Department of Physical Therapy to promote professional

“Describe your personal characteristics that you believe will lead to your success in
the physical therapy profession”
Please response to the question above, and visit this

Saint Francis University of Doctor of Physical Therapy

In line with the mission of the Department of Physical Therapy to promote professional
practice and development, it is important for a physical therapist to have relevant
knowledge and skills to deal with patients. I believe that I possess the requisite
personality traits for a successful career in physical therapy.
Communication skills play an important attribute in the career of a physical therapist.
Physical therapy involves constant communication with patients, patients’ family
members, and colleagues. I am a people-person, capable of interacting with, empathizing,
and conveying sensitive information to patients of all ages and from different cultural and
social settings.
Intelligibility is another very useful trait for the success of a career in physical therapy.
While knowledge acquisition is an ongoing process, the knowledge I acquired through
my previous studies is an empirical basis for me to base a patient’s treatment regimen. I
am particularly excited to learn more about neuromuscular therapy and utilize the
interesting internship opportunities provided by the Department of Physical Therapy.

Surname 2
I am also a great motivator. While it is important to set goals in my paperwork, I also set
goals for something that patients wish to obtain. In addition, I am supportive and
compassionate in my interactions with patients. I appreciate my ability to maintain
control of difficult sessions with a sense of humor, tenderness and empathy. Last but not
least, I am able to maintain a calm demeanor even in the most stressful situations.
I appreciate my good communication, intelligibility, motivational, supportive and
compassionate abilities, which I believe will play an important role in the success of my
career.

The D’Youville mission statement caught my attention, because it shows that D’Youville
teaches students to contribute to the world community by leading compassionate, productive, and
responsible lives. While working in a clinic for a few years, I firmly set my goal and dedicated
my life to the world community where people suffer in physically dysfunctional states. Helping
patients gives me a great feeling of achievement and satisfaction, encouraging my passion and
energy. Valuable and precious experiences in the inpatient and outpatient settings helped me
realize that professional skills, such as interpersonal and problem solving skills, are very
important to working with patients. I would like to become a physical therapist so that I can use
exercise and treatment to return functional parts of the body to their best state through
movement.
Five years ago, I had a car accident and injured my shoulder. While I was recovering, I
began to understand how patients feel physically and mentally. I realized that I wouldn’t recover
properly without help from others. After completing recovery, I had a strong desire to help
people who suffer physical dysfunction like I experienced. I cannot know exactly how patients
are situated, but I can predict how they feel and what they need.
I started to become interested in the health care field, and my relative, who was an
acupuncturist, influenced me to choose a future career as an acupuncturist. As I neared
graduation from acupuncture school, I started volunteering at a physical therapy clinic that one
of my professors had recommended. The clinic also provided acupuncture treatment to patients
occasionally. I had a great opportunity to see how acupuncture and physical therapy can work
together. One physical therapist, who specialized in orthopedics, was both professional and
knowledgeable about the musculoskeletal system. That aspect of the professional orthopedic
specialty fascinated me and motivated me to become a physical therapist. I observed the

potential benefits of combining two fields, and I saw that acupuncture and physical therapy work
very well together with great synergy. Just after graduating acupuncture school, I started
preparing for the requirements of the doctor of physical therapy (DPT) program.
While working in an outpatient setting at Alpha Rehab Center for almost three years, I
learned that mastering problem-solving skills is critical in examining patients, evaluating
symptoms, diagnosing conditions, developing prognoses, and implementing interventions. It is a
physical therapist’s job to identify the mental and physical factors, including unconscious habits
like bad posture and repetitive movements, that contribute to patients’ symptoms. This process is
the key to diagnosing symptoms and healing patients faster. To diagnose a patient’s condition, a
physical therapist must have an extensive amount of medical knowledge. While at my university,
I learned about special tests for the elbow. In the clinic, I had the opportunity to work with a
patient who had pain on the medial side of her elbow. I felt sorry for the patient, but I was
excited to use what I had learned in school, and I had a strong desire to find out what the
diagnosis was. With a special test (the Valgus stress test) and diagnosis of the symptoms
(swelling, pain, and tenderness), I was able to determine that she had a medial collateral ligament
(MCL) sprain with physical therapist’s confirmation.
While volunteering at the physical therapy clinic during my acupuncture studies, I often
observed the therapist with the orthopedic background diagnose this condition. However, I
learned that this was an extremely difficult condition to diagnose accurately, even with his great
knowledge of orthopedics and physical therapy. Properly diagnosing this condition on my own
encouraged me, as it proved that knowledge, problem solving, and even critical thinking are
necessary to finding solutions. The awareness of these skills’ importance led me to more
thoroughly study the specialty of orthopedics in physical therapy. To do so, at D’Youville, I plan

to take the advanced orthopedic certificate program after completing an entry-level degree in
physical therapy. In particular, I am eager to learn spinal manipulation and functional approach
to exercise.
With six months of inpatient clinic experience, I have learned that interpersonal skills are
extremely important to master in order to provide optimal patient care. These are also necessary
for respectful interaction with faculty and classmates, productive classroom discussions, and
promotion of proper therapist–patient relationships. Human wellness stems from physical and
mental health; therefore, a physical therapist that connects with a patient can treat the patient
more easily. If two people can build a strong relationship, then the patient will be more likely to
provide details about his or her life. This information can sometimes provide clues about the
cause of the person’s illness or injury.
When I started volunteering in Burlington Convalescent Hospital, a physical therapist
introduced me to all facilities and patients and gave me a tour of the hospital. When the therapist
treated a patient who was experiencing pain in her left shoulder, she was sullen and reluctant to
answer the therapist’s questions. With the experience of my own shoulder injury, I understood
her discomfort and why she was having a hard time. When I talked with the patient, I tried to
discuss her situation with understanding. I also recognized that she was Korean, as am I. During
the treatment, I regaled her with amusing stories about my experience with shoulder injury, and I
talked about some aspects of Korean culture. Breaking into a smile, she told me about her past
and explained the cause of her hospital visit. Through empathy, I built a better relationship with
her, and consequently, I noticed that she usually leaned on the left side of her body, which was
causing her pain. Her therapist later thanked me for finding the cause of pain. This experience
taught me the value of connecting with patients on a personal level rather than simply treating

their conditions. If I hadn’t made this personal connection, I may not have had the opportunity to
notice the true cause of her pain. The DPT program at D’Youville offers specific training that
will complement my current skills and help me develop those on which I am still working.
When I looked over the D’Youville website, I was certain that the interprofessional
simulation education (IPE) would strengthen my interpersonal skills and clinical professional
confidence for patient care. I read the IPE research paper, which proved that it enhances
students’ understanding of professional roles with respect to communication and responsibilities.
The simulation used trained actors as patients, and students practiced with other healthcare
professionals in a variety of simulation activities utilizing the experience of a real clinic. Even
after work in a healthcare clinic for a long time, it is possible to overlook important skills
necessary in the field of physical therapy. Missing skills may eventually result in huge mistakes
in a clinic. However, in the setting of the IPE, students can practice and learn from their mistakes
in a very safe environment under professional supervision. I think that the IPE will train me to be
the best professional possible, as it will elevate my skills in various areas.
Rather than becoming a physical therapist that merely treats patients, I aspire to be a
therapist that gives patients hope and encouragement. I strongly believe that the spirit of St.
Marguerite D’Youville, its mission statement, and the DPT program nourish knowledge, social
skills, and professionalism that will prepare me to be a leader who can contribute to the world
community.

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