In Celebration: The Physical Therapy Inaugural White Coat Ceremony

If you were around campus last Friday night, you may have noticed several people milling around dressed up, carrying a white coat under their arm and heading into Holy Angels Church across from the library. They were getting ready for D’Youville’s Inaugural Physical Therapy White Coat ceremony, conceived by the DPT Class of 2016. For the Students of the Class of 2015 and 2016, it was a celebration of their entrance into the health profession and the responsibility that comes along with it.

For the Class of 2016 it was a ceremony signifying their entrance into clinical fieldwork. As a member of the class of 2015, it was an opportunity for reflection as I headed out onto my last clinical. Looking up at the altar at the faculty of the program and being surrounded by my classmates with my family a few pews behind, it was a reminder of all the support that I had around me at D’Youville throughout the Doctorate of Physical Therapy Program.

The Ceremony
The ceremony consisted of words of encouragement from the faculty, the robing and reciting of the Physical Therapy Pledge, and a motivating guest speaker, Russ Gugino.  He recalled healthcare experiences that both negatively and positively impacted his own recovery after brushing the face of death, and encouraged the physical therapy students to put their heart into their work.

The Pledge
Below is the Pledge of Professional Performance that all students recited at the conclusion of the ceremony. I included this in this passage to give you an idea of the academic commitment of the physical therapy program and  professional responsibility that comes along with clinical work.

As I enter the profession of physical therapy to practice as a physical therapist, I solemnly and willingly pledge the following: – I will respect the rights and dignity of all individuals and will provide compassionate care. – I will be trustworthy towards my patients and clients and in all other aspects of my professions practice. – I will place the welfare of my patients and clients above my own self-interest. – I will provide accurate and relevant information to patients and clients about their care and to the public about therapy services offered by my profession. – I will exercise sound judgment and comply with laws and regulations that govern my profession and protect the public from unethical, incompetent, and illegal acts. – I will address the health needs of society and strive to effect change that benefits patients, clients, and the community. – I will respect the rights, knowledge, and skills of colleagues and other health care professionals and seek consultation whenever the welfare of the patient or client may be advanced. Thus, with this pledge, I freely accept the responsibilities that accompany the practice of my profession.

Thank You
Apparently, I was not the only one appreciative of all the support surrounding me. I asked the students in both classes their thoughts on the ceremony. Darlene Volmy, who was very instrumental in creating this event wanted to share these heartfelt words, “Thank you to all the PT faculty, students, and especially the white coat ceremony committee who helped me make this dream into a reality. This was just a simple idea and it blossomed into such a beautiful creation! I am very hopeful that this will now become a new tradition at D’Youville for the PT Department.”

Photos of the Event
Below are some photographs from the event shared by the DPT Class of 2015 and 2016. Enjoy!

Its all smiles as they approach graduation for these Class of 2015 students

Its all smiles as they approach graduation for these Class of 2015 students

Faculty and Students

DPT faculty

Happy Students

Darlene Volmy, 2016, poses for a picture with her mentor, Cierra Hawkins, 2015

Darlene Volmy, 2016, poses for a picture with her mentor, Cierra Hawkins, 2015

Did you attend D’Youville’s Inaugural Physical Therapy White Coat ceremony? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!

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