Identifying Attitudes and Deterring Factors toward Continuing Education among Certified Athletic Trainers

Brian Hughes
2005 The Internet Journal of Allied Health Sciences and Practice   unpublished
Citation: Hughes, B. Identifying attitudes and deterring factors towards continuing education among certified athletic trainers. ABSTRACT Objective: To explore the perceived attitudes toward continuing education and the deterrents to continuing education for certified athletic trainers (ATCs). Design and Setting: Data were collected using the Adults Attitudes Towards Continuing Education Scale (AATCES) instrument, Deterrents to Participation Scale-General (DPS-G) instrument, and self-reported
more » ... and self-reported demographics. Subjects: An imbedded on-line questionnaire was e-mailed three times in a 6-week period to ATCs who subscribe to the athletic trainers listserv at Indiana State University and the professional athletic trainers education listserv at Findlay University. The sample of this study consisted of approximately 1,200 ATCs of which 268 answered and returned the survey, a return rate of 22%. Measurements: Data included descriptive statistics, a one-way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA), and Cluster Analysis to compare the demographic groups on the AATCES and the DPS-G instruments. Results: This study found that the participants have a very positive attitude toward continuing education according to the AATCES instrument and that the participants report few deterrents through the DPS-G instrument. However, two deterrents of statistical importance were found in the items related to Time and Course Relevance and one deterrent, Cost, was found in the comparison to gender. Conclusions: This study found that ATCs have a very favorable attitude toward continuing education and that ATCs perceive few deterrents to continuing education. To further understand these trends in continuing education, these particular surveys must be made available to more ATCs. In addition, continuing education providers need to understand the needs of the ATCs that they serve. INTRODUCTION Today, almost all professionals find it necessary and often times mandatory to participate in continuing professional education. Professionals seek to enroll in programs that go beyond their original degree status in order to preserve current knowledge and skill, maintain current certification and gain advanced knowledge and skill to grow professionally. For almost the first 50 years of the last century, society has come to accept the notion that members of professions must maintain competence and the quality of essential services being provided to them. 1 This was evident in 1970 for the field of athletic training when the National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA) established the first national certification examination administered by the NATA Certification Committee. 2 Also at that same, several states began to require professional medical licensure for certified athletic trainers (ATCs). These same societal sentiments persist today. Because of litigation and legislative acts the development of continuing professional education demonstrates how societal pressures can create responses related to professional fields. 2 As a direct result, many professions including athletic training, are seeking to increase their knowledge base and adapt to these changing sentiments. Therefore, practitioners must turn to continuing professional education as their main avenue towards professional competence.