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Annual all-sports physicals return this month for Liberty athletes
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This year’s theme for March for athletic trainers was “We Prepare, You Perform.” As an athletic trainer, I can appreciate this.
There are many ways an athletic trainer helps an athlete prepare not only for practices, but also for games. Preparation can include the initial evaluation of an injury and getting the athlete to the proper doctor if required; taping ankles, wrists, fingers; and taking care of cuts and abrasions. It also may include placing an ice bag over a sprained extremity or massaging a muscle cramp.
An athlete also may need to be stretched to help reduce injury risk. It also may involve the use of some type of modality to enhance the overall recovery of an injury. Sometimes, it may be just to intervene on behalf of the athlete to his coach or coaches and even, perhaps, his parents.
Oftentimes as an athletic trainer, I must rely on outside facilities or professions to help prepare an athlete to return to his/her activity. These facilities often consist of family physicians, orthopedic/sports medicine physicians, or physical therapists. Together, we work to get the athlete back to the point of physical condition prior to injury.
In keeping the theme “We Prepare, You Perform,” this year’s annual all-sports physical will be held from 8 a.m. to noon April 18 at Bradwell Institute. No physicals will be started after 11:45 a.m. to ensure that all physicals are completed by noon.
All female athletes and only those male athletes who have an event that
day will be seen between 8-10 a.m. All other male athletes will be seen between 10 a.m. and noon.
Again this year, we request that one or both parents of each athlete attend the physicals with their child. We have found that this helps to eliminate missing information and signatures, and any questions regarding the overall health of the athlete.
Packets for this year’s physical can be picked up from athletic directors at Bradwell Institute, Liberty County High School, Lewis Frasier Middle School, Snelson Golden Middle School and Midway Middle School. We also have asked middle-school athletic directors to indicate for us which high school their eighth-graders will be attending so that their physicals get back to the appropriate school. This eliminates confusion in attempting to track down the physical once the new school year begins.
This year’s physical packet is standardized throughout the system. Take time to go through the physical and answer all the questions and ensure that all needed signatures are done. As a reminder, this physical will be valid throughout the upcoming school year and expire at the end of May 2016.
This physical is free and is open to all athletes in the Liberty County School System. A physical must be on file by all who wish to participate in athletic events at the middle-school and high-school levels.
I also would like to remind all parents that this is a screening and that it does not take the place of your athlete’s annual physician physical. Rather, it can be a tool to help you and your physician.
This year’s physicals are being sponsored by the following medical and para-medical professionals: Kyle Dueter, PA, Liberty Orthopedic and Sports Medicine; Drs. J. Lex Kenerly III and J. Matthew Valosen from the Bone and Joint Institute of South Georgia; Martha Kitchings, MSN, FNP-BS, Liberty Family Medicine; Dr. Rosalind Womack, MD, and Elizabeth Fowler, CNP, of Diversity Health Center Inc.; LPN students from the Liberty Campus of the Savannah Technical College under Kissiah Moore (Allied Health Department Head), Rubin Smith, RN (instructor of LPN students), and physical therapists from West Rehabilitation.
I would like to thank all these people for so graciously giving their time to help make the annual all-sports physicals a success and in helping to ensure that all the athletes are ready to participate. Without their help, these physicals would not be available.
I would just like to mention that the doctors from the Bone and Joint Institute of South Georgia and Liberty Orthopedic and Sports Medicine have been helping us now for three years. The physicians and staff from Diversity Health Center Inc. have been helping now for a couple of years. Kitchings, along with Moore and her students, have been helping for numerous years, as have Becky West and her therapists. Again, without the help from these medical and para-medical professionals, these physicals would be impossible to give. So, again, thank you.
I also would like to thank the athletic directors, principals and coaches who help ensure that all their athletes have current physicals and for being very supportive. Again, if not for all these people, the annual all-sports physicals would be impossible to provide to our student athletes.

Murat is the systemwide athletic trainer for the Liberty County School System.

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