Emergency Medical Services Personnel's Perceptions of the Roles and Responsibilities of Athletic Trainers During On-field Injury Management

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



Athletic Training


Purpose: To understand what emergency medical services (EMS) personnel perceive to be athletic trainers' education and knowledge, which could lead to more efficient education and communication. Methods: In this online survey, 115 EMS personnel from 18 states responded to open-ended questions regarding their perceptions of an athletic trainer. Data analysis followed the general inductive approach. Data credibility was established through multiple analyst triangulation and peer review. Results: Themes included: (1) protocols are a guiding factor in how EMS personnel handle a situation; (2) EMS personnel possess a lack of knowledge regarding the emergency care domain in athletic trainer education; and (3) previous experiences with athletic trainers guide overall trust level. Conclusions: Increasing EMS personnel's knowledge of athletic training may aid in the creation of similar protocols. This may also lead to more athletic trainers and EMS personnel reviewing and practicing prior to seasons beginning, which may increase trust.