Athletic Trainers Perceptions of Heath and Safety Best-Practice Policy & Procedure Implementation in United States Secondary Schools

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Health Professions


Policies and Procedures (P&P) outline the standard of care for athletic-related injuries and can help reduce delays in management of such injuries. Athletic trainers (AT) are well-positioned in the secondary school (SS) to implement best-practice P&P for the protection of patients. The purpose of this study was to identify ATs perceptions of current P&P implemened in SSs within the United States. Secondarily, we aimed to understand the factors influencing initial development of these policies. Ten ATs were selected from a convenience national sample from those completing a web-based questionnaire about sport safety best-practice adoption within their SS. Participants completed a phone interview and all audio files were transcribed verbatim. The research team utilised the consensual Qualitative Research tradition for analysis of the transcripts. Two primary themes were identified as part of this study: 1) policies and procedures and 2) policy development. The results of this investigation suggest that although SS ATs are implementing P&P, the P&P are often not comprehensive of the best-practices outlined in published documents such as Position Statements. Further, ATs identify state laws and state high-school athletics association mandates, education of healthcare providers and resources as key determinants in developing P&P at their SS. Additionally, these findings indicate that ATs are likely aware of a majority of policies and procedures implemented at their school, but that improved access to resources may help to promote P&P development.

Publication Title

Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise, and Health

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