May 01 2018

Stacy Harris

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Professional Goal Statement

My professional goal is to serve as an inpatient rehabilitation physical therapist in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area of North Carolina. Following graduation from the UNC-Chapel Hill Doctor of Physical Therapy Program on August 4, 2018, I would like to begin my career by working in an acute care setting. My PT passion is working with the geriatric population, therefore, I also have interest in working in other settings such as home health, skilled nursing facilities, and/or at a program such as the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE). In the future, I am interested in becoming a Geriatric Certified Specialist (GCS) and mentoring physical therapy students as a clinical instructor.


Career Plan

Prior Experiences

May 2007: Bachelor of Science Degree in Mathematics Education from NC State University

August 2007 – June 2015: High School Mathematics Teacher for Wake County Public School System

Physical Therapy Education and Experiences

August 2015: Began Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at UNC-CH

Clinical Affiliations

June 2016, 8 weeks: Acute Care, Lenoir Memorial Hospital, Kinston NC

March 2017, 8 weeks: Home Health, UNC Hospital, Chapel Hill NC

May 2017, 8 weeks: Outpatient Orthopedics, REX Outpatient Rehab, Raleigh NC

May 2018, 12 weeks: Inpatient Neuro Rehab, UNC Hospital, Chapel Hill NC


2016, 2017, 2018: Tyrrell County Service Learning Spring Break Trip

2017: Introductory Spanish for Health Care Workers

2017: Research Elective – The Role of Terrain on Gait Speed and Spatiotemporal Measures

Professional Development and Experiences

2016 – Present: American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)/NC Physical Therapy Association (NCPTA) Member

2016, 2017, 2018: PT National Advocacy Dinner

Oct. 2017: NCPTA Fall Conference

March 2018: NCPTA Student Conclave

Future Goals

August 2018: Graduate from the UNC Chapel Hill with a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree

October 2018: Pass the National Physical Therapy Exam

1 – 3 years:

– Become employed in an acute care setting in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area

– Present my Capstone research at APTA Combined Sections Meeting 2019

– Pass the Geriatric Certified Specialist (GCS) exam

4 – 6 years:

– Become employed in an acute inpatient rehabilitation or geriatric specific setting

– Become a Certified Clinical Instructor

– Mentor my first student as a Clinical Instructor

– Attend both NCPTA and APTA conferences

7 – 10+ years:

– Pursue leadership roles within my employer organization

– Increase my involvement in the NCPTA and/or APTA by serving on a committee or other leadership position.




– Strong teaching skills

– Effective interpersonal communication skills

– Empathetic personality

– Receptive to criticism

– Collaborating within a team

– Passion for service to the community

Areas for further development:

– Creativity with patient treatment interventions

– Knowledge of insurance and reimbursement policies

– Involvement in advocacy of the physical therapy profession

– Improving Spanish fluency for use with patient care



  1. Pass the NCPTE in October 2018.
  2. Gain full-time employment in a hospital setting.
  3. Become a Geriatric Certified Specialist.
  4. Become a clinical instructor.
  5. Increase involvement in APTA/NCPTA.


Strategies for Success

– Utilize faculty, mentors/CIs, and advisor for assistance and access to resources.

– Develop a study calendar to use for preparation for NCPTE.

– Apply for jobs at multiple local hospitals, including per diem and full-time work.

– Maintain my APTA Membership and utilize my access to PTNow.

– Become a member of the Academy of Geriatric Physical Therapy (AGPT).


Samples of My Work

Functional Limitation Reporting (FLR) for Medicare

– This in-service presentation was created for my outpatient clinical rotation to help the therapists standardize their understanding and selection of Severity Modifier codes for their Medicare patients.

Critically Appraised Topic

– A literature review to find the best evidence to determine: “In a 65 year old adult male with mobility deficits resulting from a stroke that occurred 3 months ago, are balance training exercises more effective than gait training for improving gait speed?”

The Role of Terrain on Gait Speed and Spatiotemporal Measures

– Capstone Website link

– The purpose of this project was to quantify the change in gait speed that occurs from a smooth, firm clinic setting to various outdoor terrains that a patient may encounter in the community such as pavers, sand, upward and downward sloping gravel, and mulch.


Reflection Statement

As I approach the end of my time as a UNC Physical Therapy student, I have gained new perspective on the incredible education that I have received. It has prepared me to practice with the most up-to-date knowledge in the PT field, molded my view of health care, opened my eyes to government policies surrounding it, and instilled in me the values of both compassion and ethicism. Along with all I have already learned, it is also clear to me how much I have yet to learn. The field of physical therapy is constantly evolving and, as a former educator, I value continued education and reflection as necessary components of professional competence.

As such, neither my graduation in August nor my board exam in October will signify the end of my education as a physical therapist. Along with staying an active member of the APTA and NCPTA by participating in events and conferences, I intend to pursue my goal of becoming a Geriatric Certified Specialist as a formal way of increasing my training. Regardless of the specific setting of physical therapy I ultimately practice, I hope I am able to find a future employer that understands and values the necessity of continuing education. This will not only make me a better physical therapist, but also make me a better mentor for physical therapy students. This field will not continue to grow without the work of both current and future physical therapists, and I only hope that I can be a catalyst in that change.


One response so far

One Response to “Stacy Harris”

  1.   Lisa Johnsstonon 18 Jun 2018 at 9:26 am

    Stacy: great job displaying your professional progress and goals! I am excited to see you would like to be a CI down the road. I will be sure to call you up! Good luck to you. Lisa


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