Factors Affecting Athletic Trainer Confidence in Emergency Skills

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Athletic trainers (ATs) have a wide scope of practice that includes emergency management (EM) skills. Due to various factors, many ATs do not routinely use their EM skills. Many ATs may retain their confidence but their skills may be outdated or they have unknowingly experienced skill decay due to disuse. There is a scarcity of research regarding which factors affect confidence of ATs EM skills. The purpose of this study is to determine which factors affect confidence in EM skills of ATs.

Methods: Twenty-two ATs attending a simulation based continuing education (CE) event completed an online survey of various factor measures. These were compared to self-reported EM skill confidence measured via a Likert-scale.

Results: No one factor affected confidence of EM skills uniformly. Kruskal-Wallis tests demonstrated that clinical setting, route to certification and time since practicing an emergency scenario had the greatest impact on confidence. A chi squared test demonstrated significant relationships between route of certification and time since practicing an emergency scenario with several confidence measures.

Conclusions: The results indicate that time, measured by years certified, did not influence confidence, demonstrating that as skill or knowledge decays, confidence may not. These results indicate that a level of unconscious incompetence may exist among ATs with respect to their EM skills. Care should be taken to adequately review best practices and choose CE relating to areas of potential weakness to assure competence across all domains of practice of ATs.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages12
JournalOklahoma State Medical Proceedings
Issue number3
StatePublished - 11 Dec 2023


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