Category Archives: Colorado

Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – Vail CO

How to Select a Physical Therapist School near Vail 81657

Vail CO physical therapy school student with volunteerReceiving a physical therapy degree near Vail CO is an important first step to launching a fulfilling career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated due to illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the proper training and education. A PT must also become licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research the ones you are considering to ensure they will supply a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is select a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be considered in addition to cost and location. But before we cover what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.

What is a Physical Therapist?

Vail CO physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in a variety of locations, including Vail CO hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they create a program of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Vail CO medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone considering going into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degrees

Vail CO physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapist degrees offered for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief descriptions of degree levels that are available in the Vail CO area:

  • Associate Degrees train students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs 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 usually a portion of the curriculum.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy education to prep candidates to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an essential initial step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally require 4 years to finish and usually include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are a requirement in order 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 3 years to complete, making the overall commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an important component in addition to the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in a number of states for licensing also.

The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer offered in the USA. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapist Colleges Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Vail COWhile not as prevalent as the on-campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online part of the program may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Vail CO home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition may be somewhat lower than comparable on campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.

Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Programs

At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning a few of your initial queries, such as the type of physical therapist degree you want to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are so many PT schools within the Vail CO area and throughout Colorado, you’ll need to explore other qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of school options. Moreover, you need to make certain that you choose the program that is best for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist programs you are thinking about. Ask all of the potential schools these questions prior to making a final decision.

Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited?  Ask if the programs you are considering have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. 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 college, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy program and school you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.

What is the Program’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can research a PT program’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Get in touch with several Vail CO physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your school selections. It may also be a good idea to contact the Colorado Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.

What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two important statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapy schools you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may indicate that students left due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Vail CO area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or perhaps excellent. It also verifies that the school has a broad network of contacts to help students gain internships or employment upon graduation.

Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you choose provides both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements for Colorado 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 college. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internships Offered? Find out if the physical therapy programs you are interested in have relationships with Vail CO clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to obtain practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist graduates and students establish professional connections in the Vail medical community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing 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 final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.

Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy college they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Vail CO residence. Those who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose 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 typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? The majority of DPT colleges supply some form of financial support to their prospective students. Inquire if the schools you are looking at have a financial assistance office and find out what kind of aid is offered. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. Some physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial assistance might be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapist program you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Vail CO area, check that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Vail Colorado?

If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Vail CO area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.

Vail, Colorado

The Town of Vail is a Home Rule Municipality in Eagle County, Colorado, United States. The population of the town was 5,305 in 2010. The town was established and built as the base village to Vail Ski Resort, with which it was originally conceived. Vail Ski Resort's first season was in December 1962; it is the largest ski mountain in Colorado.

Vail was incorporated in 1966, four years after the opening of Vail Ski Resort. The ski area was founded by Pete Seibert and local rancher Earl Eaton in 1962, at the base of Vail Pass. The pass was named after Charles Vail, the highway engineer who routed U.S. Highway 6 through the Eagle Valley in 1940, which eventually became Interstate 70. Seibert, a New England native, served in the U.S. Army's 10th Mountain Division during World War II, which trained at Camp Hale, 14 miles south of Vail between Red Cliff and Leadville. He was wounded in Italy at the Battle of Riva Ridge but went on to become a professional skier after he recovered.[8]

Seibert, with other former members of the 10th Mountain Division, returned to Colorado after World War II with the intention of opening a ski resort. During training for ski troopers at Camp Hale, he bivouacked on Vail Mountain and identified it as an ideal ski mountain. In the early 1960s, Seibert got funds from a group of Colorado investors, including Jack Tweedy, and with Earl Eaton bought a ranch at the base of the mountain and eventually incorporated as Vail Associates. As plans continued for a new ski resort, Seibert hired Morrie Shepard as Vail's first ski school director. Shortly after, Shepard recruited Rod Slifer from Aspen to be assistant ski school director. Slifer also became the only real estate broker in the early years of Vail and would later be the broker in the transaction that allowed Vail to buy a ranch, now known as the world-famous Beaver Creek.

Pick the Ideal Physical Therapy Training Program near Vail CO

Choosing the right physical therapy school is an important initial decision you need to make to start a rewarding career in the healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you choose should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. But there are other critical questions that you need to ask regarding your school of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapy college, bear in mind that numerous variables will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You might want to visit different schools to see their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me realize my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the right selection. And with the proper education and training, you can achieve your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Vail CO.

A Few More Interesting Locations in Colorado

  • Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – Montrose CO
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