Other Subject Area

Clinical Education


International Journal of Exercise Science 16(3): 1284-1292, 2023. Background: The COVID-19 pandemic created a challenge to athletic training students, with many classes converted to online education, and many clinical experiences interrupted. These changes may have negatively affected the confidence level of athletic training students in their athletic training skills. Purpose: To determine if athletic training students’ educational experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic have impacted their confidence levels in completing athletic training skills. Procedures: A cross-sectional design using an online survey of 56 athletic training students from 33 CAATE accredited athletic training programs was used. The survey consisted of questions about the percentage of online learning, didactically and clinically, during the pandemic and confidence levels for skills within the five athletic training domains. Descriptive statistics were calculated, and factorial ANOVAs were used to analyze the level of confidence by semester of clinical experience. Main Findings: Factorial ANOVA demonstrated lower perceived confidence levels for students who had more online clinical experience for the following domains: injury and illness prevention and wellness promotion, therapeutic intervention, and healthcare administration and professional responsibility. Confidence was also lower in correctly performing the clinical skills for evaluating spine and torso, developing and implementing a rehabilitation program for the lower extremity, and developing and implementing a rehabilitation program for the back. Principal Conclusion: Athletic training students who had large portion of their clinical and classroom experience online had perceived lower levels of confidence in performing clinical and administrative skills. Online learning may influence athletic training students’ confidence level in performing athletic training skills.