How to Enroll In a Physical Therapist College near Haines 99827
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near Haines AK is a critical first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled due to illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the necessary training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate the ones you are considering to ensure they will deliver a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is choose a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be considered besides 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 Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists practice in varying settings, including Haines AK private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help individuals that are struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to address the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also strive to prevent any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Haines AK medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees
There are three physical therapist degrees available for individuals 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 target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief descriptions of degrees that are offered in the Haines 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 a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are typically provided by junior or community colleges, and require 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally part of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy training to prepare candidates to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential initial step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to complete and commonly 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 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 most cases. Clinical training is an intregal component along with the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in a number of states for licensing also.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has taken the place of the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer available in the United States. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Programs Online
Although not as common as the more traditional alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online part of the course of study may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Haines AK home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition might be significantly lower than comparable on-campus options, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
By now you probably have made a decision concerning a few of your preliminary queries, like the type of physical therapy degree you intend to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT colleges within the Haines AK area and across Alaska, you’ll need to research additional qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of college options. Moreover, you want to make certain that you choose the college that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are considering. Ask all of the competing schools these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Ask if the programs you are looking at have earned accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As earlier 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 enroll in an online program, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist school and program you select are accredited, not simply the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are several ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Contact a few Haines AK physical therapist clinics or other medical care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your program selections. It might also be a good idea to check with the Alaska Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two useful statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapy schools you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might mean that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Haines AK area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even excellent. It also verifies that the school has a wide network of contacts to help students get internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you choose provides both exceptional training and a course of study that supports the licensing criteria 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) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internships Provided? Find out if the physical therapist schools you are evaluating have partnerships with Haines AK clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent means to obtain practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may help graduates and students form professional connections in the Haines medical community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom 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 therapist schools you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Haines AK home. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Most DPT colleges provide some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Ask if the schools you are considering have a financial aid office and see what type of aid is offered. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. Some physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapist program you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Haines AK area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Haines Alaska?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Haines AK area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Haines (Tlingit: Deishú) is a census-designated place located in Haines Borough, Alaska, United States. It is in the northern part of the Alaska Panhandle, near Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve.
The area around present-day Haines was called Dtehshuh or "end of the trail" by the Chilkat group of Tlingit. It received this name because they could portage (carry) their canoes from the trail they used to trade with the interior, which began at the outlet of the Chilkat River, to Dtehshuh and save 20 miles (32 km) of rowing around the Chilkat Peninsula.
The first European, George Dickinson, an agent for the North West Trading Company, settled at Dtehshuh in 1879. In 1881, the Chilkat asked Sheldon Jackson to send missionaries to the area. Samuel Hall Young, a Presbyterian minister, was sent. Jackson built the Chilkat Mission and school at Dtehshuh in 1881, on land given to the church by the Chilkat. The Mission was renamed "Haines" in 1884 in honor of Francina E. Haines, the chairwoman of the committee that raised funds for its construction.
Enroll in the Best Physical Therapist Training Program near Haines AK
Picking the ideal physical therapy school is an important initial decision you need to make to begin a gratifying career in the healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you pick should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. However there are additional important questions that you should ask pertaining to your college of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapy college, bear in mind that a number of variables will guide you to your ultimate decision. You may decide to visit different schools to see their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the proper training and education, you can fulfill your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Haines AK.
A Few More Interesting Locations in Alaska