Feb 25 2013

Yancey, Sarah

Published by



Professional Goal Statement:

As a Doctor of Physical Therapy, my goal is to become an experienced therapist who is well versed in many areas of physical therapy and comfortable practicing in various settings.  I specifically aspire to be a physical therapist skilled in treating balance impairments in the geriatric population.  Instilling confidence with balance and increasing independence to improve overall quality of life will be my endeavor when working with elderly patients.  By year 2020, I plan to sit for the board exam to become a board certified specialist in the area of geriatrics.  Beginning my career, I will aim to find a setting where I can grow as a therapist and continue to broaden my knowledge base.  Wherever I work, looking for a good team and mentor will be of the utmost importance to assist me in achieving my professional goals.

Career Plan:



Areas for Professional Development

  • Skilled in obtaining and interpreting evidence to improve clinical practice
  • Experience in various settings of physical therapy practice
  • Experience working with a wide variety of patient populations
  • Adequate network of physical therapy colleagues willing to provide references or assistance as needed
  • Thorough with all documentation
  • Strong work ethic
  • Good organizational skills
  • Professional




  • Increase efficiency and comprehensiveness with initial evaluations and development of plan of cares
  • A more comprehensive understanding of prognoses for geriatric populations
  • More detailed knowledge of Medicare and Medicaid policies
  • Keeping abreast with insurance changes
  • Increased knowledge on coding/ billing
  • Network with more therapist who specialize in geriatric care
  • Become more active with the APTA
  • Expand knowledge of business practices (planning, marketing, etc.)


  1. Complete a doctoral project specifically geared towards the geriatric population.
  2. Effectively prepare for and pass the national board examination to become a licensed physical therapist.
  3. Obtain a first job at a hospital/clinic with an established and organized mentorship program to help further my professional development.
  4. Become credentialed by the APTA as a Geriatric Specialist.

Specific Strategies:

  1. Complete projects for clinical course requirements that will increase my knowledge in issues related to the geriatric population.
  1. Assemble a group of peers and prepare a reasonable schedule in order to effectively study for and pass the board examination.
  1. Use references and leads from the network of physical therapists I have developed to help obtain employment in a clinical setting where evidence-based practiced is valued.
  2. Identify a mentor or mentor(s) with the knowledge, skills, and professional values I wish to acquire.

2010 Grad

Product Samples – Course Work and Doctoral Project:

Elective: Advanced Orthopedic Assessment

During the fall of my third year in the DPT program, I took Advanced Orthopedic Assessment where I concentrated a large amount of my research for the class on issues related to aging.  For the final project, I chose to write the paper on sarcopenia in elderly adults.  For this paper, I looked in depth into the diagnosis, multifaceted causes, detrimental effects, and evidence-based treatment of this disease affecting the geriatric population.  My research on sarcopenia will help me better treat those elderly patients with muscle wasting.

Health and Wellness

Overall health and wellness of all patients was the focus of this course.  Throughout the course, I worked with Joanne LaRowe to develop a hypothetical project proposal for “Power Walking into the Golden Years”.  The objectives of this project were to create a walking program for older adults aimed at increasing physical activity, improving overall well-being, and counseling participants on the detrimental effects of a sedentary lifestyle and on falls prevention.  Research conducted during development of this project on the numerous positive outcomes that exercise and counseling can have on the elderly will definitely assist with my endeavor of treating and improving the quality of life in older adults.

Evidenced-Based Practice II

Leading up to my Capstone project during the Evidence-Based II class last fall, I focused the majority of my research on community group multifactorial fall prevention programs for improving scores on the Berg Balance Scale and preventing falls in the community-dwelling elderly population.  These multifactorial interventions included group exercise programs, educational interventions, environmental and behavioral hazard assessments, and counseling on the psychosocial aspects of aging.  The majority of the multifactorial interventions demonstrated positive outcomes in the elderly populations studied especially when the programs were heavily based on exercise intervention.  The evidence table and summary paper are two products from this course that summarize my work.

Capstone Project

Fall prevention and working with the geriatric population has always been one of my passions since volunteering with a falls prevention class for the elderly at the Orange County Seymour Center when I was an undergraduate at UNC.  For my capstone project, with the help of Vicki Mercer, my wonderful faculty advisor, I began researching home-based exercise programs for the elderly specifically looking at the Otago Exercise Program.  The details of my project development and implementation during a Service Learning Trip to Eastern NC in the spring of 2013 can be found at this link: http://dptcapstone.web.unc.edu/category/current-students-spring-of-2013/yancey-sarah/.

Inservice on Hip Fractures in the Elderly                                        

During my acute care rotation at a small hospital in Hendersonville, NC I presented an inservice on Hip fractures in the Elderly: An Acute Care Focus.  The presentation concentrated on current evidence for effectively treating geriatric patients admitted with hip fractures in the acute care setting.

Constraint Induced Movement Therapy Camp

After my first and second year of PT school, I was able to volunteer my time at Helping Kids with Hemiplegia, a 10-day constraint induced movement therapy camp for children ages 3 to 10 diagnosed with hemiplegia.  Although I love treating geriatric patients, pediatric physical therapy will always be close to my heart.  I thoroughly enjoyed working with my mentor during my first year at UNC Children’s Hospital and loved my rotation at Raleigh Therapy Services treating children with various impairments and diagnoses in their homes and in the clinic.  However, Helping Kids with Hemiplegia camp was one my most memorable experiences during physical therapy school.  You can learn about the camp and even see me in action on WRAL Raleigh news at this site:  http://www.wral.com/lifestyles/healthteam/story/9786121/.

Reflective Statement

Pursuing a career in physical therapy has been my goal since I discovered the profession in 8th grade.  Throughout my time in graduate school, I have explored many different areas of physical therapy from pediatrics to geriatrics and have honestly enjoyed working in every domain.  As a soon-to-be graduate, I am still slightly uncertain about the exact population I want to treat and the specific setting where I want to work.  However, I certainly know that I want to be the best therapist I can be and will work very hard to achieve this goal.  I am thankful that UNC has given me the tools to succeed in becoming an excellent well-rounded physical therapist.

Tyrrell Trip

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Yancey, Sarah”

  1.   Vicki Merceron 12 Jun 2013 at 7:28 pm

    Hi Sarah,
    Congratulations! It has been a pleasure to watch you develop into the outstanding UNC PT graduate and clinician that you will be in just a few short weeks. You have amazing abilities and a heart for older adults that will serve you well throughout your career. Given the similarities in our areas of interest, I expect to be able to track your continuing professional contributions and accomplishments. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with ideas, questions, new projects, etc.!

    Best wishes,

    P.S. – I love the layout and “look” of your portfolio!


  2.   Lisa Johnstonon 27 Jun 2013 at 9:10 pm

    Very nice job displaying your work in your portfolio. You have done some really nice work. The 3 years has gone by quickly but you have accomplished a lot in that time. Congratulations on almost being done and good luck to you!


Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply