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The Lived Clinical Experiences of Expatriate Athletic Trainers

Mulkey, Emily K and Neil, Elizabeth R and Cousins, Trisha A and Gibson, Mark H and Allison, Kaitlyn F and Lovalekar, Mita T and Murray, Mary E (2021) The Lived Clinical Experiences of Expatriate Athletic Trainers. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh.

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Context: The international practice setting is gaining popularity for athletic trainers (ATs). Little has been investigated about the clinical experiences and challenges this setting presents. The purpose of this study was to create a baseline of understanding surrounding AT’s lived clinical experiences within the international practice setting.
Methods: We used a consensual qualitative design and recruited credentialed ATs who are practicing the athletic training skillset outside the US. The Board of Certification supplied email addresses for recruitment (Sample: 23 total; 11 females, 12 males; 34 ± 7 years old. Representation was from fifteen different countries. Participants completed an electronic informed consent and demographic survey (Qualtrics® Inc., Provo, UT). Based on previous literature and in consultation with an international sports medicine expert, both interview and survey tools were developed, validated, and piloted. Semi-structured interviews were conducted and transcribed by the lead investigator using teleconferencing software (Zoom, San Jose, CA). Three researchers coded transcripts using a consensual codebook to confirm domains, codes, and data saturation. Member checking, peer reviewing, and multiple researchers were used to triangulate data and enhance trustworthiness.
Results: Three domains emerged during analysis: (1) Professional and Cultural Adaptations, (2) Healthcare Landscape, and (3) Personal Pathways and Motivators. Participants voiced struggles with self-efficacy, as well as detailed incongruities of their clinical roles and others’ understanding of their skill set as ATs. Clinicians detailed the versatility of ATs’ skillset filling clinical gaps within their country’s healthcare landscape. Institutional and intraprofessional relationships were expanded on and emphasized personal connections. Participants voiced challenges surrounding resources and adapting to their country’s legal systems. Interprofessional practice and collaboration, as well as cultural competence, was discussed as imperative to practice. A wide range of work settings within countries were regularly found.
Conclusions: International ATs expressed a variety of ways that the AT skillset fits a unique international need. Both interprofessional relationships and intraprofessional practice were crucial; relationships were enhanced through communication skills, empathy, and cultural competence. While native clinicians had a consistent lack of knowledge of the AT skill, clinical advocacy and a strong desire to grow the international practice setting was salient to practitioners.


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Item Type: Other Thesis, Dissertation, or Long Paper (Master's Thesis)
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Mulkey, Emily Kemily.mulkey@gmail.comekm42
Neil, Elizabeth
Cousins, Trisha
Gibson, Mark
Allison, Kaitlyn
Lovalekar, Mita
Murray, Mary
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
AuthorMulkey, Emily Kemily.mulkey@gmail.comekm42UNSPECIFIED
Committee ChairMurray, Mary Emmurray1@pitt.eduUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberNeil, Elizabeth Rbeth.neil@temple.eduUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberCousins, Trisha Atcousins@pitt.eduUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberGibson, Mark Hmgibson@mwlax.eduUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberAllison, Kaitlyn Fkaitlyn.allison@pitt.eduUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberLovalekar, Mita Tmital@pitt.eduUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date: April 2021
Date Type: Acceptance
Number of Pages: 136
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences > Sports Medicine and Nutrition
Degree: MS - Master of Science
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: No
Uncontrolled Keywords: Globalization; International Practice Patterns; Interprofessional Practice
Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2021 20:45
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2021 20:45


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