How to Pick a Physical Therapy School near Haleiwa 96712
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Haleiwa HI is a critical first step to launching a rewarding career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated due to injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the necessary education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate those you are considering to make sure they will deliver a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is choose a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be evaluated in addition to 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 work in a variety of settings, including Haleiwa HI private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they develop a course of treatment to address the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also strive to stop any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Haleiwa HI health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degree Options
There are three physical therapy degree options available for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the single degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief descriptions of degree levels that are available in the Haleiwa HI area:
- Associate Degrees train students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are usually made available by community or junior colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically part of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy training to ready candidates to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require 4 years to complete and commonly include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required 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 three years to finish, making the overall commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an essential component along with the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not only 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 phased out and is no longer available in the United States. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Degrees
While not as prevalent as the on campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapy programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online part of the program can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Haleiwa HI residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat lower than similar on-campus options, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
At this point you most likely have come to decision regarding a few of your initial queries, such as the kind of physical therapist degree you would like to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are numerous PT colleges within the Haleiwa HI area and throughout Hawaii, you’ll need to research additional qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of school options. Furthermore, you need 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 must ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering. Ask each of the competing schools these questions before making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As previously mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctoral degree the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you enroll in an online program, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, make sure 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 Program’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are several ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Contact several Haleiwa HI physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your school options. It might also be a good idea to check with the Hawaii Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of important statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may suggest that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, 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 Haleiwa HI area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care field is good or perhaps exceptional. It also confirms that the school has a large network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the school you select provides both superior training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements for Hawaii or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapy colleges you are evaluating have partnerships with Haleiwa HI hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific way to obtain practical training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can help students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Haleiwa health care community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they decide on will have to be within driving distance of their Haleiwa HI home. Those who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Aid Provided? The majority of DPT schools offer some type of financial support to their prospective students. Inquire if the schools you are considering have a financial assistance office and see what type of assistance is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. Some physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapist program you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Haleiwa HI area, check that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Haleiwa Hawaii?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Haleiwa HI area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Haleʻiwa is a North Shore community and census-designated place (CDP) in the Waialua District of the island of Oʻahu, City and County of Honolulu. Haleʻiwa is located on Waialua Bay, the mouth of Anahulu Stream (also known as Anahulu River). A small boat harbor is located here, and the shore of the bay is surrounded by Haleʻiwa Beach Park (north side) and Haleʻiwa Aliʻi Beach Park (south side). Further west from the center of town is Kaiaka State Recreation Area on Kiaka Point beside Kaiaka Bay. As of the 2010 census, the CDP had a population of 3,970. It is the largest commercial center on the North Shore of the island. Its old plantation town character is preserved in many of the buildings, making this a popular destination for tourists and residents alike, visiting surfing and diving sites along the north shore.
Haleʻiwa is located at 21°35'24" North, 158°6'50" West (21.590050, -158.113928), southwest along Kamehameha Highway (State route 83) from Pūpūkea. At Haleʻiwa, Kamehameha Highway becomes state route 99 (at the traffic circle known as "Weed Circle"), which runs eastward up across the Oʻahu central plateau to Wahiawā. A new bypass route (Joseph P. Leong Highway) avoids both the traffic circle and Haleʻiwa, extending state route 83 to just north of Haleʻiwa town. Haleʻiwa Road and both Kaukonahua Road and Waialua Beach Road from Weed Circle go south and southwest into Waialua across Paukauila Stream.
"The historic Rainbow Bridge over the Anahulu River marks the northern entrance to old Haleiwa Town. There you will find small shops, eateries and many galleries. Two beach parks surround the small boat harbor located in Waialua Bay, Haleiwa Beach Park located to the north and Haleiwa Alii Beach Park located to the south."
Select the Best Physical Therapist Degree Program near Haleiwa HI
Choosing the best physical therapist school is an important first decision you have to make to begin a gratifying career in the health care field. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you select should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. However there are other important questions that you need to ask pertaining to your school of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapy school, keep in mind that many variables will guide you toward your final decision. You might want to go to each of the colleges to view their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me reach 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 appropriate choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Haleiwa HI.
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