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Stephanie M. Mazerolle

Edited by Joseph J. Piccininni

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Stephanie M. Mazerolle and Chantel Hunter

The professional sport setting requires athletic trainers to work long hours, spend days on the road, and adhere to schedules made by others. These job expectations can lead to a reduction in work-life balance, and recent evidence suggests that role strain and reduced professional commitment are present. At this time, work-life balance of the professional sport athletic trainer has not been examined. Twenty-seven male athletic trainers who represented four major professional sports (NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL) participated in the study. We collected data online by asking our participants to respond to a series of demographic, Likert-scaled, and open-ended questions. Means and standard deviations were calculated for Likert scale data and scores were compiled for each question. All qualitative data from the online interviews were coded following a general inductive approach. Data source triangulation was the primary credibility strategy, followed by peer review and multiple analyst triangulation. Mean scores were 40.5 ± 6.6 for work-family/personal life conflict. Two major themes emerged from our data: barriers and facilitators. Barriers speak to those aspects of the role of the athletic trainer in the professional setting that limit work-life balance. Facilitators speak to those strategies and practices that stimulated work-life balance for our participants. The professional sports setting can be demanding and stimulate conflict, but, with support garnered from the organization and supportive spouses, balance can be gained.

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Stephanie M. Mazerolle and Chantel Hunter

Professional commitment has been studied in multiple settings, yet little is known about the professional sport setting. A total of 27 male athletic trainers, employed full time in the professional sport setting, participated in this study. Our participants were 34 years old (range 30–58), with 21 ± 7 years of experience as a certified athletic trainer, and more than 17 ± 7 years of experience in the professional setting. We conducted online asynchronous interviews. All data were analyzed following an interpretative approach. Data saturation was met, and we used a peer review and researcher triangulation. Barriers to professional commitment included time away from family/home and negative work environment. The facilitators to professional commitment were competition, positive work environment, and off-season professional development. The professional sport setting is unique, much like the collegiate setting, and thus our findings highlight that time away and a negative workplace atmosphere can reduce an athletic trainer’s commitment. Commitment to the profession, however, is enhanced within this setting because of the chance to be around the high level of competition, as well as the chance to have time for professional development.

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Stephanie Mazerolle, Christianne M. Eason and Stephanie Clines

The graduate assistant (GA) athletic trainer position often symbolizes an important transitory role from student to autonomous practitioner. The position also is used to help gain valuable experience for future employment. Our purpose was to understand the socialization process of the GA athletic trainer as well as investigate the career intentions as they begin to seek employment following their experiences in that transitory role. Twenty-five (5 males, 20 females) GA athletic trainers were recruited and participated in this study. Findings indicate the experiences of novice athletic trainers serving as GAs have the potential to both positively or negatively influence perceptions of the athletic training profession and, ultimately, career intentions.

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Stephanie M. Mazerolle and Jennifer E. Bruening

Column-editor : James M. Mensch

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Stephanie M. Mazerolle and Jennifer E. Bruening

Column-editor : James M. Mensch

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

Context:

Reciprocal learning appears to be occurring in athletic training clinical education. Students and preceptors can learn from one another, particularly if both parties are open to learning from each other.

Objective:

Examine facilitators and barriers to reciprocal learning in the athletic training clinical education setting.

Design:

Exploratory qualitative study.

Setting:

Athletic training programs.

Patients or Other Participants:

Our recruitment, which was based upon data redundancy, included 10 preceptors and 10 athletic training students. The preceptors had an average of 5 ± 3.5 years of experience supervising students. The athletic training student sample consisted of 8 seniors and 2 juniors.

Main Outcome Measures:

Participants responded to a series of questions by journaling their thoughts and opinions. Data were collected and stored on QuestionPro, a secure website. Data were analyzed by a general inductive approach. Credibility was established by (1) researcher triangulation, (2) peer review, and (3) member checks.

Results:

The relationship between the preceptor and the student along with reception to reciprocal learning emerged as facilitators, while a lack of confidence on the students’ behalf and time constraints can limit chances for reciprocal learning.

Conclusions:

Reciprocal learning has been identified as being mutually beneficial to the student and preceptor. Our findings highlight that for this type of learning to be successful, there has to be a communal interest in learning and that the use of current clinical cases and students’ current coursework provide benchmarks for discussion and learning.

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William M. Adams, Yuri Hosokawa, Robert A. Huggins, Stephanie M. Mazerolle and Douglas J. Casa

Context:

Evidence-based best practices for the recognition and treatment of exertional heat stroke (EHS) indicate that rectal thermometry and immediate, aggressive cooling via cold-water immersion ensure survival from this medical condition. However, little is known about the recovery, medical follow-up, and return to activity after an athlete has suffered EHS.

Objective:

To highlight the transfer of evidenced-based research into clinical practice by chronicling the treatment, recovery, and return to activity of a runner who suffered an EHS during a warm-weather road race.

Design:

Case study.

Setting:

Warm-weather road race.

Participant:

53-y-old recreationally active man.

Intervention:

A runner’s treatment, recovery, and return to activity from EHS and 2014 Falmouth Road Race performance.

Main Outcomes:

Runner’s perceptions and experiences with EHS, body temperature, heart rate, hydration status, exercise intensity.

Results:

The runner successfully completed the 2014 Falmouth Road Race without incident of EHS. Four dominant themes emerged from the data: predisposing factors, ideal treatment, lack of medical follow-up, and patient education. The first theme identified 3 predisposing factors that contributed to the runner’s EHS: hydration, sleep loss, and lack of heat acclimatization. The runner received ideal treatment using evidence-based best practices. A lack of long-term medical care following the EHS with no guidance on the runner’s return to full activity was observed. The runner knew very little about EHS before the 2013 race, which drove him to seek knowledge as to why he suffered EHS. Using this newly learned information, he successfully completed the 2014 Falmouth Road Race without incident.

Conclusions:

This case supports prior literature examining the factors that predispose individuals to EHS. Although evidence-based best practices regarding prompt recognition and treatment of EHS ensure survival, this case highlights the lack of medical follow-up and physician-guided return to activity after EHS.

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Stephanie M. Mazerolle, Christianne M. Eason and Ashley Goodman

We examined coping behaviors of athletic trainers as characterized by hardiness, resiliency, and positive affectivity, and whether these individual-level factors relate to the career intentions of collegiate athletic trainers. A total of 423 (193 men, 230 women) athletic trainers employed in the NCAA setting completed our study. Women had statistically significant higher intention-to-leave scores than their male counterparts, and years of experience did not statistically impact intention-to-leave scores. Individuals with higher hardiness, positive affectivity, and resiliency scores had lower intention-to-leave scores. Athletic trainers who have higher coping behaviors are less likely to leave the profession.