How to Find the Right Physical Therapy School near Skagway 99840
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Skagway AK is a critical first step to starting a fulfilling career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled due to illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the proper education and training. A PT must also become licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research the ones you are thinking about to make sure they will supply a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is select a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be evaluated along with cost and location. 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 a variety of settings, including Skagway AK hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a course of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also strive to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Skagway AK health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degree Options
There are three physical therapy degree options offered for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the only degree that is offered to practice as 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 brief summaries of degrees that are offered in the Skagway AK area:
- Associate Degrees train students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are usually made available by junior or community colleges, and require 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally part of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist training to prep students to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally require 4 years to complete and often incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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 complete, making the overall commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential component in addition to the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in some 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. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Colleges Online
While not as common as the on campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapist programs available, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online segment of the curriculum may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Skagway AK home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition can be significantly lower than similar on-campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
By now you most likely have come to decision concerning several of your preliminary queries, such as the type of physical therapist degree you intend to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are so many PT colleges within the Skagway AK area and throughout Alaska, you’ll have to look into other qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of college choices. Furthermore, you want to be sure that you enroll in the school that is right for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are considering. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Ask if the programs you are reviewing have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. 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 select an online college, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist program and school you select are accredited, not just the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Get in touch with several Skagway AK physical therapy clinics or other medical care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your school 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 colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapist colleges you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might mean that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Skagway AK area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also affirms that the program has a large network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you select furnishes both exceptional training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the physical therapist schools you are interested in have partnerships with Skagway AK clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may assist students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Skagway health care community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Skagway AK home. Those who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern 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 choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally 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 Aid Offered? Most DPT schools provide some form of financial aid to their prospective students. Find out if the colleges you are considering have a financial assistance department and find out what kind of assistance is available. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. Some physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial assistance may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapist program you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Skagway AK area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Skagway Alaska?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Skagway AK area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
The Municipality and Borough of Skagway is a first-class borough in Alaska on the Alaska Panhandle. As of the 2010 census, the population was 968. Estimates put the 2015 population at 1,057 people. The population doubles in the summer tourist season in order to deal with more than 900,000 visitors. Incorporated as a borough on June 25, 2007, it was previously a city (urban Skagway located at 59°27′30″N 135°18′50″W / 59.45833°N 135.31389°W / 59.45833; -135.31389) in the Skagway-Yakutat-Angoon Census Area (now the Hoonah–Angoon Census Area).
The port of Skagway is a popular stop for cruise ships, and the tourist trade is a big part of the business of Skagway. The White Pass and Yukon Route narrow gauge railroad, part of the area's mining past, is now in operation purely for the tourist trade and runs throughout the summer months. Skagway is also part of the setting for Jack London's book The Call of the Wild, Will Hobbs's book Jason's Gold, and for Joe Haldeman's novel, Guardian. The John Wayne film North to Alaska (1960) was filmed nearby.
The name Skagway is derived from shԍagéi, a Tlingit idiom which figuratively refers to rough seas in the Taiya Inlet, that are caused by strong north winds. (See, "Etymology and the Mythical Stone Woman", below.)
Choose the Best Physical Therapist School near Skagway AK
Picking the right physical therapist school is an important first decision you must make to launch a fulfilling career in the health care field. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you decide on should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are additional critical questions that you should ask regarding your college of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapy program, bear in mind that numerous factors will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You might decide to go to different schools to see their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me reach my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the best selection. And with the proper education and training, you can achieve your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Skagway AK.
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