post an author's manuscript in a digital repository. Any other posting on servers or replication of any content can be done only after obtaining permission from the NATA's publication office.

Original Publication Citation

Welch Bacon, C. E., Van Lunen, B. L., & Hankemeier, D. A. (2018). Postprofessional athletic training students' perceptions concerning the health care competencies. Athletic Training Education Journal, 13(4), 309-323.