HealthONE - August 10, 2021

Spalding Rehabilitation Hospital is committed to providing the best rehabilitative care in the Denver area. Two of our physical therapists, Kim and Carolyn, have recently earned their Neurological Clinical Specialist certification, a prestigious and difficult certification to achieve. We caught up with our PTs so they could share more about their certification.

What is the NCS? How long did you study for it? What does the exam look like?

Carolyn: NCS stands for Neurological Clinical Specialist. Physical Therapists who sit for this exam have to have had over 2,000 hours of neurological clinical practice which means they have experience working with patients with conditions such as stroke, brain injury, spinal cord injury, MS, Parkinson’s, and vestibular disorders (vertigo). You have to study for and pass an exam to become certified.

I studied for 10 months starting with 1 day per week for 30-60 minutes. Right before the exam, I was studying 3 days per week for a few hours.

The test is 200 questions and 7 hours long.

Why is it important?

Kim: The field of physical therapy is constantly evolving and improving upon treatment techniques and practice. It is the responsibility of all physical therapists to be aware of current practice guidelines. Becoming a board-certified neurological specialist has challenged me to achieve a deeper understanding of neurological pathology and current research available.

It is also a way for me to contribute to, not only my own professional growth but to the growth of the field of physical therapy as well.

What value does this bring to Spalding patients?

Carolyn: The value it brings to Spalding is that I can always do my best to provide specialized, quality care to all of the patients who come to be treated for basic or complex neurological conditions with what I have learned.

Kim: This knowledge goes a long way toward ensuring we are continually offering current evidence-based treatments to our patients at Spalding, giving them the best chance at achieving optimal outcomes.

Congratulations Kim and Carolyn! We are proud of you!

Kim working with a patient.

Carolyn caring for one of her patients.