How to Choose a Physical Therapy Program near West Simsbury 06092
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near West Simsbury CT is an important first step to launching a rewarding career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated as a result of injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the necessary education and training. A PT must also become licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate the ones you are thinking about to ensure they will furnish a quality education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is choose a school just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be evaluated in addition to cost and location. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists work in a variety of settings, such as West Simsbury CT hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they design a course of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other West Simsbury CT medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also manage several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Offered
There are three physical therapy degrees available for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short explanations of degree levels that are offered in the West Simsbury CT area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are usually made available by community or junior colleges, and require 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a component of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist training to prepare students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to complete and commonly incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated if you want to become a practicing licensed 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 finish, making the total investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an essential element in addition to the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in some 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 attainable in the USA. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Programs Online
Although not as common as the on campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapist programs offered, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online part of the program may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s West Simsbury CT home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition may be significantly less than comparable on campus options, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
At this point you most likely have come to decision concerning a few of your initial queries, like the kind of physical therapist degree you would like to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT colleges within the West Simsbury CT area and throughout Connecticut, you’ll have to explore other qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of college options. Moreover, you want to be sure that you enroll in the program that is best for you. That’s why 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 colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Find out if the programs you are considering have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As earlier stated, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you choose an online college, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy program and school you select are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with guaranteeing that you receive 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 pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapy community. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Get in touch with several West Simsbury CT physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your program selections. It may also be a good idea to check with the Connecticut Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two significant statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapy schools you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might suggest that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the West Simsbury CT area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care field is good or perhaps exceptional. It also affirms that the college has a large network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you choose furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria for Connecticut or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the physical therapy schools you are interested in have partnerships with West Simsbury CT clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to obtain hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist students and graduates form professional connections in the West Simsbury healthcare community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are looking at what the typical teacher to student 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 several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapy college they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their West Simsbury CT home. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something 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 might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Help Provided? The majority of DPT colleges supply some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Inquire if the colleges you are considering have a financial aid department and see what type of assistance is offered. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. Some physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial aid may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapist program you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the West Simsbury CT area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near West Simsbury Connecticut?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the West Simsbury CT area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Simsbury is a town in Hartford County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 23,511 at the 2010 census. The town was incorporated as Connecticut's twenty-first town in May 1670. Simsbury was named the 4th best town in Connecticut on Connecticut Magazines list of top places to live 2013 and 9th best town to live in 2015 in the United States by Time magazine.
Simsbury boasts a highly recognized educational system. In 2016 Simsbury High School ranked 4th best high school in CT by Niche and 9th by U.S. News & World Report. The suburb also houses multiple private schools including The Ethel Walker School, Westminster School, The Master's School, St. Mary's Elementary School, and The Cobb Montessori School.
At the beginning of the 17th century, the area today known as Simsbury was inhabited by indigenous peoples. The Wappinger were one of these groups, composed of eighteen bands, organized not as formally as a tribe, but more of an association, like the Delaware. These bands lived between the Hudson and Connecticut rivers. The Wappingers were one of the Algonquian peoples, a linguistic grouping which includes hundreds of tribes. One of the Wappinger bands, the Massaco, lived near, but mostly west of what is now called the Farmington River, the area now known as Simsbury and Canton. The river was called the Massaco by the native inhabitants. The term Massaco may refer to the indigenous peoples, the river itself, the village occupied by the indigenous peoples, and the land adjacent to the river.
Choose the Best Physical Therapist School near West Simsbury CT
Choosing the ideal physical therapy program is a necessary initial decision you need to make to start a fulfilling career in the healthcare profession. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you enroll in should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. But there are additional important questions that you should ask pertaining to your college of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapy college, keep in mind that numerous factors will lead you to your final decision. You may decide to go to different colleges to view their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me accomplish 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 field so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can achieve your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in West Simsbury CT.
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