How to Select a Physical Therapy School near Seward 99664
Getting a physical therapist degree near Seward AK is an important first step to launching a rewarding career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated due to illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the necessary education and training. A PT must also be licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate the ones you are looking at to ensure they will provide a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is enroll in a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be evaluated along with cost and location. But before we talk about 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 work in a variety of settings, including Seward AK hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a program of treatment to address the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also strive to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Seward AK medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone considering going into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degree Options
There are 3 physical therapist degrees offered for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the single degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief explanations of degrees that are available in the Seward AK area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are typically offered by community colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a component of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to prepare students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they normally take four years to finish and often 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 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 commitment 7 years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal element along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, 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 offered in the USA. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Degrees
Although not as common as the on-campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapy programs available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online part of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Seward AK home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition might be significantly lower than similar on campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
At this point you probably have come to decision regarding several of your initial questions, including the kind of physical therapist degree you want to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are so many PT schools within the Seward AK area and throughout Alaska, you’ll have to look into other qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of school choices. Furthermore, you need to make certain that you pick the program that is right for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering. Ask all of the potential schools these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Ask if the programs you are reviewing have received 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 program, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy program and school you choose are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT school’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Call some Seward AK physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your program selections. It might also be prudent to check with the Alaska Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might mean that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Seward AK area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care field is good or even excellent. It also affirms that the college has a wide network of contacts to help students gain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you choose provides both superior training and a course of study that supports 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) in addition to 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 performed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the physical therapy schools you are interested in have relationships with Seward AK clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to get practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can help graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Seward health care community and help with job placement once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy school they decide on will have to be within travelling distance of their Seward AK residence. Students who have chosen to attend classes online naturally 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 may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Support Provided? The majority of DPT schools supply some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Ask if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid office and see what kind of assistance is available. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. A number of physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapy school you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Seward AK area, confirm 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, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Seward Alaska?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Seward AK area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Seward (Alutiiq: Qutalleq) is an incorporated home rule city in Alaska, United States. Located on Resurrection Bay, a fjord of the Gulf of Alaska on the Kenai Peninsula, Seward is situated on Alaska's southern coast, approximately 120 miles by road from Alaska's largest city, Anchorage, and nearly 1,300 miles from the closest point in the contiguous United States at Cape Flattery, Washington.
With an estimated permanent population of 2,831 people as of 2017, Seward is the fourth-largest city in the Kenai Peninsula Borough, behind Kenai, Homer, and the borough seat of Soldotna. The city is named for former U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward, who orchestrated the United States' purchase of Alaska from the Russian Empire in 1867 while serving in this position as part of President Andrew Johnson's administration.
Seward is the southern terminus of the Alaska Railroad and the historic starting point of the original Iditarod Trail to the Alaskan interior, with Mile 0 of the trail marked on the shoreline at the southern end of town.
Choose the Best Physical Therapist School near Seward AK
Deciding on the ideal physical therapy school is a necessary initial decision you must make to begin a gratifying career in the healthcare profession. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you enroll in should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. However there are additional important questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapist college, keep in mind that many factors will lead you toward your final decision. You might decide to visit each of the schools to view their facilities and talk with current 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 following our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the best choice. And with the proper training and education, you can achieve your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Seward AK.
A Few More Interesting Locations in Alaska