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Alumni Spotlight- DCP skills put to good use in PT School

Name: Kadi Hamer

ACR Home: I worked at Robin Court for 2 years! 🙂

Undergrad: I attended the University of Minnesota. I majored in Clinical Kinesiology and a minor in Spanish Language Studies


I currently attend Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine for physical therapy school! This has always been my dream and now I have less than a year left! The program is very rigorous and I have had my fair share of ups and downs… Sometimes through all the “book work”, I forget why I am pursuing this career, but then I remember my time at ACR Homes and I am re-motivated and know that what I am studying is going to help people in the future.

How did ACR help reach my goals? 

The first time I applied to PT school I was rejected…I have always worked hard enough to not be rejected, so this was a tough thing to accept. I reassessed what my application looked like and realized I could benefit from more experience in the healthcare field. I applied to ACR Homes and found a home away from home. The residents became a family to me and I strived to make each and every day special in some way. After 2 years of working at ACR, I re-applied to physical therapy school and was ACCEPTED! I am so thankful for my time at Robin Court.

Any specific skills you learned at ACR, that has transferred into your current schooling or career?

There are so many skills that I learned while working at ACR Homes! The specific skills that transfer to physical therapy include:

  • Bed Mobility

  • Different transfers including stand-pivot and hoyer transfers

  • Hand over hand assist, standby assist, CGA, min-max assist

  • Assisting residents with ADLs while maximizing independence

  • Wheelchair fit

  • What orthostatic hypotension is and how to combat it

  • How to take vitals

  • How to don wrist braces and AFOs

  • Integumentary checks

  • Advocating for resident needs to other health care providers

  • Medical documentation and terminology

  • How to use a gait trainer

  • How to use a stander

  • Assisting people with vision deficits

  • Communicating with people who communicate in different ways

  • How to troubleshoot a speech device

  • How to assist with toileting and bathing

  • Communication with family members

  • Behavioral de-escalation techniques

And those are just the skills that apply to my field!

While in school we have had classes that teach these skills and because I have already had exposure to them, I am able to focus on other skills/techniques that I am less familiar with! My experience with bed mobility and transfers has alleviated some of my stress on practical exams because some of the testing scenarios are just like working with my residents. In the future I would love to work with individuals who have had a brain or spinal cord injury. I feel that my motivation and determination will push me, to push my patients to achieve their goals!