Professional Values: Cultivating the Social Contract with the Seeds of Professionalism

in International Journal of Athletic Therapy and Training
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The profession of athletic training has not identified and explicitly articulated shared professional values (PV). Shared PV are the seeds of professionalism, and deeply rooted motivators of professional action which support the social contract through self-regulation. The purpose of this exploratory study was to: (1) discover shared PV in athletic training, (2) examine how important PV are to the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) membership, and (3) how important is it for our association to explicitly articulate professional values. This study found that truth/honesty, integrity, and respect are significant athletic training PV. PV are important (96.8%), and it is important for the association to explicitly articulate PV (96.5%). The declaration of shared PV will promote values-based behaviors and internally motivate a duty to uphold the legal, ethical, and regulatory standards of the profession. Dedication to our professional responsibilities will sustain the social contract and encourage public trust.

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