How to Choose a Physical Therapy School near Hickam Afb 96853
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Hickam Afb HI is an essential first step to beginning a rewarding career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated as a result of injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the appropriate training and education. A PT must also be licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research those you are thinking about to ensure they will deliver a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is enroll in a school just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be evaluated besides cost and location. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists work in diverse settings, such as Hickam Afb HI private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by 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 try to stop any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Hickam Afb HI health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone considering going into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Offered
There are 3 physical therapist degree options offered for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief summaries of degrees that are offered in the Hickam Afb HI area:
- Associate Degrees train students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are most often offered by community or junior colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically part of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist training to prep candidates to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically take four years to complete and often include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement if you want to become a practicing licensed 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 three years to finish, making the overall investment of time seven years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential component in addition to the extensive lab and classroom 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 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 before the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Programs Online
While not as common as the more traditional options, there are many accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, even more 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 college campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the curriculum can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Hickam Afb HI residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition may be somewhat less than comparable on campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
At this point you most likely have made a decision regarding several of your initial queries, like the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the Hickam Afb HI area and across Hawaii, you’ll need to explore other qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of school options. Furthermore, you want to make certain that you select the program that is right for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are considering. Ask all of the potential schools these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As earlier 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 select an online school, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist program and school you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy community. 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 also. Contact a few Hickam Afb HI physical therapy clinics or other medical care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your program options. It might also be prudent to contact the Hawaii Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two important statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapist schools you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may indicate that students left because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Hickam Afb HI area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care field is good or perhaps outstanding. It also affirms that the program has a broad network of contacts to assist students get internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you enroll in 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) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the physical therapy schools you are evaluating have associations with Hickam Afb HI hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to get practical training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Hickam Afb health care community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing 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 determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapy school they pick will need to be within travelling distance of their Hickam Afb HI home. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly 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 Aid Provided? Most DPT schools offer some type of financial aid to their prospective students. Inquire if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid department and see what type of aid is available. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. Some physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapist school you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Hickam Afb 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, 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 Hickam Afb Hawaii?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Hickam Afb HI area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Hickam Air Force Base
Hickam Air Force Base is a United States Air Force installation, named in honor of aviation pioneer Lieutenant Colonel Horace Meek Hickam. The base merged with the Naval Station Pearl Harbor to become part of the Joint Base Pearl Harbor–Hickam. The base neighbors Honolulu International Airport and currently shares runways with the airport for its activities and purposes.
Hickam is home to the 15th Wing (15 WG) and 67 partner units including Headquarters of Pacific Air Forces (PACAF), Hawaii Air National Guard and the 154th Wing (154 WG) of the Hawaii Air National Guard. The Air Mobility Command's 515th Air Mobility Operations Wing (515 AMOW) provides tactical and strategic airlift within the Pacific region.
The 15th Wing is composed of four groups each with specific functions. The 15th Operations Group (15 OG) controls all flying and airfield operations. The 15th Maintenance Group (15 MXG) performs aircraft and aircraft ground equipment maintenance. The 15th Mission Support Group (15 MSG) has a wide range of responsibilities but a few of its functions are Security, Civil Engineering, Communications, Personnel Management, Logistics, Services and Contracting support. The 15th Medical Group (15 MDG) provides medical and dental care.
Enroll in the Ideal Physical Therapist College near Hickam Afb HI
Deciding on the ideal physical therapist school is an important initial decision you have to make to begin a fulfilling career in the medical profession. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you choose should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. However there are additional critical questions that you need to ask concerning your school of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapy program, keep in mind that numerous variables will guide you to your ultimate decision. You might want to visit different colleges to view their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me achieve my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the proper education and training, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Hickam Afb HI.
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