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Toni Talks about PT Today

Waiting for Results

Published June 15, 2011 9:51 AM by Toni Patt

Sometime soon, I will be receiving the results of my NCS examination. I'm not sure I'm ready to open the envelope. So far I've dismissed questions about it by saying I won't know until June. Now it's June. I'm going to find out.

I'm resigned to either outcome. I walked out of the testing center with no idea of how I did. Last year I felt confident when I left the GCS exam. I knew I would pass. I just wasn't sure how I would score. This year, from the moment I read the first question I knew I was in trouble. I had prepared. I felt ready. It wasn't what I expected. I keep telling myself on the positive side at least I know exactly how to prepare for next time.

Since that time, I've come to realize how much I did learn. Questions have come up that I knew answers to. I've been able to explain neuro-degenerative conditions without looking up the answers. I drew a wonderful diagram for someone to demonstrate the theory behind body-weight-supported treadmill for SCI patients. I couldn't have done that this time last year. I know I have the knowledge. I don't know if I passed the test.

Earning the NCS won't help advance me at work. It won't get me more money, although it might help the raise at annual review a little. It doesn't bring me more respect or increase my duties and responsibilities. Doesn't matter. I don't want it for those reasons. I want it as a personal achievement I set for myself.

My problem is I don't want to open the envelope. If I don't know, then I can continue on. I don't want to take that test again but I would. Right now, the thought of all that effort is weighing me down. I'm not usually one to back away from something but the envelope might sit for a few days.

If I do pass, I will have an interesting problem. I will have more letters behind my name than in my name. That's no problem for my electronic signature but will be a pain to write.



You bring up an interesting point, how your certifications and specialization in these areas (NCS and GCS) don't equate to an increased pay or change your responsibilities at work.  I wish "the system" rewarded the PTs who go on to prepare for and take these exams.  I wish the quality of our work automatically resulted in a  higher pay rate than the therapists who practice without these specialized qualifications.  Patients who are treated by an NSC therapist following a SCI are likely going to have better treatment interventions and quicker, quality outcomes.  Those outcomes deserve attention, not just personal satisfaction in passing the exam.

Good luck in opening your test results, it's a hard feeling!

Lisa West June 15, 2011 3:22 PM

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