How to Enroll In a Physical Therapist Program near Hoonah 99829
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Hoonah AK is an essential first step to beginning a rewarding career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated as a result of illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the appropriate education and training. A PT must also become 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 important to research the ones you are looking at to make certain they will deliver a superior education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is select a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must 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 Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists work in diverse locations, such as Hoonah AK hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help people that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to address the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Hoonah AK health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone considering going into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degree Options
There are 3 physical therapist degree options offered for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the single degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short descriptions of degree levels that are available in the Hoonah AK area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are most often offered by community or junior colleges, and take about two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically part of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist training to ready students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require 4 years to finish and often incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated if you want 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 complete, making the overall investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal element along with the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not just for graduation but in some states for licensing also.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer available 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 present licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Programs Online
While not as prevalent as the on-campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure 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 a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online part of the program may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Hoonah AK residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition might be somewhat lower than comparable on-campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
At this point you most likely have come to decision regarding several of your preliminary questions, such as the type of physical therapy degree you intend to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are so many PT colleges within the Hoonah AK area and across Alaska, you’ll have to research additional qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of college choices. Moreover, you need to be sure that you enroll in the school that is best for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. Ask each of the competing schools these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Ask if the schools you are considering have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As earlier stated, 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 can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy program and school you select are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy community. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Contact several Hoonah AK physical therapist clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your school selections. It might also be a good idea to contact the Alaska Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of significant statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapist colleges you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might suggest that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Hoonah AK area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also confirms that the program has a wide network of contacts to assist students get internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you enroll in provides both exceptional training and a course of study that supports the licensing criteria for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. Although licensing requirements vary 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 supplemental tests.
Are Internships Offered? Ask if the physical therapist programs you are interested in have relationships with Hoonah AK clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to obtain hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can help students and graduates form professional relationships in the Hoonah healthcare community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are looking at what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapy college they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Hoonah AK home. Those who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required 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 Assistance Offered? Most DPT schools offer some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Ask if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid office and see what type of assistance is offered. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships 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 assistance may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapy program you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Hoonah AK area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Hoonah Alaska?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Hoonah AK area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Hoonah (Xunaa in Tlingit) is a largely Tlingit community on Chichagof Island, located in Alaska's panhandle in the southeast region of the state. It is 30 miles (48 km) west of Juneau, across the Alaskan Inside Passage. Hoonah is the only first-class city on Chichagof Island, the 109th largest island in the world and the 5th largest island in the United States. At the 2010 census the population was 760, down from 860 at the 2000 census. In the summer the population can swell to over 1,300 depending on fishing, boating, hiking and hunting conditions. "Hoonah" became the official spelling in 1901, with establishment of the Hoonah branch of the United States Post Office.Xunaa means "protected from the North Wind" in the Tlingit language.
The clans comprising the Huna Tlingit originally settled what is now Glacier Bay National Park as well as Icy Strait, Cross Sound, and the outer coast north to Sea Otter Creek. Two catastrophic events forced the Tlingit from their homeland; rapid glacial advance in Glacier Bay and a landslide-induced tsunami in Lituya Bay along the outer coast. Tlingit oral tradition recounts these events as well as the clans' ultimate resettlement in Xunaa.
Sheldon Jackson established the first school house and teacher's residence in November 1881. The school was initially overseen by Mr. and Mrs. Walter B. Styles of New York until their transfer to Sitka in 1882. The Reverend and Mrs. John McFarland assumed responsibility for the school in 1884, and by 1885 219 Tlingit students were enrolled: 69 boys, 76 girls and 74 adults. A territorial school and government school were built in 1923. In 1932 the government school was demolished and replaced by a Bureau of Indian Affairs school.
Pick the Right Physical Therapy Training Program near Hoonah AK
Selecting the right physical therapist program is a necessary initial decision you must make to start a rewarding career in the medical field. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you choose should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are additional critical questions that you need to ask concerning your school of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapy school, bear in mind that a number of variables will lead you to your final decision. You may want to go to each of the colleges to view their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me accomplish my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the right choice. And with the proper education and training, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Hoonah AK.
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