Mar 18 2015

White, Briarly

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Professional Goal Statement

My goal is to become a skilled physical therapist employed in an inpatient rehab, SNF or outpatient setting specializing in the care of older adults and/or individuals with neuromuscular disorders to help them achieve maximal functional independence and wellness. I am also committed to ongoing professional development and look forward to advancing my clinical skills through specialist certifications in geriatrics and/or neurology and advancing my leadership skills and the profession by teaching student PTs and serving actively in my local chapter of the APTA.

Career Plan

  • Graduate from UNC DPT program August 2015.
  • Pass the licensure examination and obtain licensure through the NC Board of PT Examiners October 2015.
  • Obtain employment in an inpatient rehab, SNF or outpatient neuro rehab center in the Triangle, NC which fosters mentorship and ideally serving a large percentage of older adults and/or patients with neuromuscular conditions.
  • Maintain active membership and participation in the Capital District NCPTA and APTA Neurologic Section, join the APTA Stroke SIG.
  • Pursue ongoing professional development to advance clinical skill, in particular specialized training in stroke rehabilitation and LSVT BIG certification.
  • Offer pro bono balance and fitness classes and falls/stroke prevention seminars in the local community, such as in senior centers or my church.
  • Volunteer to serve as a clinical instructor for PT students in my place of employment. Provide mentorship to newly hired graduates.
  • Fulfill requirements for and pass the NCS examination; become certified through the ABPTS by 2020.
  • Fulfill requirements for and pass the GCS examination; become certified through the ABPTS by 2025.
  • Assume leadership roles in my clinical practice and the NCPTA, continue delivering excellent patient-centered care

Self Assessment


  • Commitment to patient and family-centered care throughout the course of treatment
  • Effective tailoring of communication and education approaches developed through SPT clinical experiences and former career as a teacher/grade level leader
  • Strong commitment to evidence-based practice and continual advancement of clinical skill and professional knowledge
  • Experience in interdisciplinary communication with a team-based approach through SHAC coordinator/volunteer roles and clinical placements
  • Limited experience working with older adults with neuromuscular conditions in both inpatient rehab and outpatient neuro rehab settings
  • Expanded understanding of geriatric patient issues through clinical experiences, interdisciplinary Health and Aging course, volunteer balance screening, devising/progressing individualized HEPs for older adults with balance deficits

Areas for Professional Development:

  • Advance skills in manual facilitation of desired movement patterns, manual therapy for increasing ROM and orthotic prescription (as for neuromuscular populations)
  • Expand network of professional relationships with physical therapists in desired employment settings
  • Increase clinical experience in geriatric and neurologic physical therapy, in particular experience treating individuals with stroke
  • Identify local community resources for diverse patient needs (eg, DME, orthotists/prosthetists, financial assistance programs, exercise/balance programs)


  1. Continue to develop my “toolbelt” and experience in devising/applying interventions for progressive improvement of balance and functional mobility in older adult patients with neuromuscular and musculoskeletal conditions of varying levels of severity
  2. Prepare adequately for and pass the National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE), obtain physical therapy licensure in North Carolina
  3. Obtain full-time employment in inpatient rehab, SNF or outpatient neuro rehab setting, ideally with an established mentoring program
  4. Engage in community service to enhance fitness and prevention among geriatric populations


Specific Strategies

  • Seek additional knowledge and mentorship in manual facilitation of desired movement patterns, manual therapy for increasing ROM and orthotic prescription prior to obtaining licensure and employment
  • Develop and follow a feasible and structured study program in preparation for taking the National PT Exam in October
  • Network with physical therapists in inpatient rehab, SNF and outpatient neuro settings in the local Triangle area and begin the job search process following graduation from the DPT program
  • Develop list of local community resources specific to common patient needs per place of employment
  • Seek evidence-based continuing education courses with emphasis on stroke rehabilitation


Sample Work Towards Goal Achievement

  • In the Fall of 2014, I completed a Critically Appraised Topic (CAT) on the efficacy of body weight supported treadmill training for improving walking ability among individuals initially nonambulatory following stroke. This was originally to be the stepping stone to my doctoral capstone project to be presented at UNC Healthcare’s Center for Rehabilitation Care, where a preliminary survey indicated interest among staff therapists. However, the birth and ongoing care of my daughter December 2014 required me to alter my original plan/timeline while maintaining my focus on interventions for improving individuals’ function following stroke. I conducted research on a separate topic of aerobic training for individuals with stroke and traumatic brain injury during inpatient rehab on which I presented an inservice to WakeMed inpatient rehab therapists on July 14. I am currently working on polishing the components of this project, a presentation and handout, which will serve as my final capstone. Both this project and the CAT allowed me to pursue my goal of increased knowledge of appropriate/effective interventions for individuals after stroke.
  • The Integrated Clinical Experience in Fall of 2014 provided experience treating older adults with a variety of neuromuscular conditions (stroke, Parkinson’s, vestibular dysfunction, brain tumor) as well as applying manual therapy techniques for an orthopedic patient in an outpatient setting under the guidance of an expert mentor.
  • The exercise prescription project for PHYT  736: Physical Therapy for Older Adults enabled me to meet my goals of gaining more experience in geriatric physical therapy as well as identifying local community resources for future patient referral and practicing patient-centered care. I was able to successfully employ behavioral modification techniques to address barriers to the individualized home exercise prescription I devised along with a peer for an older adult, who reported a resulting increase in physical activity for the period of several weeks over which I continued to consult with her on her progress.
  • For the culminating project for PHYT 705: Managing Contemporary Practice, I partnered with a classmate with similar interest in geriatric physical therapy to investigate financially/logistically feasible models of providing services for seniors in convenient community settings and their homes. This process provided the opportunity to identify and consult with a mentor Geriatric Clinical Specialist who provides pro bono and reimbursable services for seniors enhancing fitness as well as recovering mobility and independence.


Reflective Statement

I am grateful for the opportunities afforded throughout the UNC DPT program for clarifying and pursuing my professional goals and for the people who have supported and guided me along the way—my professors, mentors, clinical instructors and classmates. In particular, I have shaped and made progress towards my above-stated goals through the brief clinical experiences integrated into our Neuromuscular course and Physical Therapy for Older Adults courses, Integrated Clinical Experience elective, the CAT I completed and capstone project I continue to refine, and this last clinical placement in inpatient rehab. I have also joined the Neurology Section of the APTA as a student member, continued to receive and browse JNPT and PT in Motion, and attended CSM February 2014 and several Capital District NCPTA meetings (including presentation of assessment/intervention techniques for vestibular conditions) in pursuit of further professional development in my interest areas.

While I have had the inexplicable joy of becoming a mother December 2, 2014 to a healthy, delightful daughter, this important new life role has brought with it the need to alter plans for electives and the timeline for completing program components and licensure exam preparation. I was not able to take the Advanced Neuromuscular Intervention nor complete the Certificate in Aging as I had hoped. However, the diverse clinical experiences, coursework and electives I have completed have provided a solid foundation upon which to build my career as a physical therapist. I am eager to continue advancing my knowledge, skills and experience in service of my future patients, and in particular to partnering with them in the rewarding work of enhancing their functional mobility, health and quality of life.

One response so far

One Response to “White, Briarly”

  1.   Lisa Johnstonon 29 Jul 2015 at 1:02 pm

    Great job with your portfolio. I am so excited that you are able to wrap things up. It has been a busy year for you and you have done a great job.


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