Apr 20 2017

Reynolds, Jessica

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Professional Goal Statement

  • I strive to become a respected, collaborative physical therapist, specializing in treating patients with neurological conditions.  I desire to be in an environment where I can collaborate with colleagues who demonstrate integrity and expect excellence, using evidence-based practice to deliver the highest level of care to our patients and their families.  My role as a learner will be equally as important as my role as a therapist, so that I can focus on best practices based on the latest research.  I will develop professional relationships with patients and their families to gain a greater understanding of their goals, strengths, and needs.  I will also seek to connect patients with community resources and with one another to provide more support and accountability toward their goals.


Career Plan

  • Past History
    • Presented a poster at the 2016 Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers Conference- June 2016
    • Raised over $1,000 for Multiple Sclerosis Research while biking 150 miles at the MS 150 Ride in New Bern, NC- September 2016
    • Presented a poster at the 2017 UNC Human Movement Science and Biomechanics Research Symposium – March 2017
    • Lead two workshops for Clayton Community members living with MS about the benefits of exercise and falls prevention- September 2016 and April 2017
  • Clinical Rotations:
    • Access Physical Therapy (Outpatient Orthopedics) in Knightdale, NC
    • UNC Hospital (Acute Neuro) in Chapel Hill, NC
    • UNC Hospital (Outpatient Neuro) in Chapel Hill, NC
    • Emerge Ortho (Outpatient Orthopedics) in Oxford, NC

Future Goals and Objectives:

  • In the next 5 years (all goals below this section, and):
    • 1.) Obtain my Neurological Clinical Specialist (NCS) certification.
    • 2.) Seek leadership opportunities in my place of employment.
    • 3.) Strive for alignment between my personal and professional goals with a healthy work/life balance.
  • In the next 3 years:
    • 1.) Gain employment in a position that enables me to work with patients who have neurodegenerative conditions (flexible on setting).
    • 2.) Become a Multiple Sclerosis Certified Specialist (MSCS).
    • 3.)  Identify and collaborate with community partners that can offer assistance to families affected by neurological disease.
    • 4.) Remain an active partner with the MS Society, participating in Bike MS and attending the annual meetings each fall.
    • 5.) Remain a committed member of the Volunteer Leadership Team (VLT) for the MS Step Up Scholarship
    • 6.) Each year, attend at least one APTA or Consortium of MS Centers (CMSC) conference.
    • 7.) Become a Clinical Instructor for another student for at least two terms.
    • 8.) Remain an active APTA member, and remain active in the neurology special interest groups of the APTA.


Self Assessment

  • Strengths:  
    • Communication and relationship-building skills
    • Teaching and learning
    • Creating and progressing treatment interventions for patients with neurological disease or complications
    • Motivating others.
  • Areas for growth:  
    • Assessing and treating patients with complex orthopedic conditions
    • Developing a thorough knowledge of billing, coding, and insurance reimbursement in different clinical settings with various insurance types
    • Identifying new opportunities for partnership and collaboration with other healthcare professionals



Strategies for developing areas for growth

  • Completing a final 12-week rotation in Orthopedics and examining the research and collaborating with colleagues around complex cases
  • Further my knowledge of appropriate billing, coding, and reimbursement through discussions with colleagues, onsite professional development, and information from the APTA
  • Remaining a member of the APTA Neurology Special Interest Group while also joining the Orthopedics Special Interest Group
  • After reading each volume of JOSPT, select at least one article to discuss with a classmate or colleague about its clinical application.




  • Research Elective-  I enjoyed the opportunity to work with Dr. Plummer and Whitney Huryta and investigate the impact of physical therapy combined with dalfampridine on gait speed in patients with MS.  I participated in data collection and analysis and gave a poster presentation at the Human Movement Science and Biomechanics Research Symposium.
  • Advanced Orthopedic Elective- This course helped me to gain further knowledge to effectively assess and treat patients with various orthopedic conditions.  For my final paper, I wrote about how to maximize bone development across the lifespan.
  • Interdisciplinary Service Learning- This course offered a wonderful opportunity to partner with students from other disciplines and community members in a rural, socioeconomically disadvantaged part of North Carolina to better meet the health needs of the community members.


Product Examples

  • This Critically Appraised Topic examined the literature to compare the impact of aerobic exercise with dalfampridine on gait speed in individuals living with MS.
  • This poster reflects the data that I helped to collect and synthesize along with Dr. Plummer and Whitney Huryta examining the combined impact of physical therapy and dalfampridine on gait speed in individuals with MS.


Reflective Statement

These past few years have been a challenging yet rewarding learning experience transitioning from a career in education to healthcare as a physical therapist.   It was quite a change become a full-time student again after ten years working as a professional, and I’ve learned more about new areas for my growth and development.   I’ve been very grateful to learn from so many leaders in the physical therapy field at UNC, and I’ve been privileged to learn alongside exceptional classmates.  

As I look forward, I plan to continue to surround myself with colleagues who regularly challenge me to learn and grow.  I also hope to collaborate with other healthcare professionals outside of physical therapy to provide a more cohesive, patient-focused approach.  At the same time, I’ve realized how difficult it is even as a student to create opportunities to connect with and observe other professionals.  As I look forward, I know that I will need to make a particularly strong effort to do so effectively.  Remaining actively involved with the MS Society and attending the CMSC conference regularly provides a great opportunity to develop relationships with other professionals to begin this process.

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