Clinical Program Information

Overview & Philosophy

Clinical Experience Opportunities

  • Current Clinical Rotations

Clinincal Education Requirements/Anticipatied Costs

Overview & Philosophy

Clinical experiences are an integral part of any athletic training curriculum and the importance of these clinical experiences should be viewed on the same level as the didactic (classroom) portion.  For this reason, all clinical experiences occur as a part of the Clinical Practicum in Athletic Training course sequence and academic credit hours are earned for them. 

These courses invovle clinical education, both in the form of in-class application of integrated care, as well as “real-world” clinical experiences where students engage in supervised clinical practice and gain experience. In order to be well prepared as Athletic Trainers, students must work diligently in the classroom to understand the material presented AND they must also work diligently in the clinical setting to apply their knowledge to real-world clinical situations and to develop a high level of clinical skill. Clinical experiences are NOT “work” experiences. Instead, they are educational experiences where classroom knowledge is applied in real-world settings.

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Clinical Experience Opportunities

As a component of each semester’s Clinical Practicum in Athletic Training course (SES 381, 382, 383, 481, and 482), students typically obtain approximately 20-25 hours per week of clinical athletic training experience.  This experience will provide the athletic training student an opportunity for the practical application of athletic training knowledge and skills, under the direct supervision of preceptor.

The intercollegiate athletic program at UNC consists of 19 sports and related activities that serve as the primary clinical setting. These experiences are supplemented with other approved affiliate settings, including out-patient sports medicine clinics as well as several High School settings. The minimum time period to complete the clinical experience requirements is 2.5 years or 5 consecutive semesters.

Current Clinical Rotations

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Clinical Requirements & Anticipated Costs

In order to ensure the protection of both the Athletic Training Student (ATS) and the patients that they will come in contact with during clinical experiences, the following items must be provided to the Clinical Education Coordinator (CEC).

  • Signed Technical Standards Form
  • Completed Health Center Clearance Form
  • Proof of current Emergency Cardiac Care certification
  • Proof of current approved Student Liability Insurance policy coverage
  • Proof of completion of current blood borne pathogen / communicable disease policy education and training
  • Completed Clinical Supervision Agreement Form

No engagement in any clinical experiences may begin until all items have been satisfactorily provided and both the student and preceptor are notified by the CEC that clinical experiences may commence.

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Technical Standards


By signing the technical standards document, the student verifies that they can meet all of the technical standards with or without accommodations.  Should accommodations be required in order to meet any of the technical standards, the student must notify both the program and the University’s Disability Support Services (DSS).  Upon notification, DSS will follow their internal processes in order to validate the need for accommodations as well as to determine the appropriate accommodations, if any are possible.  Should a student’s health status change such that the student, with or without accommodations, cannot meet any of the technical standards, the student must notify the program immediately and the aforementioned involvement of DSS will occur.

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Health Center Clearance / Immunization Requirements


The program requires you to provide a signed copy of the Health Center Clearance form at the start of the clinical phase of the program in order for you to provide evidence that you have obtained all required immunizations.  These immunization requirements are for the protection of both you and the patients you will come in contact with.  This form must be taken to the UNC Student Health Center where they will review all of your required immunizations and will sign the form if all is in order.  If the UNC Student Health Center does not have record of any of the listed immunizations, you will need to either provide them evidence or get those immunizations completed before they will sign that form.  You can get any immunizations from any provider.  If you choose to go to somewhere other than the UNC Student Health Center for any missing immunizations, be sure to get a copy of verification of the immunization to provide to the Student Health Center.   The Student Health Center charges a $25 administrative fee for reviewing this form.  This fee is set by them and is consistent with all other health care programs on campus. Please see www.unco.edu/shc/immunization/immune.htm  for more information regarding the University immunization requirements.

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Emergency Cardiac Care


All students engaging in clinical education experiences are required to have and maintain current certification in Emergency Cardiac Care that is accepted by the BOC Inc.  At all times, every Athletic Training student must have current ECC certification.     Failure to do so will result in the removal of a student from a clinical experience and may create means for probation &/or disenrollment from the education program.  Costs associated with certification are the responsibility of the student.

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Student Liability Insurance


The program requires all students to have and maintain Student Liability Insurance that covers your activities as an ATS. 

Links to approved Student Liability Insurance policies:

If you wish to choose an insurance option that is not listed, it must be approved by the program as acceptable.  The premium for most student policies is typically around $40 for a 1 year term, with discounts available for members of the NATA, as well as mutli-year term discounts.  Costs associated with insurance are the responsibility of the student. Before you can begin clinical experiences, you must provide the program with a copy of proof of insurance. 

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Bloodborne Pathogen / Communicable Diease Policy Education & Training


A communicable disease is defined as a disease that may be transmitted directly or indirectly from one individual to another. Diseases such as streptococcus and influenza can be spread by discharge from nose or throat, either by droplet through the air, or by contact with objects contaminated by these discharges. Thus, they can be spread by casual contact such as that which occurs in a school setting or healthcare environment. Athletic Training Students who are diagnosed by a medical professional with a communicable disease that may be transmitted by casual contact should immediately notify the Clinical Coordinator as well as their direct clinical preceptor. The student shall not report to their clinical assignment until cleared by a physician.

In compliance with the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations, all involved in the UNC ATP are expected to follow and abide by the policies and procedures outline in the University office of Environmental Health & Safety’s Biological Safety Manual when dealing with blood and bodily fluids.  This manual can be found at www.unco.edu/facility/EHS/Procedures/Environmental/environmental.html.  Workshops and in-services are provided each academic year to keep you informed and up to date with current information.  Failure to comply, and abide by the procedures outlined in the manual can result in probation and/or removal from the program, and may affect your clinical practicum grade. Remember these policies are for your safety and protection.  No student or prospective student may engage in any clinical experiences, including observational experiences unless they have been adequately educated about the University’s policies & procedures regarding bloodborne pathogens. 

The program requires annual completion of education and training in blood borne pathogens and the program's communicable disease policy.  The initial training for all students occurs as a component of SES 281 and must be completed prior to any observational experiences.  Annual training for all students will typically occur in January of each year at the start of the Spring semester.

Post Exposure Plan and Follow up
If students follow the prevention guidelines as presented in BBP training, an exposure incident to a BBP should be a rare event. However, if the student does have an exposure incident, it is important to remember that prompt action is important and may be critical for the effectiveness of prophylactic treatment which must be administered within a specific time period.

  • If contact with blood or other potentially infectious material occurs on skin with cuts, rashes, acne or dermatitis, wash the area for 10 minutes with soap and water.
  • If blood or other potentially infectious material splashes in the eyes or on mucus membranes, flush the area for 15 minutes with water or normal saline.
  • After this immediate action, the student should immediately notify their preceptor, program director and/or CEC and complete the Post Exposure Plan Form (see Appendix).
  • Obtain medical attention at the UNC student health center located in Cassidy Hall. If the UNC Student Health center is closed, medical attention should be obtained through North Colorado Medical Center.
  • The Program Director and/or CEC will contact the UNC Environmental Health and Safety Department.

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Clinical Supervision Agreement


The Clinical Supervision Agreement form is an agreement between you, your preceptor, and the program, that identifies the expectations for clinical supervision.  This document must be signed by all parties listed before clinical experiences can begin.

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ATrack Online Access

The UNC ATP has chosen to utilize ATrack Online as its athletic training student tracking program.  As such, all necessary hour logs, evaluation tools, clinical proficiency test data and other programmatic data will be entered and stored there.  Students are required to have access to their individual account.  Free access is granted to all paid members of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA).  Should a student not wish to join the NATA, that student must purchase a subscription to ATrack.  Costs associated with access to ATrack are the responsibility of the student.

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Travel to Clinical & Affiliate Sites

While the majority of clinical experiences will take place on the UNC campus, there will be times during which a student is required to engage in clinical experiences off campus.  It is the responsibly of the student to provide for transportation to and from those clinical experiences.  Costs associated with that transportation will be the responsibility of the student.

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Additional Costs

The majority of the costs associated with supplies essential to the educational process will be assumed by the ATEP.  However, there may be costs associated with other items including but not limited to appropriate clothing, personal supplies & equipment (fanny packs, scissors, etc.), memberships to affiliate organizations, and other identified requirements of a clinical site (background checks, immunizations, etc.).  Those costs will be the responsibility of the student.

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