Apr 20 2017

Hammonds, Anne

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Professional Goal:

To gain confidence in reading and understanding research literature in order to be a more effective clinician for my patients, a more informed clinical instructor for my students, a more productive teammate for my colleagues.

Career Path and Future Plans:

My introduction to the profession of physical therapy was somewhat by accident. Fulfilling an internship requirement for my degree in Exercise Science, I worked as an aide for a physical therapist that was coordinating the orthopedic walk-in clinic at Student Health clinic at Appalachian State University. That clinician, Lou Ann Kernodle, PT, has been my mentor and advisor for my career path as well as many life choices. Following graduation from ASU, I was accepted to the physical therapy program at UNC-CH and graduated in the Class of 1995. After practicing for a couple of years, I became complacent in my skills and wanted to return to the academic environment. This time I returned to UNC-CH for a Master’s in Public Health (2005). Although I had achieved specialty certifications through continuing education, I was still intimidated to read journal articles and questioned my understanding of the research findings. This is what led me to UNC’s tDPT program. In retrospect, my career has been the epitome of the definition of a ‘life-long learner’.

I have had the opportunity to work in acute care, home health, outpatient orthopedics, short-term rehabilitation, and administration and found enjoyment and challenge in each setting.  However, I am particularly drawn to working with patients following stroke and with patients after  limb amputation.   My goals for the future include passing the Neurologic Specialist Certification through the APTA, volunteering with the Range Of Motion Project in Guatemala or Ecuador, and attaining more teaching opportunities.

Learning Objectives:

  1. To gain confidence in my ability to critically analyze research literature in order to apply ‘best practice’ techniques to patient care.

Beginning this program was very intimidating. I limited my reading of research because I did not feel I was able to adequately determine whether what I was reading was credible or not. Evidence-Based Practice II (PHYT752) provided me with the tools to better understand how to appraise an article and understand the article’s content. These tools helped organize and complete my CAT project.

  1. To develop classroom-teaching skills, understand learning styles and develop a teaching curriculum that can be applied to a classroom setting.

I was able to achieve this objective through the Physical Therapy Education Seminar (PHYT830) and well as the APTA Clinical Instructor Credentialing course. In the PT Education Seminar we learned about different learning styles and various methods of teaching students with differing learning styles. These concepts were reiterated in the APTA CI Credentialing course. PHYT830 helped me understand my own learning preferences, develop lecture material (PHYT830 PowerPoint) and provided me with the opportunity to discover my enjoyment of the classroom environment. This also provided the incentive to reach out to area PT/PTA programs for teaching opportunities.

  1. To improve upon my current level of understanding of clinical lab values, diagnostic imaging and pharmacological side effects and interactions.

This objective was achieved through several courses. In Advanced Patient Management I (PHYT820), I was challenged to stretch my understanding of pharmaceuticals, medication side effects, and drug interactions across the lifespan.   In Advance Patient Management II (PHYT 822), I developed a better understanding of the pros/cons of various types of imaging tools and how to interpret imaging findings. These classes have increased my interest in understanding and interpreting medical information.

  1. To become more involve within my community Physical Therapy organization (NCPT).

Advance Practice Issues (PHYT 839) helped me appreciate that my profession is more than just practicing as a clinician; it is about becoming involved in the advancement of the profession. As a new graduate, I was more concerned about passing my board exam and becoming a good therapist. At that time, the idea of advancing the profession was more for those therapists’ in academia. This class, wisdom, and time have enlightened me to the need for involvement in NCPT Association.


When I was considering whether I would return to graduate school, a colleague said to me, ‘You can either enter the program and in two years you’ll be finished with your degree OR you can choose not to enter the program and in two years you’ll wish you had started. Either way, two years will fly by’.   As I reflect upon these words, I am reminded of the time warp of school and how quickly time passes. This program has rekindled my love of learning. I have gained confidence in my ability to interpret research, lab values and imaging. As a result, this new knowledge has significantly altered my clinical practice. The DPT program has elevated my thought process and method of learning to a new level. As I complete this program, I remind myself this is the start of a lifetime of learning.


One response so far

One Response to “Hammonds, Anne”

  1.   Karen McCullochon 08 May 2017 at 4:09 pm

    Yay Anne! You really ARE a tarheel, aren’t you?
    Nice work in using the program to accomplish things that will help both you and your patients. I hope you continue to work with PTA program too….that would be a nice ongoing gig, I think….
    Enjoy your summer with much less computering!!!


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