AT Program Technical Standards

The following guidelines outline the essential functions of an Entry-Level Athletic Trainer as described by the National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA) Educational Competencies and Proficiencies, the Board of Certificate (BOC) Role Delineation Study as well as meet expectations of the programs accreditation agency (Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education – CAATE). Candidates for the Bachelor’s Degree in Athletic Trainer awarded by the University of Florida are required to meet these technical standards as part of the admission process and must continue to meet these standards for program retention. In the event a student is unable to fulfill these technical standards, with or without “reasonable accommodation” (according to the Americans with Disabilities Act), the student will not be admitted into the program or be permitted to continue in the program. Compliance with the program’s technical standards does not guarantee a student’s eligibility for the BOC certification exam.

Communication Skills: Students must be able to communicate effectively with faculty, peers, coworkers, clients, patients and other members of the healthcare team. Effective communication includes the ability to receive, interpret, utilize and disseminate information via verbal, non-verbal, and written communication in a manner that is comprehensible by colleagues, clients, and laypersons. It is required that students communicate in the English language at a level consistent with competent professional practice, verbally and in writing (manual and computer). Students must demonstrate the ability to sensitively and effectively communicate with individuals with disabilities and/or from different social and cultural backgrounds.

Observation Skills: Students must be able to accurately observe the client’s or patient’s activity and behavior during examinations and interventions as well as changes in status such as skin temperature and/or color, heart rate, facial expression, muscle tone, breath sounds, and breathing rate or pattern. Students must also be able to accurately observe and interpret demonstrations in the classroom, projected slides or overheads, x-rays, and monitor dials on equipment.

Psychomotor Skills: Students must be able to develop proficiency in motor skills required for accurate examination, evaluation, and intervention techniques. The student must demonstrate adequate locomotor ability to allow them to physically maneuver to and from and within the classroom, lab, and clinical settings in a timely manner. This includes the ability to quickly respond in emergency situations (e.g., in-line stabilization of cervical spine, rescue breathing, obstructed airway management, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation). Students must be able to safely and effectively execute movements required to provide appropriate therapeutic care (e.g., perform mobilization techniques, wound care management, use of tools such as goniometer, blood pressure cuff, stethoscope, etc). These skills require coordination of both gross and fine muscular movement and equilibrium. Students must be able to perform in the physically demanding settings in which athletic trainers practice.

Cognitive | Intellectual Skills: Students must be able to measure, calculate, reason, analyze, synthesize, and apply large amounts of information in a short period of time. Students must be able to understand and apply principles, theory, and research to physical therapy practice. Students must demonstrate the ability to think critically and problem-solve, and synthesize knowledge and integrate the relevant aspects of a patient’s history and examination findings to develop an effective treatment program.

Behavioral | Affective Skills: Students must possess and demonstrate a level of emotional health and maturity that allows the full use of their intellectual capabilities, the use of good judgment, the ability to effectively handle physically, emotionally, or intellectually stressful situations. This includes the ability to adjust and adapt to changing situations or uncertainty in the academic or clinical environment. Students must also demonstrate a commitment to working with individuals with physical and cognitive deficits from a variety of age groups, cultures, socioeconomic status, without bias. Students must demonstrate perseverance, diligence and commitment to complete the AT Program as outlined and sequenced.

Candidates for selection to the athletic training educational program will be required to verify they understand and meet these technical standards or that they believe that, with certain accommodations, they can meet the standards.

Alternative statement for students requesting accommodations based on disability:

I certify that I have read and understand the Technical Standards for Admission and Retention listed above, and I believe to the best of my knowledge that I can meet each of these standards with or without accommodations. I have attached a document that outlines the technical standards for which I will need an accommodation in order to complete. I authorize the AT Program to discuss my accommodation request with the necessary campus offices and committees. The University will determine whether it agrees that the student can meet the technical standards with reasonable accommodation; this includes a review of whether the accommodations requested are reasonable, taking into account whether accommodation would jeopardize clinician/patient safety, or the educational process of the student or the institution, including all coursework, clinical experiences and internships deemed essential to graduation.

If it is determined that I can complete the technical standards with the requested accommodations I will contact the Disability Resource Office to discuss the procedures for securing the appropriate accommodations. I understand that if I am unable to meet these standards with or without accommodations, I will not be admitted into the program.

Note: Complete Technical Standards document with space for signatures is included as part of the AT Program Admission Packet for Pre-Athletic Training Students.