How to Find the Right Physical Therapist Training Program near Craig 99921
Receiving a physical therapist degree near Craig AK is a critical first step to beginning a rewarding career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated due to illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the necessary education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate those you are considering to ensure they will deliver a quality education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is choose a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be considered along with cost and location. But before we cover what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists practice in varying locations, such as Craig AK hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they develop a program of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Craig AK health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with 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 often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Available
There are three physical therapy degrees available for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the single degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief summaries of degree levels that are offered in the Craig AK area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are most often provided by community colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually a component of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist education to prepare candidates to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take four years to finish and often include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required in order to become a licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program must also be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to finish, making the overall commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an important component in addition to the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in several states for licensing also.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer available in the USA. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Online Schools
While not as prevalent as the more traditional alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapist degrees available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online part of the curriculum can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Craig AK residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition may be significantly less than similar on campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online option the right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
At this point you most likely have come to decision concerning some of your preliminary queries, including the kind of physical therapist degree you would like to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are so many PT colleges within the Craig AK area and throughout Alaska, you’ll need to explore additional qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of school options. Moreover, you need to be sure that you enroll in the program that is ideal for you. That’s why we have collected a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are considering. Ask all of the potential schools these questions before making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Find out if the programs you are looking at have received 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 select an online school, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy program and school you select are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Contact some Craig AK physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your school selections. It may also be a good idea 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 Percentage? There are a couple of useful statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapy colleges you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may mean that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Craig AK area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or perhaps outstanding. It also affirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you enroll in furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies 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 therapist program. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing have relationships with Craig AK hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to receive practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist students and graduates develop professional connections in the Craig medical community and assist with job placement after licensing.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are researching what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Craig AK residence. 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 decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Most DPT schools supply some type of financial assistance to their potential students. Inquire if the schools you are examining have a financial aid department and see what type of aid is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial assistance might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapy program you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Craig AK area, check that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Craig Alaska?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Craig AK area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Craig (Tlingit: Sháan Séet) is a first-class city in the Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area in the Unorganized BoroughA[›] in the U.S. state of Alaska. The population was 1,201 at the 2010 census, down from 1,397 in 2000.
Craig is the largest town on Prince of Wales Island, the fourth largest island in the USA. Craig is approximately 56 miles (90 km) by air northwest of Ketchikan and 220 miles (350 km) south of Juneau.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 9.4 square miles (24.3 km2), of which, 6.7 square miles (17.4 km2) of it is land and 2.7 square miles (7.0 km2) of it (28.94%) is water.
Enroll in the Best Physical Therapy College near Craig AK
Picking the right physical therapy school is a necessary first decision you must make to launch a rewarding career in the healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you select should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are additional important questions that you should ask pertaining to your school of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapy program, bear in mind that many factors will lead you to your ultimate decision. You may decide to go to different colleges to see their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me accomplish my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the right selection. And with the proper training and education, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Craig AK.
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