How to Select a Physical Therapist School near Maunaloa 96770
Earning a physical therapy degree near Maunaloa HI is a critical first step to launching a rewarding career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated due to injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the appropriate training and education. A PT must also be licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to investigate the ones 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 enroll in a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be evaluated along with location and cost. But before we cover 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 Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of locations, such as Maunaloa HI hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help patients that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a course of treatment to address the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Maunaloa HI medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone considering going 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 long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Offered
There are 3 physical therapy degree options available for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short summaries of degree levels that are offered in the Maunaloa HI area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are most often made available by community colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually a component of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist education to prep students to advance 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 practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally take 4 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 licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program must also 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 component along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in some states for licensing as well.
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 practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Schools
Although not as prevalent as the on-campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapist programs offered, even more 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 school campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the course of study may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Maunaloa HI residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition may be somewhat less than comparable on-campus options, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning several of your initial queries, including the type of physical therapist 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 because there are numerous PT colleges within the Maunaloa HI area and throughout Hawaii, you’ll need to explore other qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of school options. Moreover, you want to make sure that you select the college that is best for you. That’s why we have collected a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions before making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Find out if the schools you are reviewing have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As previously stated, if you are pursuing a doctorate 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 earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy school and program you select are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Call several Maunaloa HI physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your program selections. It may 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 colleges.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of significant statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapist schools you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might indicate that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Maunaloa HI area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even outstanding. It also verifies that the school has a wide network of contacts to help students gain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you choose provides both superior training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internships Offered? Find out if the physical therapist programs you are reviewing have associations with Maunaloa HI hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great means to receive practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may help students and graduates form professional connections in the Maunaloa healthcare community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools 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 an opportunity to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapy school they select will need to be within driving distance of their Maunaloa HI residence. Students who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide 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 usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? The majority of DPT colleges offer some form of financial support to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance office and see what type of aid is offered. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. A number of physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial assistance might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapist college you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Maunaloa HI area, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Maunaloa Hawaii?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Maunaloa HI area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
As of the census of 2000, there were 230 people, 65 households, and 52 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 1,374.6 people per square mile (522.4/km²). There were 91 housing units at an average density of 543.9 per square mile (206.7/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 15.7% White, 0.3% African American, 18.7% Asian, 34.4% Pacific Islander, and 30.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.2% of the population.
There were 65 households out of which 50.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.9% were married couples living together, 18.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 18.5% were non-families. 13.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 1.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.54 and the average family size was 3.96.
In the CDP the population was spread out with 43.5% under the age of 18, 8.3% from 18 to 24, 25.2% from 25 to 44, 14.3% from 45 to 64, and 8.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 22 years. For every 100 females, there were 109.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.0 males.
Enroll in the Right Physical Therapy Training Program near Maunaloa HI
Picking the best physical therapist college is an important first decision you need to make to launch a fulfilling career in the medical field. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you choose should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. But there are additional important questions that you need to ask pertaining to your school of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapy program, keep in mind that a number of variables will lead you to your final decision. You may decide to go to different campuses 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 right selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Maunaloa HI.
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