How to Enroll In a Physical Therapist College near Pelican 99832
Receiving a physical therapist degree near Pelican AK is an essential first step to beginning a rewarding career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been disabled as a result of injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the proper training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research those you are considering to ensure they will provide a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is select a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be evaluated 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 the options for education.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists work in diverse settings, such as Pelican 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 people that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they create a course of treatment to address the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Pelican AK medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also manage several physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Available
There are three physical therapist degrees available for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short explanations of degree levels that are offered in the Pelican AK area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are usually provided by junior or community colleges, and require 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally part of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist education to prepare students to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they typically require 4 years to finish and commonly include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated 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). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to complete, making the overall investment of time 7 years in most cases. Clinical training is an important element along with the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not only 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 offered in the United States. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Schools
While not as prevalent as the more traditional options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist degrees available, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online segment of the program may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Pelican AK home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition might be significantly lower than comparable on-campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
By now you probably have come to decision regarding several of your preliminary questions, including the kind of physical therapist degree you intend to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the Pelican AK area and throughout Alaska, you’ll have to research other qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of school choices. Also, you need to be sure that you pick the school that is right for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapy programs you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are considering have earned 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 select an online school, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist program and school you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are several ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Call several Pelican AK physical therapy centers or other medical care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your program options. It may also be a good idea to contact the Alaska Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two significant statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapy programs you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might suggest that students left because of 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 school’s job placement program, particularly in the Pelican AK area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or perhaps outstanding. It also confirms that the college has a broad network of contacts to help students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you choose furnishes both exceptional training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the physical therapy schools you are interested in have relationships with Pelican AK hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great way to obtain hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can help students and graduates develop professional connections in the Pelican medical community and assist with job placement after licensing.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom 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 therapist colleges you are researching what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their Pelican AK home. 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 keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Most DPT colleges supply some type of financial support to their prospective students. Inquire if the colleges you are considering have a financial aid department and see what kind of help is obtainable. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. Some physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial assistance might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapist program you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Pelican AK area, verify that they are offered. 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 carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Pelican Alaska?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Pelican AK area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Pelican (Tlingit: K'udeis'X̱'e) is a city in the northwestern part of Chichagof Island in Hoonah-Angoon Census Area in the U.S. state of Alaska. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city was 88, down from 163 at the 2000 census.
Pelican is located on the east side of Lisianski Inlet, a body of water that opens into Lisianski Strait and Cross Sound, on Chichagof Island at coordinates 57°57′30″N 136°13′27″W / 57.95833°N 136.22417°W / 57.95833; -136.22417 (57.958431, -136.224069).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.73 square miles (1.9 km2), of which 0.62 square miles (1.6 km2) are land and 0.1 square miles (0.3 km2), or 16.25%, are water.
Pick the Ideal Physical Therapy Training Program near Pelican AK
Picking the best physical therapist program is an important first decision you need to make to launch a fulfilling career in the health care profession. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you choose should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. However there are other critical questions that you should ask regarding your school of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapist program, keep in mind that numerous variables will guide you to your final decision. You may want to visit each of the schools to see their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me achieve 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 options so you can make the right choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Pelican AK.
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