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Guest Blog: Studying for the PCS Exam - featured April 21, 2011

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Studying For the PCS Exam

By: Dr. Joni Redlich, DPT

Reprinted with the express permission of Joni Redlich, DPT, as originally appeared on her Kid PT Blog, March 20, 2011

The past several months I spent every extra moment I had studying. I took an exam on Saturday to obtain the credential Pediatric Certified Specialist. During every patient cancellation, after my daughter went to bed, and another other time I could grab was put towards learning everything I could about the field that I have devoted myself to professionally over the past 11 years. Along the way I learned a lot of new things, sometimes a small detail, sometimes familiarizing myself with a diagnosis I have not see in person (you tube was an awesome resource since I’m a visual learner), and other times a reflection on my personal life and professional practice. I thought I would share some of these things today.
  • I am amazed at how much goes right with our amazing bodies. I am amazed that for most of us our bones strengthen when stressed, our bodies take immediate action to heal when we bleed, and we literally move through our lives without much thought. I am even more amazed by those who weren’t born with parts of their anatomy or physiology intact, and despite their challenges, do more than survive- they thrive, they work hard, and they teach us all how to live.
  • We as physical therapists need to get out in the community, better communicate with parents, and delve further into the daily lives of the children we treat. Motor learning and motivation are tremendous factors in the attainment of new skills. We need to focus on daily activities and participation. These aspects are challenging to schedules/logistics and traditional rehab, but are necessary to for children to generalize motor skills and have the repetition needed to master these skills.
  • I am reminded of the need for better documentation and testing on my kiddos. Sometimes this means video documentation at regular intervals- nothing is better at detecting change than watching a video.
  • Back to motor learning again- we are often focused on teaching a child to perform an activity, or working on the components that make-up that task- we need to make sure we are not helping too much- the child needs to learn if they are going to practice it on their own
  • Random point of fact that was fascinating to me: visual flow is interpreted as proprioception by the brain

These are just a few thoughts that I have after the fact. Preparing for this exam was an intense experience, but I believe I am a better therapist for it, whatever the outcome.

Featured Author: Dr. Joni Redlich, DPT

Dr. Redlich is a Mom, Wife and Pediatric Physical Therapist Specializing in Children with Developmental Disabilities. She received a B.A in Psychology from Emory University and her M.S in Physical Therapy and DPT from Arcadia University (formerly Beaver College). Please visit her website at Kid PT

Tags: Article PT Newsletter 22 April 2011