Feb 25 2013

Dale, Kimberly

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Professional Goal Statement

My goal is to begin my professional career working as a physical therapist in a hospital or outpatient setting with a mentor-ship program that values continuing education and an interdisciplinary approach to patient care as much as I do. By means of experience in working with patients with a variety of neurologic deficits and dedication to my education and patient care, in I plan to become a leader and specialist of neurologic physical therapy in a large nationally recognized facility dedicated to rehabilitation for patients with spinal cord injuries, TBIs, and strokes.  I also aspire that my high-credentials in my specialized field will enable me to teach courses or reside on faculty at an associated University.

Career Plan




  • Advanced interpersonal skills, professionalism, communication, enthusiasm for PT, and desire to learn.
  • Prior experience working with patients with spinal cord injuries, acute and outpatient pediatrics, acute and outpatient adults in both under-served and well-known teaching hospitals as well as sports medicine rehab and inpatient neuro rehabilitation settings.
  • Commitment and dedication to personal career as well as advocacy of physical therapy profession
  • Compassion for others
  • Manual therapy skills and facilitation/handling techniques to best assist patients
  • Further critical understanding of orthopedic conditions and evidence based interventions resulting in best outcomes
  • Understanding of specific insurance policies, regulations and authorization for reimbursement requirements
  • Technique in fitting custom DME and wheelchairs
  • Enhance physical therapy collegial network


  •  Pass NPTE licensure exam in late October 2013 and begin working as a physical therapist in a setting with a strong mentorship program for new graduates with similar values and missions as myself.
  • Apply clinical experience, my entry-level education, and continuing education to best evaluate, assess, and treat patients with neuromuscular conditions through evidence-based practice.
  • Complete neuromuscular Physical Therapy Residency program to further gain and apply my knowledge in preparation for the NCS exam.
  • Share my knowledge with colleagues and students through in-services, professional conferences, and collaboration/guest lecturing for affiliated universities.

Specific Strategies:

  • Enroll in elective courses to advance comprehensive and interdisciplinary knowledge of neurological disorders, increase cultural competency, and allow for growth and development of treating patients from various backgrounds.
  • Utilize the opportunity to assist APTA’s TBI EDGE Task Force members in collaboration and evaluation of over 80 outcome measures regarding ICF model domains (body structure and function, balance and gait, and participation) for their optimal appropriateness across multiple physical therapy setting, operation with a variety of patients dependent on ambulatory ability, and necessity to include in eDPT curriculum.  This evidence- and experience-based information was then synthesized for dissemination for all physical therapists through the APTA.
  • Engage in additional continuing education courses and professional conferences including UNC Rehabilitation’s Spinal Cord Injury Conference and TBI Rehabilitation Forums.
  • Expand professional advocacy efforts by collaborating in the establishment of North Carolina’s first Physical Therapy Student Legislative Day and creating associated handouts and programs.
  • Presented multiple in-services during clinical rotations, community workshops, and educational sessions to high-school students regarding multiple aspects of physical therapy and how to seek and excel at preparing for an eDPT education.

Product Samples:

As part of our Health and Wellness Course, students worked together to design health related program for a specific community or population.  As student’s in UNC’s School of Medicine, my classmates and I were never strangers to the effects of stress that our education can impart on our own beings.   In collaboration with Erin Toomey and Angela Lauten, we created “StressLess TarHeals”, a well-developed evidence-based health initiative to facilitate the physical, psychological, and academic wellbeing for medical students at UNC-Chapel Hill undergoing stress.

In my experience working with patients with neurological deficits, I often turn to best available research, my background education, experience with prior patients, and consider patient preference in developing intervention strategies and treatment plans for each individual. With particular interest in neurologic rehabilitation, I used our Evidence-Based Practice II course as an opportunity to navigate the research waters surrounding the effects of body-weight supported treadmill training on gait kinematics in patients with mild to moderate TBI.  My research efforts were compiled in an Evidence Table which resulted in a Formulated Synthesis Paper.

Working with individuals who have sustained spinal cord injuries has always been a primary interest of mine.   Attention to this specific population has been reflected through prominent concentration in my course work while at UNC.  While enrolled in the Advanced Neuromuscular Elective, I focused on researching and creating clinical tools for incomplete cervical SCI which I have outlined in a paper here.  I then took this focus further by developing an Assessment Toolbox of the most appropriate outcome measures to assess individuals with incomplete cervical spinal cord injuries in the inpatient rehabilitation setting.

Through clinical rotations all over the state, I have had the opportunity to work with patients from a variety of backgrounds, education levels, and views on healthcare.  However, traveling to Antigua, Guatemala for a physical therapy service mission trip with my classmates and faculty was an incredible, invaluable experience with lessons learned that will carry through with me beyond graduation and beginning my professional career.  While working in collaboration with Guatemalan therapists and the community, I had the opportunity to apply my Spanish-speaking abilities gained through my Medical Spanish elective while incorporating all aspects of neurologic patient care acquired through my education at UNC.  It was great to experience the benefits of an international-service learning trip first hand after focusing my Doctoral Capstone Project on strategies for integrating cultural competency training among physical therapy professionals into eDPT curriculum.

For my Doctoral Project, I collaborated with Betsy Frederick to create a power point presentation and lecture on the importance of cultural competency in physical therapy to be presented to UNC eDPT students in their first semester of the program.  In addition, I have led the writing and formulation of a new manuscript under the direction of Sayde Errickson analyzing the longitudinal effects of international service learning participation on physical therapy student’s one year post-ISL in Antigua Guatemala.  With this opportunity, I have completed a comprehensive literature review regarding existing evidence of service learning in health professional students’ education, learned how to code and analyze qualitative data, and began formulating the manuscript.  The manuscript is currently in the drafting and editing process and will be submitted for publication to a peer-reviewed journal upon completion.  A proposal of the manuscript has already been submitted for conference presentation at a national physical therapy conference at this time- fingers crossed!


         As someone who has lived in multiple states for pursuit of her education, moving to North Carolina for an outstanding education in physical therapy was certainly no exception to the rule.  In the last three years, I have gained a finer education through didactic curriculum, supportive faculty, and invaluable opportunities and experiences outside the classroom than I could have ever imagined, all while alongside the most compassionate classmates.  My time at UNC has been a time of individual, professional, and intellectual growth that I would not change for anything.  Thanks to all that our program has provided, I have evolved into a well-rounded individual, ready to enter the profession as a new physical therapist, knowing very well that my education to this point is simply just the beginning.


3 responses so far

3 Responses to “Dale, Kimberly”

  1.   Vicki Merceron 12 Jun 2013 at 7:39 pm

    Hi Kim,
    Congratulations on your upcoming graduation! You have accomplished great things at UNC and, judging from your (very impressive) professional goals, many more great accomplishments will follow. I am so glad that you have chosen to become a leader and specialist in neurologic PT – you will go far!

    Best regards,


  2.   Sadyeon 24 Jun 2013 at 10:47 pm

    Hi Kim,

    I have really enjoyed working with you on the H&W proposal and the Guatemala manuscript – kudos on both.

    Agree with Vicki on your desire to pursue clinical excellence and leadership in neuro PT.




  3.   Lisa Johnstonon 27 Jun 2013 at 6:10 pm

    Great work on your portfolio. It is nice to see samples of your work as well as your plans. Keep your goals close to you to help you stay focused on reaching them. You will do great things. Lisa


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