How to Select a Physical Therapist Training Program near Wolcott 06716
Getting a physical therapist degree near Wolcott CT is an essential first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated due to illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the necessary education and training. A PT must additionally 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 important to research those you are thinking about to ensure they will deliver a quality education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is enroll in a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be evaluated along with location and cost. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists work in varying locations, such as Wolcott CT private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all have 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 struggling with a lack of mobility and often pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they create a course of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Wolcott CT medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone considering going into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees
There are three physical therapy degree options available for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the only degree that is offered 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 progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief summaries of degrees that are offered in the Wolcott CT area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are usually provided by community colleges, and take about two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically part of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy training to prepare candidates to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they typically require 4 years to finish and often incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement in order to become a licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program must also 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 total investment of time seven years in most cases. Clinical training is an intregal component along with the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not solely 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. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Colleges Online
Although not as common as the on campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Wolcott CT home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat less than comparable on-campus options, and costs for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
At this point you probably have come to decision concerning some of your preliminary questions, such as 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 considering there are numerous PT colleges within the Wolcott CT area and across Connecticut, you’ll need to explore other qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of college options. Furthermore, you need to make certain that you select the college that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapist programs you are thinking about. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Ask if the programs you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. 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 select an online program, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist program and school you select are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist community. There are multiple ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Get in touch with several Wolcott CT physical therapist clinics or other medical care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any advice about your college options. It might also be a good idea to check with the Connecticut 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 Percentage? There are a couple of useful statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapy programs you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might suggest that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Wolcott CT area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care field is good or perhaps outstanding. It also affirms that the program has a wide network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you choose provides both superior 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the physical therapist colleges you are interested in have partnerships with Wolcott CT hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to get hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist graduates and students form professional relationships in the Wolcott healthcare community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they choose will have to be within travelling distance of their Wolcott CT residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. 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 have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Help Provided? Most DPT colleges offer some form of financial support to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are examining have a financial aid office and see what kind of assistance is offered. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. Some physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial assistance may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapy college you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Wolcott CT area, make certain that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure 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 Wolcott Connecticut?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Wolcott CT area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Wolcott (locally /ˈwʊlkət/) is a town in New Haven County, Connecticut, United States. It is primarily residential with a population of 16,680 at the 2010 census. The town was settled in the 1730s by the Connecticut Colony and was known as Farmingbury, but it was renamed Wolcott after being incorporated in 1796.
The early towns of Waterbury and Farmington occupied a great deal of west-central Connecticut in the Naugatuck River Valley and Farmington River Valley at the end of the 17th century. At that time, the borderlands between these two towns were known as Farmingbury, a term derived from the two town names.
People were living within the Farmingbury territory as early as the 1730s, but they possessed no official identity apart from the parent towns of either Waterbury or Farmington. By 1770, the residents of Farmingbury successfully petitioned the Connecticut General Assembly to create the First Ecclesiastical Society of Farmingbury. Having established an independent parish, Farmingbury gained some religious, legal, and financial independence from Waterbury and Farmington. However, the political boundaries of the region remained unchanged for more than two decades afterwards. During that time, the Farmingbury parish was largely self-sufficient, owing to its fairly remote location, but it was still officially considered to be part of Waterbury in the west and Farmington in the east. Thus, the parish society found itself handling several matters that would ordinarily have been municipal duties, such as managing taxes and local education.
Enroll in the Right Physical Therapist Training Program near Wolcott CT
Deciding on the ideal physical therapy program is an important initial decision you need to make to start a fulfilling career in the medical profession. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you pick should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. But there are other important questions that you should ask concerning your college of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapy school, keep in mind that many factors will lead you to your final decision. You might decide to visit different colleges to view their facilities and talk 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 adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can achieve your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Wolcott CT.
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The Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at the University of Connecticut is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). CAPTE is located at 3030 Potomac Avenue, Suite 100, Alexandria, VA 22305-3085.