How to Find the Right Physical Therapist School near Barrow 99723
Earning a physical therapy degree near Barrow AK is an important first step to starting a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been disabled due to injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the appropriate education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to investigate the ones you are thinking about to make certain they will furnish a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is enroll in a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be considered in addition to cost and location. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists work in varying settings, such as Barrow AK private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they create a course of treatment to address the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Barrow AK health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Available
There are 3 physical therapy degrees offered for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short summaries of degrees that are offered in the Barrow AK area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are usually offered by community or junior colleges, and require 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually part of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist training to ready candidates to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they typically take four years to complete and commonly include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated if you want to become a licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program also must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to finish, making the total commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal element along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in a number of states for licensing also.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer attainable in the United States. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Online Schools
While not as prevalent as the on-campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapist programs offered, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the school campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online part of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Barrow AK residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition may be significantly lower than similar on campus options, and costs for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning a few of your preliminary questions, like the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are numerous PT schools within the Barrow AK area and throughout Alaska, you’ll need to explore additional qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of college options. Also, you want to be sure that you enroll in the program that is right for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist programs you are considering. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Ask if the schools you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As previously stated, if you are pursuing a doctoral degree the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you enroll in an online college, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy school and program you choose are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Get in touch with some Barrow AK physical therapist centers or other health care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any advice about your school selections. It may also be prudent to check with the Alaska Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapist colleges you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may indicate that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Barrow AK area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even exceptional. It also confirms that the school has a wide network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you enroll in provides both exceptional training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the physical therapy schools you are reviewing have partnerships with Barrow AK clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to get hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist students and graduates establish professional connections in the Barrow healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are researching what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy college they pick will need to be within travelling distance of their Barrow AK home. Those who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Help Provided? Most DPT schools supply some type of financial aid to their potential students. Ask if the schools you are considering have a financial aid office and find out what kind of help is available. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapist program you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Barrow AK area, check that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Barrow Alaska?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Barrow AK area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Barrow (/ˈbæroʊ/), locally and officially known as Utqiaġvik, (Inupiaq: [ut.qe.ɑʁ.βik], English: /ˌʊtkiˈɑːvɪk/ UUT-kee-AH-vik), is the largest city and the borough seat of the North Slope Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska and is located north of the Arctic Circle. It is one of the northernmost public communities in the world and is the northernmost city in the United States. Nearby Point Barrow is the country's northernmost point. Barrow's population was 4,581 at the 2000 census and 4,212 at the 2010 census.
The location has been home to the Iñupiat, an indigenous Inuit ethnic group, for more than 1,500 years. The city's native name, Utqiaġvik, refers to a place for gathering wild roots. It is derived from the Iñupiat word utqiq, also used for "potato". The name was first recorded in 1853 as "Ot-ki-a-wing" by Commander Maguire, Royal Navy,. John Simpson's native map dated 1855, records the name "Otkiawik," which was misprinted on the subsequent British Admiralty Chart as "Otkiovik."
The name Barrow was derived from Point Barrow, and was originally a general designation, because non-native Alaskan residents found it easier to pronounce than the Inupiat name. A post office established in 1901 helped the name "Barrow" to become dominant. Point Barrow was named after Sir John Barrow of the British Admiralty by explorer Frederick William Beechey in 1825.
Choose the Best Physical Therapist Degree Program near Barrow AK
Picking the best physical therapist school is an important initial decision you must make to launch a rewarding career in the health care profession. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you decide on should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are other critical questions that you need to ask concerning your school of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapist college, keep in mind that numerous variables will guide you to your final decision. You may want to go to each of the schools to see their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me realize my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the best choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Barrow AK.
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