An examination of the most effective instructional method that disseminates content, context and process of the athletic training profession to its members through continuing professional education activities
Continuing education requirements in all fields and professions are intended to promote continued competence, to develop current knowledge and skills, and to enhance professional skills and judgment beyond the levels required for entry-level practice. The idea of enhancing one’s knowledge and the ability to stay current with the newest updates in one’s profession is vital to the success of an individual and his/her profession. The profession of athletic training is no different. Being a part of the allied health field, the profession of athletic training continues to evolve. All professionals continue their education through experiences, formal schooling or continuing education systems. How can continuing professional education be most effective in enhancing the certified athletic trainer (ATC) in the ever evolving allied health field? The purpose of the study was to examine and then determine the most preferred method of continuing professional education (CPE) for certified athletic trainers (ATC). The research study evaluates the most effective instructional method to disseminate the content, context and the process of the athletic training profession to its members through continuing education activities. Continuing education requirements are intended to promote continued competence, development of current knowledge and skills, and enhancement of professional skills and judgment beyond the levels required for entry-level practice. The governing body of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) requires its members to participate in continuing education activities for these reasons. The study involved 287 certified athletic trainers (ATC) and their responses through a survey instrument. The survey instrument was sent to every certified athletic trainer in Indiana through the Internet and their responses were collected by Ball State University’s Research Design and Analysis Services. The ATCs responded to a multitude of questions concerning their view of continuing education, impediments to continuing education and their demographics. After reviewing the data, certified athletic trainers responses resulted in showing a strong preference to hands-on and interactive opportunities as being the best perceived delivery system to provide the profession and its members with continuing education experiences.