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Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to identify and describe the status of P&P practices of secondary school athletic trainers. Methods: Following an online informed consent confirmation, participants completed a Policies and Procedures Status questionnaire, including demographics. This was distributed to certified athletic trainers currently employed in the secondary school setting in the United States. The survey consisted of 49 questions about the status of P&Ps using one of the following responses: the practice is in operation and it appears in written form; the practice is in operation but does not appear in written form; the practice is not in operation but does appear in written form; and the practice is not in operation and it does not appear in written form. This study utilized descriptive statistics, consisting of means, frequencies, and percentages, to report results that described the current status of policies and procedures Results: There was a total of 232 participants. 72.6% of secondary school athletic trainers had existing P&P manuals and 37.9% reported the P&P manual existed when they acquired the position. 31.9% who did not have an existing P&P manual upon starting their position never developed a manual. 45.7% of all P&Ps were reported to exist in both written and operational form and 25.9% reported having neither written nor operational forms of P&Ps. 54.5% used the BOC Guiding Principles for AT Policy and Procedure Development and 45.2% used the BOC Facility Principles document. Conclusion: The results revealed almost half of participants reported the risk management practices in the P&P manual were in operational and written form. P&Ps that have been described in NATA Position Statements were more likely to be in both written and operational form when compared to those that were not. Secondary school athletic trainers may have limited guidance and training in risk management, with even less guidance on resources specifically for developing and reviewing P&Ps.

Author Bio(s)

Micaela Dunbar-Gaynor, MS, ATC, EMT is a post-graduate student in Livonia, Michigan.

Ericka P. Zimmerman, EdD, LAT, ATC is an Associate Professor and School Director for the School of Health Sciences at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina.

Victor Liberi, MS, LAT, ATC is an Associate Professor of Exercise Science and Athletic Training at Adrian College in Adrian, Michigan.

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