How to Select a Physical Therapy Training Program near Kailua Kona 96740
Earning a physical therapist degree near Kailua Kona HI is an important first step to starting a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated due to injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the proper training and education. A PT must also be licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to investigate the ones you are considering to make certain they will furnish a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is select a college just because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be considered besides location and cost. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists practice in varying settings, such as Kailua Kona 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 earlier stated, physical therapists help patients that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they design a course of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Kailua Kona HI health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Offered
There are three physical therapist degree options offered for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief explanations of degree levels that are available in the Kailua Kona HI area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted 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 typically a portion of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy training to prep students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically require 4 years to finish and usually include an internship program of a minimum of 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to complete, making the total commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an important element in addition to the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, 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 holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Colleges
While not as common as the on campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy programs available, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the program can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Kailua Kona HI home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat less than similar on campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
By now you probably have made a decision concerning several of your preliminary queries, such as the kind of physical therapist degree you want to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are so many PT schools within the Kailua Kona HI area and throughout Hawaii, you’ll need to research additional qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of college choices. Moreover, you need to make certain that you select the school that is best for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapy colleges you are thinking about. Ask each of the potential schools these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Find out if the schools you are reviewing have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As earlier stated, 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 school, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist program and school you choose are accredited, not just the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapist community. There are several ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, starting 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 organizations for their reviews as well. Call some Kailua Kona HI physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your college options. It might also be a good idea to check with the Hawaii Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapy schools you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might indicate that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Kailua Kona HI area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care field is good or perhaps excellent. It also affirms that the school has a large network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you select provides both excellent training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing criteria for Hawaii or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapy colleges you are interested in have partnerships with Kailua Kona HI hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great means to receive practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist graduates and students form professional connections in the Kailua Kona healthcare community and help with job placement after licensing.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are researching what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy college they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Kailua Kona HI home. Students who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Aid Offered? The majority of DPT colleges offer some type of financial support to their prospective students. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial assistance office and find out what kind of aid is available. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. Some physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial aid might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapy program you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Kailua Kona HI area, make certain that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Kailua Kona Hawaii?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Kailua Kona HI area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Kailua, Hawaii County, Hawaii
Kailua is an unincorporated city (Census Designated Place) in Hawaiʻi County, Hawaii, United States, in the North Kona District of the Island of Hawaiʻi. The population was 11,975 at the 2010 census, up from 9,870 at the 2000 census. It is the center of commerce and of the tourist industry on West Hawaiʻi. Its post office is designated Kailua-Kona to differentiate it from Kailua located on the windward side of Oʻahu island, and it is sometimes referred to as Kona in everyday speech. The city is served by Kona International Airport, located just to the north in the adjacent Kalaoa CDP. Kailua-Kona was the closest major settlement to the epicenter of the 2006 Kiholo Bay earthquake.
The community was established by King Kamehameha I to be his seat of government when he was chief of Kona before he consolidated rule of the archipelago in 1795. It was later designated as the capital of the newly unified Kingdom of Hawaiʻi. The capital was later moved to Lāhainā, and then to Honolulu.
Royal fishponds at Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park were the hub of unified Hawaiian culture. The town later functioned as a retreat of the Hawaiian royal family. Up until the late 1900s, Kailua-Kona was primarily a small fishing village.:58 In the late 20th and early 21st centuries, the region has undergone a real estate and construction boom fueled by tourism and investment.
Enroll in the Best Physical Therapist College near Kailua Kona HI
Deciding on the ideal physical therapist college is a necessary first decision you have to make to launch a rewarding career in the healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you pick should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. But there are other critical questions that you should ask regarding your college of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapist program, bear in mind that numerous variables will lead you toward your final decision. You might want to go to different schools to view their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me achieve my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the ideal selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Kailua Kona HI.
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