How to Choose a Physical Therapy College near Healy 99743
Getting a physical therapy degree near Healy AK is a critical first step to launching a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated as a result of illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the proper education and training. A PT must also be licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to investigate the ones you are looking at to make certain they will supply a quality education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is choose a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be evaluated in addition to location and cost. 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 Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists practice in diverse settings, including Healy AK private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they design a course of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Healy AK medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, 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 one degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief descriptions of degrees that are offered in the Healy AK area:
- Associate Degrees train students to become physical therapy assistants, or may 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 most often provided by community colleges, and take about two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a portion of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist education to prep students to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential initial step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they typically take 4 years to complete and usually incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required if you want to become a practicing licensed 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 complete, making the overall commitment 7 years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an essential component along with the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in some 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 attainable in the United States. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Degrees Online
Although not as common as the on-campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapist programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships 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 segment of the curriculum can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Healy AK residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition may be significantly lower than similar on campus options, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
At this point you undoubtedly have come to decision regarding several of your initial queries, including the type of physical therapy degree you would like to obtain, 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 Healy AK area and throughout Alaska, you’ll need to research other qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of college choices. Moreover, you need to be sure that you pick the school that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are thinking about. Ask each of the potential schools these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Ask if the schools you are looking at have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. 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 enroll in an online school, it may 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. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are several ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Get in touch with several Healy AK physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your program 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 schools.
What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of useful statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapy schools you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may suggest that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, 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 Healy AK area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even excellent. It also confirms that the college has a wide network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you choose provides both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria for Alaska or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internships Offered? Ask if the physical therapist programs you are evaluating have relationships with Healy AK clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to get hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can help students and graduates develop professional connections in the Healy medical community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they decide on will need to be within driving distance of their Healy AK residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing 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 frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? The majority of DPT colleges provide some form of financial aid to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are examining have a financial aid office and find out what type of help is offered. They at least should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. Some physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial aid might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapist college you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Healy AK area, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Healy Alaska?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Healy AK area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Healy is located at 63°58′15″N 149°7′37″W / 63.97083°N 149.12694°W / 63.97083; -149.12694 (63.970833, -149.126944). The George Parks Highway (Alaska Route 3) runs through the community, leading south 18 miles (29 km) to Denali Park and north 56 miles (90 km) to Nenana.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the Healy CDP has a total area of 687.2 square miles (1,779.8 km2), of which 687.0 square miles (1,779.2 km2) is land and 0.19 square miles (0.5 km2), or 0.03%, is water. By area, it is the second-largest CDP in the United States, exceeded by only Willow, Alaska.
As is typical of the Alaska Interior, Healy experiences a subarctic climate (Köppen Dfc) with very long, bitterly cold winters and short, warm summers, and straddles the border between USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 2 and 3, indicating the coldest temperature of the year is typically around −40 °F (−40 °C). Average temperatures are below freezing from early October to mid-April, though occasionally chinook winds will push temperatures up to 45 °F (7.2 °C) even in the depths of winter.
Pick the Best Physical Therapy College near Healy AK
Picking the best physical therapy college is an important first decision you need to make to start a fulfilling career in the medical field. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you choose should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. However there are additional critical questions that you need to ask concerning your school of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapy college, bear in mind that numerous factors will lead you to your ultimate decision. You might want to visit each of the schools to view their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me reach my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the best selection. And with the proper education and training, you can achieve your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Healy AK.
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