How to Select a Physical Therapy School near Tanacross 99776
Getting a physical therapy degree near Tanacross AK is a critical first step to starting a rewarding career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated due to injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the appropriate education and training. A PT must also be licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research those you are considering to make certain they will supply a superior education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is select a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be evaluated besides location and cost. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of locations, including Tanacross AK hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they develop a program of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Tanacross AK medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Available
There are three physical therapy degrees available for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the single degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short descriptions of degree levels that are offered in the Tanacross AK area:
- Associate Degrees train students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are usually made available by community colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically part of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist education to ready candidates to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to complete and commonly include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required if you want to become a licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program must also 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 7 years in most cases. Clinical training is an essential element along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in several states for licensing as well.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has taken the place of the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer attainable in the USA. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Online Schools
While not as common as the more traditional options, there are some accredited online physical therapy programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online segment of the program can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Tanacross AK residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition can be somewhat less than comparable on-campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
At this point you probably have come to decision concerning a few of your preliminary questions, such as the type of physical therapy degree you want to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT schools within the Tanacross AK area and throughout Alaska, you’ll have to explore other qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of college choices. Furthermore, you want to make certain that you pick the college that is ideal for you. That’s why we have put together a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy schools you are considering. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions prior to making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Ask if the schools you are considering have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As previously mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctoral degree the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you select an online college, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist program and school you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Call some Tanacross AK physical therapy clinics or other medical care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your program options. It may also be a good idea to check with the Alaska Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two significant statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might indicate that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Tanacross AK area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care community is good or even exceptional. It also affirms that the college has a large network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the school you choose provides both exceptional training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapy schools you are evaluating have partnerships with Tanacross AK hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent manner to obtain hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can help students and graduates form professional connections in the Tanacross medical community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are researching what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they pick will have to be within commuting distance of their Tanacross 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 keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Help Offered? Most DPT colleges provide some form of financial aid to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid office and find out what kind of assistance is offered. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. Some physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial aid might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapist program you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Tanacross AK area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Tanacross Alaska?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Tanacross AK area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Tanacross (Taats’altęy in Tanacross Athabascan) is a census-designated place (CDP) in Southeast Fairbanks Census Area, Alaska, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 136, down from 140 in 2000. It hosts an air tanker base.
Tanacross, initially founded as a telegraph station called Tanana Crossing (also known as St. Timothy's). The name was shortened to Tanacross before 1940. The village was initially located on the north bank of the Tanana River. An airstrip was built on the south bank during the mid-1930s and upgraded for military use during World War II in 1941-42. Thousands of troops deployed through Tanacross during the period. The airfield was closed after the war. In 1972, the town itself relocated south across the river due to water contamination. In 1979, the old village burned due to an uncontrolled grass fire.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 81.2 square miles (210 km2), of which, 80.0 square miles (207 km2) of it is land and 1.1 square miles (2.8 km2) of it (1.38%) is water.
Choose the Best Physical Therapy Degree Program near Tanacross AK
Choosing the ideal physical therapist school is an important first decision you have to make to start a rewarding career in the medical field. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you enroll in should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. But there are other important questions that you should ask concerning your college of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapist program, bear in mind that numerous variables will lead you toward your final decision. You might decide to visit each of the schools to view their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the right choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can achieve your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Tanacross AK.
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