Kim London becomes a geriatric certified specialist (GCS)
The American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS) granted Kim London PT, DPT, GCS, with Infinity Rehab, the honor of being an American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Geriatric Certified Specialist (GCS). Geriatric care encompasses a wide range of medical issues such as fall prevention, polypharmacy, neurological diagnoses like MS/Parkinson’s disease or strokes, dementia, osteoporosis, heart/respiratory failure, wound care, lymphedema management, cancer, and orthopedic injuries.
Geriatric certified specialists treat in a wide variety of settings (e.g., acute hospital, rehabilitation units, home care, private practice, skilled nursing facilities, assisted living units) and to a diverse clientele.
Kim, a physical therapist for 10 years (with nearly 8 of those years with Infinity Rehab) has had GCS certification as a professional goal of hers for many years. With the pending birth of her second child, she gave her studies an extra “push” (pun intended!) ahead of diving deeper into motherhood.
The specialist certification program was established by ABPTS to provide formal recognition for physical therapists with advanced clinical knowledge, evidence-based care, and skills in a special area of practice and to assist consumers and the healthcare community in identifying these physical therapists.
Thus, there is an application process that first needs to be completed, as a candidate must meet certain criteria in order to apply: 2,000 hours of direct patient care as a licensed United States physical therapist in the area of geriatrics within the last 10 years (25% (500) of which must have occurred within the last three years) OR successful completion of an APTA-accredited post-professional clinical residency within the specialty area, completed within the last 10 years.
Research and preparation took several months
Kim, over the course of several months, extensively reviewed research that directly impacts her patient population, as well as studying relevant CEU courses. She passed a rigorous 7-hour exam. Although she had to wait three months to get the results, Kim had already started implementing what she studied into her everyday treatments.
“My day-to-day practice was changed on day one of exam preparation. From the moment I committed and dug deeper into certain diagnoses, medications, and outcomes measures, I started making changes to my treatment delivery. I immediately found myself looking at my patients differently; I was armed with new information and enthusiasm to provide the best evidence-based care. I fell in love (again) with working with older adults, and felt empowered and excited to bring the ‘latest & greatest’ to my patients.”
Tips for therapists wanting to seek geriatric certification
Taking the journey to seeking geriatric certification is one Kim recommends, no matter the outcome of the exam. She grew as a therapist from the moment she started preparing for the test.
Kim notes: “I’m proud of myself for pushing myself to dive deeper, get uncomfortable, and take the risk. I encourage anyone who is curious about GCS (or any board certification!) to start the process of learning about what it takes to prepare and sit for the exam.”
She continued: “Get involved with your local APTA Special Interest Groups (SIGs) or be a part of the APTA Geriatric Section and utilize those resources – these are huge sources of support and encouragement.”
Get quality therapy services from clinicians like Kim. Contact Infinity Rehab today.