How to Select a Physical Therapy School near Walker 70785
Earning a physical therapy degree near Walker LA is a critical first step to starting a rewarding career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled as a result of illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the appropriate training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research those you are considering to ensure they will deliver a quality education and comply with 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 home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be evaluated besides location and cost. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists work in varying settings, such as Walker LA hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes 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 touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they develop a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Walker LA health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degree Options
There are three physical therapist degree options available for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the one 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 summaries of degree levels that are offered in the Walker LA area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are most often offered by community or junior colleges, and take about two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a portion of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy training to prepare students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally take 4 years to finish and often 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 finish, making the overall investment of time seven years in most cases. Clinical training is an important component in addition to the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in a number of 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 offered in the USA. 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 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 degrees offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online part of the curriculum may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Walker LA home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition may be somewhat less than similar on campus options, and costs for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
By now you probably have made a decision concerning some of your preliminary queries, like the type of physical therapist degree you would like to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are numerous PT colleges within the Walker LA area and throughout Louisiana, you’ll have to research other qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of school options. Moreover, you need to make sure that you enroll in the program that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Ask if the schools you are considering have received accreditation from a national or a regional 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 select an online school, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist school and program 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 ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Get in touch with a few Walker LA physical therapist centers or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your program selections. It may also be prudent to check with the Louisiana 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 important statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapy programs you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may mean that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Walker LA area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care field is good or perhaps outstanding. It also affirms that the program has a wide network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you enroll in provides both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria for Louisiana or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT 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? Ask if the physical therapist colleges you are evaluating have associations with Walker LA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific way to receive practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may help students and graduates form professional relationships in the Walker healthcare community and assist with job placement once licensed.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Walker LA home. Students 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 importance. Something to bear 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 might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally 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? The majority of DPT colleges offer some type of financial assistance to their potential students. Ask if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid department and find out what kind of help is obtainable. They at least should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. A number of physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial aid might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapist program you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Walker LA area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, learn 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 Walker Louisiana?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Walker LA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
The area now known as Walker was founded by Cameron Calloway, a veteran of the civil war, and his wife, Lindsey Bickham, in 1853. The Miltons were a pioneering family from North Carolina who settled an area in Alabama, before clearing 400 acres in the piney woods east of the Amite River and Denham Springs The Federal government recognized the growth of the settlement and opened a post officer as Milton Old Field in 1856. Michael Milton was appointed as postmaster in 1858. In 1890 the post office was renamed after Dr. William Elliott Walker, M.D., a legislator from nearby Springfield, who had, also, served as a Lt. Col. in the Confederate States of America.
Walker is located at 30°29′22″N 90°51′46″W / 30.48944°N 90.86278°W / 30.48944; -90.86278 (30.489423, -90.862872). According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 5.8 square miles (14.9 km²), all land.
The 2010 Census noted the population of Walker is 6,138 - up 28% over the past decade. Walker officially became a city. As of the census of 2000, there were 4,801 people, 1,758 households, and 1,320 families residing in the town. The population density was 834.8 people per square mile (322.4/km²). There were 1,905 housing units at an average density of 331.2 per square mile (127.9/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 86.34% White, 12.37% African American, 0.23% Native American, 0.04% Asian, 0.23% from other races, and 0.79% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.19% of the population.
Pick the Right Physical Therapy College near Walker LA
Selecting the best physical therapy school is an important first decision you need to make to launch a rewarding career in the health care field. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you decide on should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. But there are other critical questions that you should ask pertaining to your school of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapy college, keep in mind that a number of variables will guide you toward your final decision. You might want to go to each of the campuses to see their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me reach 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 appropriate choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Walker LA.
A Few More Interesting Locations in Louisiana
Business Results 1 - 10 of 29