Document Type


Publication Date




Publication Title

Journal of Athletic Training








Context: To enhance the quality of patient care, athletic training students (ATSs) should experience a wide variety of clinical practice settings, interact with diverse patient populations, and engage with patients that have a wide variety of conditions. It is unclear in what ways, if any, ATSs have diverse opportunities during clinical experiences.

Objective: To describe the characteristics of patient encounters (PEs) ATSs engage in during clinical experiences. Design: Multi-site, panel design.

Setting: 12 professional athletic training programs (ATPs; 5 Bachelor, 7 Master's).

Patients or Other Participants: 363 ATSs from the ATPs that used E*Value software to document PEs during clinical experiences participated in this study.

Main Outcome Measures: During each PE, ATSs were asked to log the clinical site at which the PE occurred (college/university, secondary school, clinic, other), the procedures performed during the patient encounter (e.g., knee evaluation, lower leg flexibility/ROM, cryotherapy), and the diagnoses, with ICD-10 code, of the patient (e.g., S83.512A Knee Sprain, ACL).

Results: 30,630 PEs were entered by 363 ATSs across unique 278 clinical settings. More than 80% of PEs occurred at college/university and secondary school settings. More than half of diagnoses recorded were designated as lower body region. Examination and evaluation procedures and application of therapeutic modality procedures contributed approximately 27% of procedures each.

Conclusions: It is surprising that ATSs are not gaining experience in all clinical practice settings in which athletic trainers commonly practice, and our data suggest that students may be consigned to working with more frequently occurring injuries which may not prepare them for the realities of autonomous clinical practice. These findings suggest that directed efforts are needed to ensure ATSs are provided opportunities to engage with h diverse patient populations with a variety of conditions in an array of clinical site types during clinical experiences.


© by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, Inc. All rights reserved.

Included with the kind written permission of the copyright holder.


0000-0003-3171-9141 (Cavallario), 0000-0002-6754-7938 (Van Lunen)

Original Publication Citation

Welch Bacon, C. E., Cavallario, J. M., Walker, S. E., Bay, R. C., & Van Lunen, B. L. (2022). Characteristics of patient encounters for athletic training students during clinical education: A report from the AATE research network. Journal of Athletic Training.