May 21 2019

Earnhardt, Rachel

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Professional Goal Statement

My professional goal is to become a confident, well rounded physical therapist who always strives for excellence with my patients. I intend to utilize evidence based practice to find the best intervention for each of the individuals in my care and to never settle for mediocracy. Through my clinical experience and continuing education, I hope to expand my knowledge as a clinician and develop my skills in patient care.


Career Plan

May 2015: Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Davidson College (2011-2015)

August 2016: Began UNC – Chapel Hill Doctor of Physical Therapy Program

  • Clinical Rotation I (8 weeks): Outpatient Orthopedics, Novant Health, Clemmons, NC, 2017
  • Clinical Rotation II (8 weeks): Acute Care, UNC Hospital, Chapel Hill, NC, 2018
  • Clinical Rotation III (8 weeks): Outpatient Pediatrics/Neuro, Pediatric Therapy Associates, Garner/Raleigh, NC, 2018
  • Clinical Rotation IV (12 weeks): Acute Pediatrics, Levine Children’s Hospital, Charlotte, NC, 2019

April 2019: Attend Service Learning Trip in Guatemala

August 2019: Earn Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill

October 2019: Sit for the National Licensing Board Exam and become a licensed physical therapist

November 2019: Be employed as a physical therapist in a pediatric setting and find a mentor to develop my skills as a new therapist

2020-2024: Consider completing a Pediatric Residency to facilitate becoming a Pediatric Certified Specialist

2024: Become a Clinical Instructor


Self Assessment


  • Experience working in a wide range of clinical settings, specifically pediatric, from my clinical experiences
  • Compassion and empathy for patients
  • Developing relationships with others (patients, colleagues, superiors)
  • Utilizing professionalism in all aspects of patient care
  • Experience working as an office coordinator and physical therapy aide in order to understand demands and involvement from the administrative side of therapy

Areas for Further Development:

  • Greater involvement with APTA and various physical therapy professional organizations
  • Direct supervision of PTAs and various support staff
  • Proficiency in Spanish



  • Areas of interest: pediatric physical therapy, acute care pediatrics – specifically NICU, physical therapy for young athletes
  • Graduate from UNC – Chapel Hill with a Doctorate in Physical Therapy in August 2019
  • Proficiently prepare and pass the NCPTE to become a board certified physical therapist by October 2019
  • Become a Clinical Instructor by 2024
  • Become a Pediatric Certified Specialist by 2024



  • Cultivate a mentor relationship with a pediatric physical therapist throughout my third year to shape and prepare myself to become a physical therapist in the pediatric field
  • Complete a capstone project related to torticollis/plagiocephaly prevention in order to further my knowledge in pediatric care
  • Upon employment, seek out mentorship from an established therapist in my department to develop and grow my skills as a medial professional
  • Maintain APTA membership and seek opportunities for growth through CEs, lecture series, conferences, and workshops
  • Electives
    • Spanish for Health Professionals (Fall 2018)
    • Teacher Scholar for Motor Development (Spring 2019)
    • Integrated Clinical Experience (Spring 2019)
    • International Service Learning Trip (Spring 2019)


Product Examples

Capstone Project: Prevention and Early Intervention of Torticollis and Plagiocephaly for At-Risk Infants

  • Doctoral level coursework to provide tools families and caregivers can use at home to help prevent and deliver early intervention of torticollis (shortened muscles on one side of the neck) and plagiocephaly (flattened or misshapen head)
  • The evidence table analyzes current literature in terms of risk factors, prevalence, prevention methods, early treatment methods, and long term outcomes for at-risk infants.
  • An educational brochure, or parent pamphlet, given at hospital discharge could be an effective way for parents of at-risk infants to become more knowledgeable, and spread the information to a wider audience.
  • A YouTube video was created to provide instruction and demonstration of several handling methods and tools parents/guardians could use for infants to promote even development. These tools can be used during feedings, diaper changes, play time, holding the baby, and more. In addition, the video describes how an individual could easily check the infant’s head for symmetry at home. Link:
  • More information can be found at this website:

In-Service Presentations

Critically Appraised Topic

  • During Evidence Based Practice II course work, I completed this critically appraised topic on torticollis/plagiocephaly treatment methods compared helmet therapy, physical therapy, and repositioning therapy. Different treatments were applied over differing timelines, attempting to synthesize the efficacy of such methods.


Reflective Statement

My time at UNC-Chapel Hill has been a time of growth and continued learning. It has been incredible to see the level of care the faculty have for the students and how much of a family my classmates and I have become. My clinical instructors have greatly assisted in pushing my comfort in practice, while everyone at the school have ensured I possess the skills and knowledge to become a successful PT. I cannot thank everyone enough for their guidance and support throughout this journey. I came into the program having an inkling of what I liked in the physical therapy field, but the coursework, electives, and rotations helped shaped my passion for pediatrics, especially in the acute setting and NICU. Carolina will always hold a special place in my heart and I will forever cherish the bonds that have been created and the memories that have been formed. I cannot wait to get started and see what the future has in store!

12 responses so far

12 Responses to “Earnhardt, Rachel”

  1.   Lisa Johnstonon 11 Jun 2019 at 3:51 pm

    Great job on your portfolio! I enjoyed the You Tube video! Nice work. I am excited to see what is in store for you!


  2.   McMikeon 20 Jun 2019 at 11:07 am

    Nice work on your portfolio. Enjoyed watching you grow professionally through ICE and the many other classes and experiences. Congrats!


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