The Hong Kong Journal of Sports Medicine and Sports

Volume XIII, November 2001

College athletic trainers' perceptions of professional preparation related to managing stressors in the work environment: curriculum implications for athletic training education programs

Beverly J. Westerman, Patricia A. Sullivan, Honey W. Nasliman
The George Washington University
Washington D. C., USA

The objective of this study was to examine college athletic trainers' perceptions of their entry-level preparation in relation to managing the stressful demands of the athletic training work environment. College athletic trainers were surveyed. Data were organized according to a structure previously designed by Quick and Quick (1984). Responses were rank ordered by percentages. One hundred and thirty--two subjects were drawn from a sample from the College Athletic Trainers' Society's membership list. The survey was designed to provide information relative to the following categories: demographics, satisfactions and stressors in the lives of athletic trainers, coping strategies or mechanisms for those stressors, and the formal and informal education received by these athletic trainers to prepare them for the demands of the athletic training profession. Organizational demands represented the majority of stressors associated with the work of these professionals. More than one-third of the respondents stated that they were unprepared to have realistic expectations regarding the demands of the athletic training profession. Respondents indicated that clinical instructors are important components of athletic training education relative to learning appropriate coping mechanisms. Subjects recommended additional formal course work to better prepare for the stressful demands of the profession. This study demonstrates that carefully planned and executed formal education related to coping with the demands of the profession will benefit future athletic trainers throughout their careers.

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