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Self- Assessment for 2015-2016

Grace Blankenhagen, SPT

The contents of this portfolio highlight my accomplishments, as well as times when I did not

perform at my best in my first year of physical therapy school. Overall, my first year was a generally

positive experience, with many highs and a few lows. Academically I did quite well, only showing minor

dips in test scores and recoveries. From each event that occurred below my expectations, I was able to

rebound and improve further. This portfolio also depicts my strong commitment to professional

development. I enjoy attending conclaves and conferences to continue my learning of new topics, and I

plan to continue this in the next year.

I faced many challenges in the past year in regards to learning, housing, and finances, however I

was able to rise above them and continue to perform well. The curriculum itself both enhanced and

constrained my learning. It helped by preventing me from slacking and pushed me to become a better

student and person. At times where I felt completely overwhelmed with tasks, I managed to push

through it and still come out successful. One situation that highly constrained my learning was my home

life. The house I lived in was not a quiet one, and I did not get along with my roommates well. These

factors frequently forced me to migrate out of town overnight to get some peace, and fortunately I did

have a place to go for a reprieve when it was needed.

Along with new challenges, this past year has brought many changes to my life, and I feel I grew

quite a bit as a person and professional in that time in general. However, I feel I experienced my largest

personal and professional development during my clinical rotation in the summer. I felt the

responsibility of my role and began to really understand the implications of becoming a physical

therapist. It made me reconsider the image I wanted to portray for myself as a professional, and

personally as well. I cannot avoid a task or skimp out on a patient when I get tired or frustrated. I need
the endurance to push through the frustrating days, because I will be the one bearing the responsibility

of the clinic.

As many strengths as I have gained over the year, there are still some skills that require

developing. Organizing has never been a strong suit of mine, and I feel I could benefit the most from

improving that skill. My current plan is to begin with a planner and use it consistently. I have also

volunteered to be the Hands for Health scheduling person, which will really force me to become

organized. I have discovered I have the most success when I bear full responsibility for something, or I

am thrown into a mess and have to work to clean it up.

In this portfolio, I have highlighted both my achievements and times when I did not perform at

my best. For professionalism, I have included my letter of acceptance to the CMU DPT program and

proof of my membership with the APTA and MPTA. For academic knowledge, I have included test scores

where I performed in the top 10 of the class, along with my neuroanatomy test scores which display my

consistency and ability to retain and apply my knowledge. For anatomy, I included a test I did not do so

well on, and my final which showed how I improved throughout the semester. For my clinical skills, I

included an exercise log I made for a patient that my CI was quite impressed with and 2 notes from

Clinical Education I. One note was one I did not do well on and had to redo, and the second is a note I

received a check plus on my first attempt. In the section for teaching skills, I received an email from Dr.

Zipple during Patient Care I about tutoring classmates who needed to remediate, and a lab handout my

partner and I created for an anatomy lab dissection presentation on the spine. I included the anatomy

handout because it was a particularly complicated presentation that I felt I performed well on. For

scholarly work, I attached a literature review of the implications of short wave diathermy on

osteoarthritis of the knee. The section on evidence based practice includes an article I used for a mock

clinic case and the Tinetti Balance Assessment Tool, which I became proficient at performing during my
clinical rotation over the summer. For community and professional engagement, I included my volunteer

hours and a letter to the legislator about chiropractors prescribing physical therapy in Michigan. For my

commitment to learning, I included a handout from an in-service I attended on my clinical rotation,

various MPTA conference participation certificates, proof of attendance at a kinesiotaping seminar and

autism safety training, and my certificates of blood borne pathogen and HIPAA certification training.

These items included in my portfolio highlight the big tasks I accomplished throughout my first year in

physical therapy school.