Arizona School of Health Sciences
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Athletic Training

Graduate Certificate in Clinical Decision-Making in Athletic Training

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Program Overview : Admission requirements : Curriculum : Course Schedule and Academic Plan : Faculty : Accreditation : Tuition and financial services : Blackboard Demo Course


Curricular design

The online course format is ideal for busy working professionals, and students are free to set the pace of program completion. We encourage you to bring your real world clinical and classroom examples into the program and apply the course content immediately to your clinical and/or educational practice. Students progress through course content in a sequential manner, and they will engage in discussions with peers and faculty and complete a variety of assignments to enhance their learning.

Certificates can be earned in as little as two quarters (24 weeks) or over a longer period of time to accommodate individual students needs.

Course descriptions and objectives

ATRN 7110: Quality Improvement and Patient Safety (3QH)

This course is designed to enhance the athletic trainer’s understanding of quality improvement at the service and provider levels. The content covered will include patient safety, fundamentals of quality improvement, measuring improvement, cost and value models, and the history of quality improvement in healthcare.

Course Objectives:

  • Discuss the process of quality improvement in healthcare
  • Identify patient safety issues that necessitate quality improvement
  • Discuss the fundamentals of improvement the provider and service levels
  • Evaluate quality, cost and value models of QI
  • Discuss the implementation of QI efforts in athletic training

ATRN 7120: Evidence-Based Practice (3 QH)

This course is designed to enable the athletic trainer’s clinical decision-making process in a manner that integrates clinical experience, patient values, and the best available evidence. It is also intended to build on entry-level evidence-based practice courses with the use of informatics and technology to access the medical literature. The course will cover advanced topics related to the EBP process, framing clinical questions to enhance clinical decision-making, searching the literature, critical appraisal, integration and evaluation of the evidence, grading levels of evidence and strength of recommendations, patient values, and statistical terminology related to EBP.

Course objectives:

  • Discuss the process of evidence-based practice in healthcare
  • Demonstrate the ability to use point-of-care applications to answer clinical questions
  • Demonstrate the ability to critically analyze published research studies
  • Discuss the integration of the best available evidence into clinical practice
  • Apply the process of evaluating the effectiveness of the best available evidence for individual patients in one’s clinical practice
  • Evaluate the levels of evidence or strength of recommendations of research articles
  • Appreciate patient values with respect to clinical decision-making
  • Select and apply effective information management tools in order to stay abreast of the proliferation of medical and health-related information.
  • Discuss the diagnostic accuracy of clinical tests and how it relates to evidence-based clinical practice.
  • Formulate appropriate research designs based on specific research questions

ATRN 7130: Patient-Oriented Outcomes (3 QH)

Advanced Patient-Oriented Outcomes is designed to enhance the athletic trainer’s ability to employ clinician-based and patient-based clinical outcome measures for the determination of effective clinical decision-making through the practice of providing patient-centered whole person healthcare. Discussion of disablement models and outcomes research as the foundations to evidence-based practice will be provided. The use of disablement models as a framework for whole person healthcare and the evaluation of health-related quality of life will be presented. This course builds upon the basic components of clinical outcomes assessment by providing advanced content related to clinician- and patient-oriented outcomes. Instruction on the selection, implementation, and use of single- and multi-item, general and specific patient-rated outcomes instruments will be given. Details regarding the concepts of measurement properties, including assessment of measurement change, will be provided. Opportunity to develop an outcomes study through creation of a clinical question in PICO format will be provided and discussion of using practice-based research networks as means to conducting outcomes investigations will occur.

Course objectives:

  • Select and integrate patient-rated outcome measures into patient care
  • Discuss the process of evaluating clinician-based and patient-based outcomes measures to address the effectiveness of athletic training services
  • Test and measure health-related quality of life which is defined as the physical, psychological, and social domains of health, seen as distinct areas that are influenced by a person’s experiences, beliefs, expectations, and perceptions, as the means to practicing whole person healthcare.
  • Demonstrate the ability to provide athletic training services with a patient-centered (respect for patients’ values, preferences, and expressed needs; coordination and integration of care; information, communication and education; physical comfort; emotional support; and involvement of family and friends), whole person approach
  • Define and evaluate the measurement properties of patient-rated outcomes instruments (e.g., reliability, validity, and responsiveness)
  • Value the concept of meaningful change (e.g., minimally clinically important difference) and its use in driving treatment decisions for the purpose of improved patient care
  • Design a clinical outcomes study for the purpose of improving the quality and outcomes of patient care
  • Value practice-based research as a mechanism to conduct large scale clinical outcomes studies aimed at improving the quality and outcomes of patient care

ATRN 7140: Health Information Technology

The purpose of this course is to provide the athletic trainer with a survey of relevant concepts, tools, and systems of healthcare informatics and technology that may be useful throughout the clinical decision-making process. An understanding of informatics concepts and skills related to the use of technology has been identified as critical for all modern healthcare professionals. Moreover, informatics and technology provide several distinct advantages to the modern healthcare system, including, but limited to: cost savings, error detection, quality improvement, and improved patient outcomes. 

Course objectives:

  • Demonstrate the ability to use common technologies (e.g., electronic medical records, spreadsheet software, websites) to collect, evaluate, and disseminate clinical data and information as they relate to athletic training education, practice, research, and regulation
  • Discuss the role of healthcare informatics in quality improvement (e.g., an enhanced ability to identify errors and hazards in care, measure quality of care in terms of structure, process, and outcomes in relation to patient and community needs, and design and test interventions to change processes and systems of care, with the objective of improving quality)
  • Demonstrate ability to access, organize, and interpret data from available national databases (e.g., National Electronic Injury Surveillance System)
  • Compare and contrast the features and utility of popular electronic medical records for use in athletic training practice
  • Discuss the impact of the Internet on the availability of health information and the effect it will have on the clinician-patient relationship
  • Demonstrate the ability to interpret and apply guidelines and laws pertaining to the management, privacy, and confidentiality of health information in the practice of athletic training
  • Select and apply effective information management tools in order to stay abreast of the proliferation of medical and health-related information