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William E. Prentice


When you finish this chapter you should be able to

  • Establish a strategic plan for conducting an athletic training program in secondary-school, collegiate, professional, clinic, corporate, and industrial settings.

  • Plan a functional, well-designed athletic training clinic for a secondary-school, collegiate, or professional setting.

  • Discuss issues relative to operating an athletic training program in secondary-school, collegiate, professional settings, clinic, hospital, corporate, and industrial settings.

  • Identify policies and procedures that should be enforced in the athletic training clinic.

  • Explain the importance of the preparticipation physical examination.

  • Construct the necessary records that must be maintained by the athletic trainer.

  • Describe current systems for gathering injury surveillance data.


  • strategic plan

  • policies and procedures manual

  • SWOT analysis

  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)

  • Family Education Right and Protection Act (FERPA)

  • preparticipation examination (PPE)

  • SOAP

  • epidemiology

Operating an effective athletic health care program requires careful organization and administration regardless of whether the setting is a secondary school, college, university, or professional team or a clinical, hospital, or industrial facility. Besides being a clinical practitioner, the athletic trainer must be an administrator who performs both managerial and supervisory duties.40 This chapter looks at the administrative tasks required of the athletic trainer for successful operation of the program, including facility design, policies and procedures, budget considerations, personnel management, administration of physical examinations, record keeping, and injury data collection.


Developing a Strategic Plan

Perhaps the first step in establishing a health care program in athletic training is to determine why such a program is needed and what the goals of this program should be by creating a strategic plan.25 The basic questions in the strategic planning process must be answered by clinic, hospital, or school administrators; medical directors; athletic directors; or school boards who, in most cases, will ultimately be responsible for funding and supporting the health care program in athletic training.28,56 The depth of the commitment from these decision makers toward providing quality health care will, to a large extent, determine the size of the staff, the size of the facility, and the scope of operation of the health care program. Clearly written Mission and Vision statements will help focus the direction of the program and should be an outcome of the strategic planning process.40

Strategic planning should involve many individuals, including administrators, other allied health care providers, student-athletes, coaches, physicians, staff athletic trainers, patients, parents, and community-based health leaders. Including many individuals in the planning process will help secure allies who are committed to seeing the program succeed.1

Strategic planning should be an ongoing process that takes a critical look at the strengths and weaknesses of ...

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