How to Pick a Physical Therapist Training Program near Kaneohe 96744
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Kaneohe HI is an important first step to starting a rewarding career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled as a result of injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the appropriate training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, a large number 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 research those you are looking at to make sure they will deliver a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is enroll in a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be considered along with location and cost. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists work in varying settings, such as Kaneohe HI 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 patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they design a course of treatment to address the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Kaneohe HI health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone considering going into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Offered
There are 3 physical therapy degree options offered for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the only degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short explanations of degree levels that are available in the Kaneohe HI area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are usually offered by community colleges, and take about two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a component of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist education to prepare students to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically take 4 years to finish and usually incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement if you want to become a practicing licensed 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 three years to complete, making the total commitment seven years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an important component in addition to the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in some 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 United States. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Colleges Online
While not as common as the more traditional alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapist programs available, even more at the graduate level. Due to 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 college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online part of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Kaneohe HI residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition can be significantly less than comparable on-campus options, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
By now you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning some of your initial questions, such as the type of physical therapist degree you would like to obtain, where you prefer 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 Kaneohe HI area and throughout Hawaii, you’ll have to research additional qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of college options. Moreover, you need to make sure that you pick the college that is right for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering. Ask all of the competing schools these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Find out if the programs you are looking at have earned 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 enroll in an online program, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy school and program you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapy 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. Contact several Kaneohe HI physical therapist centers or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your program options. It may also be prudent to contact the Hawaii Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may suggest that students left due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Kaneohe HI area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care field is good or even excellent. It also affirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you select provides both excellent training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements for Hawaii or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the physical therapy schools you are assessing have partnerships with Kaneohe HI hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to obtain hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help graduates and students develop professional connections in the Kaneohe healthcare community and help with job placement once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy college they choose will have to be within travelling distance of their Kaneohe HI residence. Students who have opted 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 concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? The majority of DPT colleges provide some form of financial aid to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial aid department and see what kind of aid is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any grants you might be eligible 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, find out what financial assistance might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapy school you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Kaneohe HI area, confirm that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative 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 as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Kaneohe Hawaii?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Kaneohe HI area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Kāneʻohe is a census-designated place (CDP) included in the City and County of Honolulu and located in Hawaiʻi state District of Koʻolaupoko on the island of Oʻahu. In the Hawaiian language, kāne ʻohe means "bamboo man". According to an ancient Hawaiian story a local woman compared her husband's cruelty to the sharp edge of cutting bamboo; thus the place was named Kāneʻohe or "Bamboo man". The population was 34,597 at the 2010 census. Kāneʻohe is the largest of several communities along Kāneʻohe Bay and one of the two largest residential communities on the windward side of Oʻahu (the other is Kailua). The commercial center of the town is spread mostly along Kamehameha Highway.
From ancient times, Kāneʻohe was important as an agricultural area, owing to an abundance of rainfall. Today, Kāneʻohe is mostly a residential community, with very little agriculture in evidence. The only commercial crop of any consequence in the area is banana.
Features of note are Hoʻomaluhia Botanical Garden and the new Hawaiʻi National Veterans Cemetery. Access to Kāneʻohe Bay is mainly from the public pier and boat ramp located at nearby Heʻeia Kea. Access to Coconut Island (restricted) is from the state pier off Lilipuna Road. Marine Corps Base Hawaii lies across the south end of Kāneʻohe Bay from the central part of Kāneʻohe, although the town stretches along Kāneʻohe Bay Drive to the base perimeter.
Pick the Ideal Physical Therapy College near Kaneohe HI
Picking the right physical therapist program is an important initial decision you need to make to begin a gratifying career in the medical profession. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you enroll in should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are other relevant questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapy college, bear in mind that a number of factors will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You may decide to go to different schools to see their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me achieve my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the ideal choice. And with the proper education and training, you can fulfill your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Kaneohe HI.
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