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Stephanie M. Mazerolle, Ashley Goodman and William A. Pitney

Context:

Social support, autonomy, and job satisfaction are among the factors influencing female athletic trainers' decisions to remain in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I (NCAA D-I) setting, but the male perspective has not been documented.

Objective:

Identify factors that affect male athletic trainers' decisions to remain in the NCAA D-I setting.

Design:

Qualitative study. Participants: 11 male athletictrainers who averaged 6 ± 6 years of NCAA D-I clinical experience, 66 ± 10 working hours per week during the traditional sport season, and 34 ± 5 years of age.

Data collection and analysis:

In-depth, semistructured interviews. Two researchers followed the steps of a grounded theory study and analyzed data independently.

Results:

Two main persistence themes emerged from the data: (1) D-I atmosphere and (2) workplace environment.

Conclusions:

Our findings suggest that male athletic trainers remain in the NCAA D-I setting because of satisfaction with their employment, which includes a competitive atmosphere, strong coworker relationships, and support from their supervisors.

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Stephanie M. Mazerolle, William A. Pitney and Ashley Goodman

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Jim Schilling, William A. Pitney and Stephanie M. Mazerolle

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Stephanie M. Mazerolle, Thomas G. Bowman and Carrie Fister

Context:

Athletic training majors are at risk for experiencing elevated stress, frustrations, and eventual burnout. Evidence suggests that stressors can accumulate over time, but academic standing can plausibly influence experiences with stress.

Objective:

Gain information related to coping strategies used by athletic training majors to manage their stress and frustrations to prevent burnout.

Design:

Online qualitative study.

Setting:

Athletic training programs.

Patients or Other Participants:

10 sophomores, 9 juniors, and 4 seniors completed the online questionnaire. The athletic training majors were recruited from four institutions with accredited programs.

Data Collection and Analysis:

Data were collected in March 2013 via asynchronous online interviewing via QuestionPro. All participants responded to the same set of 25 questions and data were analyzed following a general inductive approach. The questionnaire was reviewed by a peer and piloted. Multiple analyst coding was completed.

Results:

We identified an overarching theme of personal coping strategies, which athletic training majors used to manage and cope with their stressors. These strategies were simply considered outside the confines of the athletic training program itself, and included outside support networks, physical outlets, and time management skills. We acknowledged athletic training majors also employed stress-relieving strategies that were facilitated within or by the athletic training program itself. Specifically, our participants noted that they received support from peer and programmatic personnel (preceptors, faculty).

Conclusions:

Athletic training majors must develop personal strategies that can help them best alleviate their stressors, but also must have strong support in place especially within their athletic training programs. We recommend that athletic training majors reflect upon what strategies work best for them and to find hobbies and personal interests that help them de-stress and rejuvenate from their demanding workloads.

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Stephanie M. Mazerolle, Thomas G. Bowman and Jessica L. Barrett

The commissioners of the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) and the Board of Directors of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) have acted to move the professional degree in athletic training from a bachelor’s degree to a graduate degree. The decision was largely based upon growth of the profession and aligning with the face of healthcare education. Therefore, we wanted to understand the perceived benefits of the graduate model. Using a qualitative paradigm, we electronically interviewed 29 students and faculty members (13 athletic training faculty and program directors, 16 students) currently in Professional Masters Athletic Training Programs (PM ATP). These represented 13 of the 29 (45%) CAATE-accredited PM ATPs. Five themes emerged from the data: (1) engagement and time spent in clinical education allows students to prepare for their roles as athletic trainers, (2) faculty stress the importance of interprofessional education, (3) expecting prior foundational knowledge allows focused education training at the graduate level, (4) increased professional commitment to stay in athletic training rather than use the training/education as a stepping-stone to other career paths, and (5) higher student maturity facilitates deeper learning. Based on these results, the perceived benefits of the PM ATP model are multifactorial.

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Stephanie M. Mazerolle, Thomas G. Bowman and Jessica L. Barrett

Clinical education provides the backbone for the socialization process for athletic trainers. It is the chance for students to engage in the role, within a real-time learning environment that allows for not only the adoption of knowledge, skills, and critical decision making, but also the profession’s foundational behaviors of professional practice. Recent criticisms of the current education model, in which the degree is conferred, center on the lack of critical thinking and confidence in clinical practice for newly-credentialed athletic trainers, as many suggest there is concern for the abilities of students to transition to practice smoothly. We offer three areas of focus for clinical education experiences for students (autonomy, mentorship, and feedback), believing this could support the development of independent thinking and confidence in skills. Our discussions are focused on the evidence available, as well as personal experiences as educators and program administrators.

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Stephanie M. Mazerolle, Emily Sterling and Jim Mench

Women athletic trainers leave the profession of athletic training after the age of 28. The reasons appear complex, but are not well defined in the literature, as many studies examine intent, not actual attrition. We used a descriptive qualitative study with a general inductive approach. Twelve females (4 single with no children, 5 married with children, and 3 married with no children) who left the profession of athletic training between the ages of 28 and 35 participated. Attrition from athletic training for our participants was triggered by organizational, individual, and sociocultural factors. These can be broken down to four main themes of family values, work-life imbalance, sexism, and financial concerns.

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Thomas M. Dodge, M. Susan Guyer, Stephanie M. Mazerolle and Thomas G. Bowman

Research has identified that learning in the clinical education setting can be reciprocal between preceptors and athletic training students. However, the frequency of and the potential benefits to reciprocal learning are not fully understood. The purpose of the current study was to explore the frequency and perceived value of reciprocal learning in clinical education from both the athletic training student and preceptor perspective. Reciprocal learning was identified by preceptors and athletic training students as occurring frequently during clinical education. Preceptors and athletic training students valued the opportunity to learn from one another.

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Stephanie M Mazerolle, Tutita M. Casa and Douglas J. Casa

Edited by Malissa Martin