How to Pick a Physical Therapy Program near Kaunakakai 96748
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Kaunakakai HI is an important first step to starting a rewarding career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated due to illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the necessary education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate the ones you are looking at to ensure they will supply a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you should not 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 important qualifications that need to be considered besides cost and location. But before we talk about 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 Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists work in a variety of locations, such as Kaunakakai HI hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help patients that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a program of treatment to address the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Kaunakakai HI medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees
There are three physical therapy degree options offered for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief descriptions of degrees that are offered in the Kaunakakai HI area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are typically made available by community colleges, and require two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually a component of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist training to prepare candidates to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take four years to finish and usually incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated 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). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to complete, making the overall commitment 7 years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an important element in addition to the considerable classroom and lab 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 taken the place of the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer offered in the United States. A number of 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 implemented.
Physical Therapy Online Schools
While not as common as the on-campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist programs offered, more so 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 requires that the student live close to the college campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online part of the course of study can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Kaunakakai HI home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition may be significantly less than comparable on-campus options, 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 alternative the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning some of your initial questions, like the kind of physical therapist degree you want to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the Kaunakakai HI area and across Hawaii, you’ll need to look into additional qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of school options. Moreover, you need to make certain that you pick the school that is best for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are considering. Ask all of the competing schools these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Ask if the programs you are looking at have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. 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 choose an online school, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist school and program you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Contact several Kaunakakai HI physical therapy clinics or other medical care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your program options. It might also be prudent to contact the Hawaii Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two important statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may suggest that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Kaunakakai HI area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even outstanding. It also confirms that the college has a large network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you enroll in provides both exceptional 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 school. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapist schools you are evaluating have associations with Kaunakakai HI hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to get hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist graduates and students form professional connections in the Kaunakakai medical community and assist with job placement after licensing.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy college they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their Kaunakakai HI residence. Students who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern 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 choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Support Provided? Most DPT colleges offer some form of financial support to their potential students. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at have a financial assistance office and find out what type of help is available. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial assistance may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapy college you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Kaunakakai HI area, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Kaunakakai Hawaii?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Kaunakakai HI area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Kaunakakai is a census-designated place (CDP) in Maui County, Hawaiʻi, United States. It is the largest town on the island of Molokaʻi. The population was 3,425 at the 2010 census. It has the largest port on the island and the longest pier in Hawaii. The town was made famous in the 1930s by the song "The Cockeyed Mayor of Kaunakakai", beginning an ongoing tradition of designating an honorary mayor for the town.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 16.4 square miles (42.6 km2), of which 12.8 square miles (33.2 km2) is land and 3.6 square miles (9.4 km2), or 22.00%, is water.
As of the census of 2010, there were 3,425 people, 1,254 households, and 850 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 1,342.7 people per square mile (518.5/km²). There were 1,533 housing units at an average density of 473.8 per square mile (183.0/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 15.4% White, 0.5% Black, 0.3% Native American, 22.2% Asian (of whom 15.5% were Filipino), 22.4% Native Hawaiian, 0.3% from other races, and 37.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.9% of the population.
Enroll in the Right Physical Therapy Degree Program near Kaunakakai HI
Choosing the ideal physical therapist school is an important first decision you need to make to begin a rewarding career in the medical field. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you pick should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. However there are additional important questions that you need to ask concerning your college of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapist college, bear in mind that numerous factors will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You might want to go to different campuses to see their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me realize my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the right choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Kaunakakai HI.
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