Dec 03 2020

Caldwell, Ana-Clara

Published by

Ana-Clara Caldwell

Professional Goal

My professional goal is to work as a pediatric physical therapist and to become a Pediatric Clinical Specialist within the next 5 years. I want to improve health equity to the Spanish-speaking population throughout my career through outreach and education. I also want to make service a foundation of my profession to improve access to care in my community and abroad. Later in my career, I would love to establish my own developmental preschool providing therapy services and an inclusive environment for children of all abilities.

Career Plan

  • 3rd Year of PT School
    • Complete final clinical rotation at Levine Children’s Hospital
    • Present pediatric in-service presentation at Levine Children’s Hospital
    • Pass NPTE in July
    • Gain licensure in North Carolina
    • Graduate from UNC Physical Therapy Program
  • 1st Year After Graduation
    • Get a job in pediatrics with good mentorship opportunities
    • Take pediatric continuing education courses
    • Garner a better understanding of NC Medicaid and local pediatric resources
    • Fulfill continuing education requirements
    • Research volunteer opportunities
    • Attend Pediatric Section Meeting
  • 5 years After Graduation
    • Become a clinical instructor
    • Take exam to become a Pediatric Clinical Specialist
  • 10 years after Graduation
    • Open developmental preschool

Self Assessment

  • Strengths
    • Variety of pediatric clinical exposure
    • 3 month clinical rotation in inpatient rehabilitation at Levine Children’s Hospital
    • NICU observation at Duke, Novant Presbyterian Hospital and Levine Children’s Hospital
    • 2 month acute care rotation at Novant Presbyterian Hospital with pediatric patients
    • PICU observation at Levine Children’s Hospital
    • Outpatient observation at BreakThrough Physical Therapy and UNC
    • 2 month clinical roation at Oleander Rehab, a hospital-run outpatient clinic with pediatric PTs
    • Clinical rotation in the school setting at Cabarrus County Public Schools
    • General knowledge of early intervention, school, and inpatient rehabilitation services
    • Presented an interdisciplinary pediatric in-service at Oleander Rehab for Return to Sport after Common Sports Injuries
    • Experience reading, interpreting, and applying research literature to clinical practice
    • Experience working with adaptive equipment vendors and orthotists
    • Experience working with patients of a variety of ages from premature and young adults
    • Took elective pediatric coursework in 3rd year
    • Completed Capstone project translating and culturally-adapting educational resources for caregivers of infants in the NICU
    • Spanish Speaker
  • Areas for Professional Development
    • Need to improve understanding of Medicaid and other insurance coverage
    • Need to gain more experience with high risk infants and preemies to work in the NICU
    • Need a better understanding of local resources available for pediatric patients
    • Need to build a network of therapists and providers
    • Need to continue to learn about adaptive equipment and orthoses prescription


  • Acquire a pediatric physical therapy job with mentorship opportunity
  • Continue to develop pediatric knowledge base and clinical skills through experience and continuing education

Specific Strategies

  • Maintain good communication with mentors and pediatric therapists
  • Maintain licensure and continuing education requirements
  • Attend pediatric continuing education courses
  • Work as a clinical instructor
  • Volunteer

Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Reflection

Through my diversity and inclusion experiences, I learned more about how to craft and establish an environment that is welcoming to all. When constructing this environment, it is important to provide all with the tools to succeed, such as meeting the patient where they are spiritually, culturally, and intellectually. By learning about the lack of diversity in the teacher population, despite the growing diversity in the student population in America, I grasped the importance of diversity at all levels to create a comfort zone where everybody can flourish. It was shown that teachers of color have higher expectations for students of color. This is a concept that I will remember as I enter into the healthcare profession because it shows the importance of holding people of all races to the same expectations. When establishing goals and plans of care, it is important to consider the patient’s history, while leaving the stereotypes and biases out of it. It is necessary to reflect on how my own implicit biases my play a role in my decision-making.

Through this experience, I also learned about how to handle micro and macroaggressions that are targeted at me specifically. I have experienced this a few times throughout my clinical experiences and did not have the tools to handle such scenarios. By completing this activity, I garnered the tools to get out of the uncomfortable situation, address the issue, and seek support. I think it is important that as a healthcare professional I learn to handle these situations because I want to make sure that I continue to provide the best care for my patients, despite how they feel towards me or how I feel towards them. If I am unable to provide the care they deserve, then I must be able to acknowledge that and pass them on to another professional who may feel more comfortable. I think it is also important that I know the resources to seek support to decrease the likelihood of burnout and frustration with my profession.

These experiences were eye-opening and helped me to better understand the importance of equity and diversity in the healthcare field. It provided me with the tools to maintain my professionalism, while also maintaining my personal health and integrity.


Reflective Statement

I will be forever grateful for all of the experiences UNC has provided me and for the friends and connections that I have made over the last three years. I know that my passion for working with children and their families has only grown through my clinical experiences. Through my capstone project, I have also become even more passionate about health equity and making sure everybody has equal access to care and will spend my career fighting for this equality. Over the course of my career, I hope to impact families by giving them something to celebrate and supporting them through the hardships they may face. Thank you to the faculty and my fellow classmates for a wonderful three years!


2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Caldwell, Ana-Clara”

  1.   Lisa Johnstonon 01 Jun 2021 at 7:34 pm

    AC- Congrats to you! You have accomplished a lot over the 3 years. Great job on your portfolio. It is really nice to see some of your accomplishments. Good luck and congrats! Lisa


  2.   Deborah Thorpe, PT, PhDon 02 Jun 2021 at 10:41 am

    Very nice portfolio! I loved the “burnout” inservice. Even though we all experience this at some point…no one ever addresses it!! A very valuable presentation for your future colleagues! I am so excited that you want to focus on pediatrics and especially the Hispanic population. Your capstone was amazing. I hope you see the App to fruition:) Good luck…you have a very bright future ahead!


Comments RSS

Leave a Reply