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Iowa athletic pre-participation physical examination has to be performed every year since the document is valid only for the time indicated. However, a grace period, not exceeding 30 days, is allowed for students to update their expired examinations. After that, each student (grades 7-12) must present a signed certificate, proving that he/she has been examined and allowed to engage in all or some kinds of athletic competitions (“Iowa athletic pre-participation physical examination,” n.d.).
The examination can be performed and signed by a licensed physician and surgeon, osteopath, osteopathic physician and surgeon, physician’s assistant or qualified doctor of chiropractic, and advanced registered nurse practitioner (“Iowa athletic pre-participation physical examination,” n.d.).
There is no clearly defined process for a referral. However, if some conditions are found, participants might require referral for further screenings, evaluation, and treatment.
No specific concussion guidelines are discussed in the document. The only mention of it is in the questionnaire that has to be completed to obtain the patient’s health history. There is a question if the student has ever had a head injury, concussion, or unconsciousness and the one about headaches, memory loss, or confusion with contact (“Iowa athletic pre-participation physical examination,” n.d.).
Neither are there any guidelines or resources clarifying what can be qualified as clearance. The form only provides four categories of recommended participation:
- full & unlimited participation;
- limited participation;
- clearance pending;
- not cleared for athletic participation (“Iowa athletic pre-participation physical examination,” n.d.).
While analyzing the document, I found it interesting that it relies primarily on the student’s subjective evaluation of his/her conditions. The results of the physical examination follow much later. Besides, I wondered why there is no list of documents that have to be provided to prove the student’s reported conditions since the screenings indicated may fail to identify a lot of them. I believe that the form needs further improvement to eliminate possible cheating.
Iowa athletic pre-participation physical examination (n.d.). Web.