How to Select a Physical Therapist Program near Kenai 99611
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near Kenai AK is an important first step to starting a fulfilling career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been disabled due to illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the appropriate training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate those you are looking at to make sure they will supply a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is choose a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be considered along with location and cost. But before we cover what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of locations, such as Kenai AK hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help patients that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to address the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Kenai AK health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone considering entering the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Offered
There are three physical therapy degrees available for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the only degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short summaries of degree levels that are available in the Kenai AK area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are typically made available by junior or community colleges, and require two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually part of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy training to prep students to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to finish and commonly incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required in order to become a licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program also must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to finish, making the overall investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential component along with the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in some states for licensing as well.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer offered in the United States. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Colleges Online
While not as prevalent as the on-campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist degrees available, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online segment of the program can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Kenai AK residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition may be somewhat less than comparable on-campus options, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
At this point you probably have come to decision concerning some of your preliminary questions, including the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are numerous PT schools within the Kenai AK area and across Alaska, you’ll have to research additional qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of college options. Also, you want to be sure that you choose the college that is right for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy schools you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions prior to making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Find out if the schools you are reviewing have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As earlier mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you choose an online school, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist school and program you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist community. There are several ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Call some Kenai AK physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your college options. It might also be prudent to check with the Alaska Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two relevant statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might mean that students left because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Kenai AK area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps outstanding. It also confirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you choose provides both superior training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internships Offered? Ask if the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing have partnerships with Kenai AK clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to receive hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may help students and graduates form professional connections in the Kenai health care community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are reviewing what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapy college they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Kenai AK residence. Students who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Help Provided? Most DPT colleges offer some type of financial support to their potential students. Inquire if the schools you are considering have a financial assistance department and see what type of assistance is available. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. Some physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial assistance might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapy college you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Kenai AK area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Kenai Alaska?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Kenai AK area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Kenai (/ˈkiːnaɪ/, KEY-nigh) (Dena'ina: Shk'ituk't) is a city in the Kenai Peninsula Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska. The population was 7,100 as of the 2010 census, up from 6,942 in 2000.
The city of Kenai is named after the local Dena'ina (Tanaina) word 'ken' or 'kena', which means 'flat, meadow, open area with few trees; base, low ridge', according to the Dena'ina Topical Dictionary by James Kari, Ph.D., published in 2007. This describes the area along the mouth and portion of the Kenai River near the City of Kenai. Archaeological evidence suggests that the area was first occupied by the Kachemak people from 1000 B.C., until they were displaced by the Dena'ina Athabaskan people around 1000 A.D. Before the arrival of the Russians, Kenai was a Dena'ina village called Shk'ituk't, meaning "where we slide down." When Russian fur traders first arrived in 1741, about 1,000 Dena'ina lived in the village. The traders called the people "Kenaitze", which is a Russian term for "people of the flats", or "Kenai people". This name was later adopted when they were incorporated as the Kenaitze Indian Tribe in the early 1970s.
In 1786 Pytor Zaikov built Fort Nikolaevskaia for the Lebedev-Lastochkin Company on the site of modern Kenai, being the first European settlement on the Alaskan mainland. Hostilities surfaced between the natives and settlers in 1797, culminating in an incident in which the Dena'ina attacked Fort St. Nicholas, later dubbed the battle of Kenai. Over one hundred deaths occurred from all involved parties. Later, in 1838, the introduction of smallpox killed one half of the Dena'ina population.
Select the Best Physical Therapist College near Kenai AK
Picking the ideal physical therapist school is a necessary first decision you have to make to start a gratifying career in the healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you decide on should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. However there are other important questions that you should ask regarding your college of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapist school, bear in mind that numerous variables will guide you toward your final decision. You may decide to visit different schools to see their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the ideal selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Kenai AK.
A Few More Interesting Locations in Alaska
Business Results 1 - 10 of 3