How to Select a Physical Therapist Degree Program near Juneau 99801
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near Juneau AK is an important first step to launching a fulfilling career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been disabled as a result of illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the necessary education and training. A PT must also become licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research those you are thinking about to make sure they will supply a quality education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is enroll in a school just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be evaluated in addition to location and cost. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists work in a variety of locations, such as Juneau AK hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help individuals that are struggling with a lack of mobility and often pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they create a program of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also strive to stop any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Juneau AK medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone considering going into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degree Options
There are 3 physical therapist degrees available for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief descriptions of degrees that are offered in the Juneau AK area:
- Associate Degrees train students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are usually provided by community or junior colleges, and take about two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically part of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist training to ready students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an essential initial step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they typically require 4 years to complete and often incorporate 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 also must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to finish, making the overall investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential component in addition to the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not just for graduation but in a number of 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 eliminated and is no longer offered in the USA. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Schools
While not as common as the more traditional alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapy programs available, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the college campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online portion of the program can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Juneau AK home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition can be significantly lower than comparable on campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
By now you probably have come to decision concerning a few of your initial queries, such as the kind of physical therapist degree you intend to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT schools within the Juneau AK area and throughout Alaska, you’ll have to explore other qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of college options. Furthermore, you need to make certain that you enroll in the school that is best for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering. Ask all of the competing schools these questions before making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Find out if the schools you are considering have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As previously stated, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you enroll in an online college, it can also earn 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. Also, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Get in touch with several Juneau AK physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your school options. It might also be a good idea to contact the Alaska Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of important statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may mean that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Juneau AK area? If a school 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 verifies that the school has a broad network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you select furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the physical therapist schools you are reviewing have partnerships with Juneau AK hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to obtain hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist graduates and students form professional relationships in the Juneau medical community and help with job placement once licensed.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy college they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Juneau AK home. Those who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose 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 normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Support Offered? The majority of DPT colleges offer some form of financial support to their prospective students. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have a financial aid office and find out what type of aid is offered. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial assistance may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to 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 you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Juneau AK area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Juneau Alaska?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Juneau AK area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
The City and Borough of Juneau (/ˈdʒuːnoʊ/ JOO-noh; Tlingit: Dzánti K'ihéeni [ˈtsántʰì kʼìˈhíːnì]), commonly known as Juneau, is the capital city of Alaska. It is a unified municipality on Gastineau Channel in the Alaskan panhandle, and it is the second largest city in the United States by area. Juneau has been the capital of Alaska since 1906, when the government of what was the District of Alaska was moved from Sitka as dictated by the U.S. Congress in 1900. The municipality unified on July 1, 1970, when the city of Juneau merged with the city of Douglas and the surrounding Greater Juneau Borough to form the current municipality, which is larger by area than both Rhode Island and Delaware.
Downtown Juneau (58°18′07″N 134°25′11″W / 58.30194°N 134.41972°W / 58.30194; -134.41972) is nestled at the base of Mount Juneau and across the channel from Douglas Island. As of the 2010 census, the City and Borough had a population of 31,276. In 2014, the population estimate from the United States Census Bureau was 32,406, making it the second most populous city in Alaska after Anchorage.Fairbanks, however, is the state's second most populous metropolitan area, with roughly 100,000 residents. Juneau's daily population can increase by roughly 6,000 people from visiting cruise ships between the months of May and September.
The city is named after a gold prospector from Quebec, Joe Juneau, though the place was for a time called Rockwell and then Harrisburg (after Juneau's co-prospector, Richard Harris). The Tlingit name of the town is Dzántik'i Héeni ("Base of the Flounder’s River," dzánti ‘flounder,’ –kʼi ‘base,’ héen ‘river’), and Auke Bay just north of Juneau proper is called Áak'w ("Little lake," áa ‘lake,’ -kʼ ‘diminutive’) in Tlingit. The Taku River, just south of Juneau, was named after the cold t'aakh wind, which occasionally blows down from the mountains.
Choose the Right Physical Therapy College near Juneau AK
Picking the right physical therapist school is an important first decision you must make to launch a gratifying career in the healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you select should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. But there are other important questions that you should ask regarding your college of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapist school, bear in mind that numerous variables will guide you to your ultimate decision. You might decide to visit each of the schools to view their facilities and speak with current 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 following our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the best choice. And with the proper training and education, you can achieve your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Juneau AK.
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