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Lyndsay Ruckle

First Year Narrative

Year one of PT school has finally come to an end. I feel extremely proud of what

I have accomplished thus far. I have grown both professionally and personally

throughout my first year of school.

I have grown personally because I believe I have become stronger mentally. I

have learned how to handle tough days more effectively. I have learned how to take life

one day at a time no matter the load of coursework or how much studying I need to

accomplish. I have also grow professionally because I have learned how to be more

organized, how to plan ahead, and how to lay out my schedule in order to utilize my

time and work more efficiently. Also, professionally I have become a member of PTSO

as well as attending conferences and learning opportunities.

I truly believe the artifacts I have included throughout my portfolio are an

accurate representation of my successes and growth during year one of PT school.

Thought my first year, I have been trying to be an active participant in my community. I

have included artifacts and pictures representing my time as an active member of the

Physical Therapy Student Organization as well as several of the volunteer activities I

have participated in. My artifacts have also repented my growth on a personal level

through intramural sports teams, first year versus second year activities, as well as

times spent making true friends throughout the PT program. Professionally, my artifacts

show my growth as a researcher, an author, and as a student. I have included research

papers I have wrote as well collaborative projects I have created with PA students as
well as other PT students in my cohort. I have also included artifacts that demonstrate

my teaching skills and artifacts that display my creative and artistic side as well.

I truly believe my organization and love of learning has facilitated my learning

throughout the first year of the program. I love to learn! Also, I tend to have a hands on

learning style which helps facilitate my success in labs and learning of hands-on skills.

Another learning facilitation technique I have participated in is study groups. Being able

to sit down with a group of fiends to bounce ideas off of or ask questions has truly

helped develop my confidence and critical thinking skills. However, some of the

constraints that have hindered my learning are my confidence and my anxious

personality. Even though my confidence has grown over the first year, I still tend to

doubt myself sometimes. Also, I have a very anxious personality which can impede on

my in-person practical examinations. I get so nervous in front of my professors that I

believe it has hindered my performance. I know the material, so I need to become more

confident and allow myself to relax a little bit when headed into a practical


Tying off those hinderances, those are the areas I need to work on. I need to

continue to work on my confidence. I believe I will become more confident in my

knowledge and my skills through increased practice and repetition. Also, I need to

work on my anxiety. I believe I can improve on this area through exercise, yoga, deep

breathing techniques, as well as developing my overall confidence. If I can be more

confident, that should help decrease my overall anxiety.

Initial goals headed into year one of PT school:

What are some of your short-term (1-2 years) personal and professional goals?

My biggest and most important short term goal is to truly focus and devote my

time and energy into school. I want to learn as much knowledge as I can, become

proficient in the hands-on skills, and truly become the best physical therapist I can be.

So my professional goals include studying, working hard, volunteering in Hands for

Health, building a solid friendship with my classmates, and developing good

relationships with the instructors throughout the professional program. My personal

goals include developing confidence, both in and out of the classroom, as well as join

an intramural team, take control of my health, and try to become more involved with

friends and classmates. Doing well throughout the professional program is also a

personal goal of mine. I want to do as well as I possibly can.

What are some of your long-term (3-6 years) personal and professional goals?

My most important long-term goal is to graduate from the physical therapy

program! My professional goals include passing the national licensure exam, obtaining

a job, and starting my career. I hope to start my career right away and start seeing and

treating patients. I also want to do some continuing education to become certified in

needling and possible become an orthopedic specialist. But I still have three years of

school to see if orthopedics is what I want to specialize in. My personal goals include

settling down somewhere, buying a white Jeep, getting a golden retriever named

Spencer, and hopefully (eventually) buying a home. My personal goals will tie into my
professional goals of diving into my career, so hopefully the next few years are smooth

and successful.

Personal and professional goals for the second year:

Reading through my first year goals, I believe I have accomplished some of my

short-term goals. I want to continue to devote my time and energy into school and

becoming the best PT I can be. I want to continue to learn as much knowledge as I can

as well as becoming proficient with my hands-on skills. I have successfully become a

member of PTSO as well as a volunteer for our Hands for Health clinic as the marketing

representative so I want to continue being an advocate for the PT profession. One

personal goal I have yet to accomplish is taking better control of my health. I need to

become more active, eat better, and work on my mental health. However, I have been

successful with becoming involved with friends as well as being a member of several

IM teams. My personal goals are to continue to being involved with fiends, IM teams,

as well as truly taking better care of myself and overall health.

As for my long term goals, successfully completing the PT program while

becoming the best PT I can be is still number one! I want to continue working and

studying in order to pass the national licensure exam. I am still struggling at finding my

true passion or area where I would like to specialize. After completing the orthopedic

block and my firs clinical rotation, orthopedics just did not quite capture me. So as I

move on throughout my second year of school, I want to continue to remain open to all

specialties and letting myself indulge in all of the material and information provided to

us throughout the program. Hopefully something will truly strike my interest and I can

figure out my true calling sooner than later.