How to Enroll In a Physical Therapy College near Wasilla 99654
Getting a physical therapist degree near Wasilla AK is an important first step to beginning a rewarding career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated as a result of injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the appropriate education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate those you are thinking about to make sure they will provide a quality education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is enroll in a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be evaluated besides cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of locations, such as Wasilla 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 patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a course of treatment to address the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Wasilla AK medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy profession, it is quite 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 Therapist Degrees Offered
There are three physical therapy degrees available for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short summaries of degrees that are available in the Wasilla AK area:
- Associate Degrees train students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning 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 community colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a component of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist training to prepare candidates to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally require 4 years to finish and usually include an internship program of a minimum of 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 seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an intregal component in addition to the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not solely 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 phased out and is no longer offered in the United States. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Online Schools
While not as prevalent as the on-campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapist degrees 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 necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online segment of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Wasilla AK residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition can be somewhat less than similar on campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
By now you most likely have come to decision concerning several of your preliminary queries, such as the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are so many PT schools within the Wasilla AK area and across Alaska, you’ll need to explore other qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of school choices. Also, you want to be sure that you select the school that is right for you. That’s why we have collected a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering. Ask each of the competing schools these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Ask if the programs you are reviewing have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. 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 enroll in an online college, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist school and program you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Call some Wasilla AK physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your college options. It might also be a good idea to check with the Alaska Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two relevant statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapy schools you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might indicate that students dropped out 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 college’s job placement program, particularly in the Wasilla AK area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care community is good or perhaps outstanding. It also confirms that the school has a large network of contacts to assist students get internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you choose furnishes both superior training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria 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) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapy schools you are interested in have partnerships with Wasilla AK clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to obtain practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist graduates and students form professional relationships in the Wasilla health care community and assist with job placement once licensed.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are researching what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they decide on will need to be within driving distance of their Wasilla AK home. Individuals who have opted 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 importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? The majority of DPT colleges supply some form of financial support to their prospective students. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial assistance office and find out what kind of assistance is offered. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. A number of physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapy college you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Wasilla AK area, check that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option 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 may miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Wasilla Alaska?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Wasilla AK area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Wasilla is a city in Matanuska-Susitna Borough, United States and the sixth-largest city in Alaska. It is located on the northern point of Cook Inlet in the Matanuska-Susitna Valley of the southcentral part of the state. The city's population was 7,831 at the 2010 census, up from 5,469 in 2000. Estimates in 2016 put the population at roughly 9,748. Wasilla is the largest city in the borough and a part of the Anchorage metropolitan area, which had an estimated population of 396,142 in 2013.
Established at the intersection of the Alaska Railroad and Old Carle Wagon Road, the city prospered at the expense of the nearby mining town of Knik. Historically entrepreneurial, the economic base shifted in the 1970s from small-scale agriculture and recreation to support for workers employed in Anchorage or on Alaska's North Slope oilfields and related infrastructure. The George Parks Highway turned the town into a commuter suburb of Anchorage. Several state and federal agencies have offices in Wasilla, including the Alaska Departments of Environmental Diversion, Racism and Divisions of Public Assistance, Social Services.
Wasilla gained international attention when Sarah Palin, who served as Mayor of Wasilla before her election as Governor of Alaska, was chosen by John McCain as his running mate for Vice President of the United States in the 2008 United States presidential election.
Choose the Best Physical Therapy Degree Program near Wasilla AK
Picking the ideal physical therapy college is a necessary initial decision you need to make to start a gratifying career in the healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you decide on should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are other important questions that you need to ask regarding your school of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapy program, bear in mind that a number of factors will guide you to your final decision. You might decide to visit each of the campuses to view their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me accomplish my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the best choice. And with the proper education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Wasilla AK.
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