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College of Nursing and Health Innovation | The University of Texas at ArlingtonCollege of Nursing and Health Innovation | The University of Texas at Arlington


Touching Lives. Transforming Health Care.

MSAT Clinical Settings and Education

MSAT Clinical Settings and Education - College of Nursing and Health Innovation

What is Clinical Education?

Clinical Education is the practical aspect of your instruction that takes place outside of the classroom. It is hands-on: as you build your skills in the classroom and in our laboratory settings, you will have the opportunity, under supervision, to practice and apply these skills in the real world.  It is observational: you will watch practicing athletic trainers, surgeons, physical therapists, and other members of the healthcare team perform their duties. It is vital: your development and readiness to practice as an Entry-Level Athletic Trainer depends on mastering the clinical aspects of your education.

All classroom, laboratory, and clinical components of the MSAT are structured around the NATA Athletic Training Educational Competencies and BOC Role Delineation Study/Practice Analysis.

Sport Placement Opportunities

Football is big in Texas and many of our prospective students ask about opportunities to have a clinical assignment to a collegiate football team. Even though UTA does not have a football team, our clinical affiliation with SMU provides placements for students interested in football. In addition, many of the large high school programs will provide the AT student hands-on time with football athletes who are in high-performing programs.

Our MSAT program goes beyond football as well. UTA is one of eight universities in the United States with wheelchair basketball teams, an opportunity for the student interested in adapted sports. UTA is one of three major regional universities with a baseball team, and one of two with a softball team. UTA Men’s and Women’s basketball are both NCAA Division 1 teams. Many, many other sport placements are available to our students – see the list on this page.

Healthcare Placement Opportunities

Patient care goes beyond the playing field. It is important for our students to observe the practice of healthcare in a variety of non-sport settings: MD and DO offices; Physical Therapy clinics; surgical and operating room observations; and general medical clinics. This helps the student understand the entire continuum of care. Athletic Trainers are being seen as increasingly relevant to the prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of orthopedic injury in general (not just athletes!) and these healthcare placements allow the student to see the variety of places their skills may be applied as the profession grows.

Clinical Courses

The MSAT curriculum includes six clinical practicum courses, one per semester, which require students to complete formal clinical rotations in approved settings. A minimum of 1270 clinical hours are required to complete UTA’s MSAT program.

Clinical Experiences and Immersion Schedule

Clinical education in the UTA MSAT program is immersive: with the weekly schedule alternating between clinical and classroom days, students experience a full day in the life of an Athletic Trainer through their clinical placement. This includes duties involving patients, practice and game coverage, administrative work – everything an AT does in his or her job, and in many cases following the working AT’s hours.

The following are examples, as the particulars of any student’s placement will vary.

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri AM Fri PM Weekend
Year 1 Class Clinical Class Clinical Class Clinical Varies by placement
Year 2 Clinical Class Clinical Class Class Clinical Varies by placement

Clinical education in the UTA MSAT program is comprehensive: while working under the supervision of their Clinical Preceptor, students will gain experience working with athletes and patients within several different clinical settings. A special emphasis will be placed on ensuring that every student’s clinical education experiences includes each the following:

  • Team sports
  • Individual sports
  • Equipment intensive sports
  • Male sports
  • Female sports
  • Non-sport patients
  • Non-orthopedic patients