Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

School Name

College of Health Professions



Major Advisor

Dr. Barbara Jackson

Second Advisor

Dr. Grant Smith

Third Advisor

Dr. Lindsey Eberman


Aims: This study aimed to explore athletic training preceptors' confidence through skills associated with clinical educator competency domains for healthcare professionals. The research questions focused on the relationship between years of clinical practice, perceived skills value, clinical practice setting, age, ethnicity, and pedagogy background on preceptors' self-reported confidence. Background: The quality of clinical teaching directly affects students' learning experiences, transition to practice, and job satisfaction. With no clear standards for the role or uniform training, it is unclear whether preceptors are prepared for the clinical educator position. Clinical experiences provide opportunities for students to gain confidence in their skills. Still, there remains a lack of evidence regarding athletic training preceptors’ confidence in performing the duties of a clinical educator.

Methods: A descriptive study with a cross-sectional survey was used to collect data from athletic trainers with experience as a preceptor. The survey included measures of age, ethnicity, pedagogy background, self-reported confidence, and skills from five competency domains associated with clinical education.

Results: The results revealed a significant positive relationship between preceptors' perceived importance of the domain skills and their self-reported confidence score. Additionally, researchers found a significant relationship between pedagogy background and self-reported confidence. However, the relationship between years of clinical practice and self-reported confidence was weak and not statistically significant, indicating additional factors may contribute to preceptors' confidence beyond years of experience alone.

Discussion: This study shows the importance of the clinical educator performance domains in shaping preceptors' confidence as clinical educators. These findings demonstrate the importance and value of training and preparation in pedagogy. Relating theory to practice or developing clinical decision-making skills training modules can support preceptor training courses for AT professional programs. Future research should explore additional factors to understand better and enhance the confidence of clinical educators.

Available for download on Wednesday, July 24, 2024