Faculty and Preceptor Perceptions of their Respective Roles in Athletic Training Student Development
Athletic Training Education Journal
Health care professions use a unique learning pattern in which education occurs both didactically and clinically. Previous research has focused on preceptor selection and training, but there has been limited emphasis on the perceived roles of didactic and clinical educators. Identifying potential discrepancies in perceived roles in student development may help improve athletic training student education through a shared understanding of role delineation.
To understand the perceived roles of faculty and preceptors in athletic training student development.
Consensual qualitative research.
Videoconference focus group interviews.
Patients or Other Participants
Eight faculty, 7 preceptors, and 7 dual-role faculty/preceptors representing professional athletic training programs participated in this study. Data saturation guided the number of focus groups conducted.
Data Collection and Analysis
Semistructured focus group interviews were conducted and transcribed verbatim. Four researchers used a consensus process to analyze data, identify emergent themes, and create a codebook independently. We created a consensual codebook using identified themes and subgroups. Trustworthiness was established with the use of multiple researchers and an external auditor.
Three themes emerged from the data: (1) contributors to role achievement, (2) challenges to role achievement, and (3) perceived improvements. Factors contributing to role achievement included positive relationships, effective communication, role development, student development, and socialization. Challenges to role achievement included preparation for the role, student commitment, role strain, ineffective communication, authenticity of learning, and preceptor willingness. Suggestions for perceived improvements included concept integration and application, programmatic leadership, and culture.
Some participants identified ineffective communication as a challenge to role development. Others noted effective communication as a contributor to role development. Limited formal training exists for faculty and preceptors relative to their respective roles in student development, and many draw from their own past experiences to better fulfill those roles.
Original Publication Citation
Cavallario, J. M., Cohen, G. W., Wathen, H. B. M., Nelson, E. L., & Welch Bacon, C. E. (2021). Faculty and preceptor perceptions of their respective roles in athletic training student development. Athletic Training Education Journal, 16(3), 208-218. https://doi.org/10.4085/1947-380x-21-12
Cavallario, Julie M.; Cohen, Gary W.; Wathen, Heather B.M.; Nelson, Emily Lynn; and Welch Bacon, Cailee E., "Faculty and Preceptor Perceptions of their Respective Roles in Athletic Training Student Development" (2021). Rehabilitation Sciences Faculty Publications. 79.