How to Find the Right Physical Therapy School near Waialua 96791
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Waialua HI is an important first step to starting a fulfilling career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled due to injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the necessary training and education. A PT must also be licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research the ones you are looking at to make sure they will supply a quality education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is enroll in a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be considered along with cost and location. But before we cover 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 practice in varying locations, such as Waialua HI 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 stated, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also strive to stop any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring 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.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Waialua HI medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone thinking about entering 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 Available
There are three physical therapist degree options available for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short explanations of degree levels that are offered in the Waialua HI area:
- Associate Degrees train students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are most often provided by community colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a portion of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy education to prepare students to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential initial step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically take 4 years to finish and commonly incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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 three years to complete, making the total investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an important component in addition to the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Therefor 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 USA. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Degrees Online
Although not as prevalent as the more traditional options, there are many accredited online physical therapist degrees available, 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 near the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online part of the course of study may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Waialua HI residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition may be significantly less than comparable on-campus options, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
At this point you most likely have made a decision regarding a few of your initial questions, like the type of physical therapy degree you intend to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are so many PT colleges within the Waialua HI area and throughout Hawaii, you’ll need to look into additional qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of college choices. Also, you need to be sure that you choose the school that is ideal for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering. Ask all of the potential schools these questions before making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Ask if the schools you are considering have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As previously 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 choose an online program, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy school and program you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Contact a few Waialua HI physical therapy clinics 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 prudent to contact the Hawaii Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of significant statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapist colleges you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may mean that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Waialua HI area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care community is good or even outstanding. It also confirms that the program has a broad network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you choose furnishes both superior training and a course of study that supports the licensing criteria for Hawaii or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the physical therapist colleges you are evaluating have associations with Waialua HI hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist students and graduates develop professional connections in the Waialua health care community and assist with job placement once licensed.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist college they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Waialua HI residence. Those who have opted to attend classes online obviously 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 school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need 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 Aid Offered? Most DPT schools supply some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have a financial aid office and see what kind of aid is obtainable. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. A number of physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapist college you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Waialua HI area, check that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Waialua Hawaii?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Waialua HI area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Waialua is a census-designated place and North Shore community in the Waialua District on the island of Oʻahu, City & County of Honolulu, Hawaii, United States. As of the 2010 Census, the CDP had a population of 3,860.
Waialua was one of the six original districts of ancient Hawaii on the island, known as moku. Waialua is a former (sugar) mill town and residential area, quite different in its quiet ambiance from nearby Haleʻiwa, which is more commercial and tourist oriented. The Waialua Sugar Mill is the center of this town and the historical base of its plantation history.
Waialua is located at 21°34'31" North, 158°7'46" West (21.575300, -158.129457), southwest of Haleʻiwa, reached on Waialua Beach Road (State Rte. 82) or Kaukonahua Road (State Rte. 830). Kaukonahua Road turns eastward and, as State Rte. 803 then 801 runs up into the central plateau of Oʻahu to Wahiawā or (as 803) to Schofield Barracks. Farrington Highway (State Rte. 930) runs westward to Mokulēʻia.
Pick the Right Physical Therapy College near Waialua HI
Selecting the ideal physical therapist program is an important first decision you need to make to start a gratifying career in the healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you choose should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. But there are additional important questions that you need to ask regarding your school of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapy school, bear in mind that a number of variables will guide you to your ultimate decision. You may want to visit different schools to view their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me accomplish my goal of becoming a licensed practicing 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 best choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Waialua HI.
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