The number of employment opportunities for athletic trainers in the secondary school setting has substantially increased in the past few years and will more than likely continue to grow in the future5. As the number of athletic trainers in the secondary school increases, as do the number of high school aged students who are being exposed to the athletic training profession. More than ever before, athletic trainers are playing a key role in the development and future of the profession due to their ability to influence students’ perceptions of the profession5. A key concept to keep in mind during any type of recruitment process involves understanding a potential recruit’s perceptions of the skills and abilities necessary for preparation and practice in any chosen field. The way students perceive the athletic training profession is vital when identifying misconceptions and determining what attracts and what discourages students from entering into athletic training6.
Occupational socialization has commonly been studied using three stages of development. The first stage involves recruitment (anticipatory), when potential recruits begin to develop an understanding of the roles and duties associated with the career path they have chosen for themselves. The second stage involves professional socialization, when students learn the desired knowledge, skills, attitudes, and practices that will guide them in their future. The third and last stage involves organizational socialization, when students are socialized into their roles in a specific work environment5,6. Two components that are important to an individual’s career decision include attractors and facilitators. Understanding what attracts an ...
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...ecific states for laws that require athletic trainers in all secondary schools6. As of 2008, the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE) programs does not require clinical experiences outside of the host institution when pertaining to accreditation standards. The importance of highlighting the opportunities for athletic trainers in non-traditional settings to prospective students should be something that athletic trainers and athletic training education programs strive to achieve6. Regardless of how high school students are influenced towards a career in athletic training, it appears that individuals have a limited understanding of the athletic training profession as a whole. Providing more accurate and more complete representation of athletic training may be helpful in attracting a more diverse population of individuals to the profession6.
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