When West High School freshman Ben Skvara came off the football field after taking a hard hit, certified athletic trainer Najeeb Abdur-Rahman knew right away something wasn’t right.
“He seemed a little lethargic,” Najeeb said. “He wasn’t as responsive as he usually is. “
Ben’s parents came out of the stands, but they knew their son was in good hands.
“Najeeb immediately started asking Ben concussion protocol questions,” said mom Loree Skvara. “He made an appointment for Ben to get checked out at Knoxville Orthopaedic Clinic.”
An employee of KOC, Najeeb went to the doctor with Ben so he could explain exactly how the injury happened and what symptoms he saw at the time. As a dedicated and trusted member of the West community, Najeeb was also able to explain to Ben’s coaches and teachers what he needed to do to heal.
“It’s reassuring to have Najeeb taking care of our kids at school,” Loree said. “As a parent, when your child gets hurt, you’re upset. We love having someone as calm and professional as Najeeb there.”
It’s a relief for coaches as well to have an athletic trainer on the sidelines helping prevent injuries, watching for signs of trouble, and working to get athletes back in game when they’re ready.
“Najeeb has completely put himself into the West athletic program,” said girls basketball coach David Higdon. “He has a wonderful rapport with the athletes.”
For more than a decade, Knoxville Orthopaedic Clinic has invested in a sports medicine outreach program that provides certified athletic trainers at Knox County high schools. Each athletic trainer works full-time at their assigned school, helping athletes during practices and games.
“Students gain so much from taking part in school sports, but we want to make sure they’re as safe as possible while playing,” said Dr. Russell Betcher, sports medicine surgeon at Knoxville Orthopaedic Clinic. “That’s why providing certified athletic trainers to these young athletes is so important.”
March is National Athletic Training Month, designed to spread the word about these valuable healthcare providers. KOC is happy to lend their services to our community schools.