How to Pick a Physical Therapy College near Yarmouth 04096
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Yarmouth ME is an important first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled as a result of illness or injury gain back 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 also be licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate those you are considering to make sure they will provide a quality education and meet 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 home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be evaluated along with location and cost. But before we cover 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 Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists work in varying locations, including Yarmouth ME hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they design a course of treatment to address the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Yarmouth ME health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also manage several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to bear in mind 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 long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degree Options
There are 3 physical therapy degrees available for students 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 prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short descriptions of degrees that are offered in the Yarmouth ME area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are typically provided by community or junior colleges, and take about two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually a component of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy education to ready candidates to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to practicing as a PT. Similar to 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 mandated in order to become a licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program also must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to finish, making the overall commitment seven years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an important component in addition to the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in several 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 attainable in the USA. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Online Schools
Although not as prevalent as the on-campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapist programs available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the curriculum may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Yarmouth ME home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition can be somewhat lower than similar on-campus options, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
At this point you probably have made a decision regarding some of your preliminary queries, such as the type of physical therapy degree you want to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are numerous PT colleges within the Yarmouth ME area and throughout Maine, you’ll need to look into other qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of school options. Also, you want to make sure that you choose the college that is ideal for you. That’s why we have collected a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapist programs you are thinking about. Ask each of the potential schools these questions before making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Ask if the programs you are reviewing have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As earlier mentioned, 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 college, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy school and program you choose are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy community. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Get in touch with some Yarmouth ME physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your college selections. It may also be prudent to contact the Maine 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 should find out about each of the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may indicate that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Yarmouth ME area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care field is good or perhaps exceptional. It also affirms that the program has a large network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you select provides both exceptional training and a course of study that supports the licensing criteria for Maine or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. Although licensing requirements differ 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 schools you are assessing have relationships with Yarmouth ME hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to receive hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may assist students and graduates develop professional connections in the Yarmouth health care community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Smaller 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 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 several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they decide on will need to be within travelling distance of their Yarmouth ME home. Those who have chosen 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 importance. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? The majority of DPT colleges provide some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Find out if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance department and find out what type of help is available. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial assistance might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapist school you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Yarmouth ME area, check that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Yarmouth Maine?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Yarmouth ME area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Yarmouth is a town in Cumberland County, Maine, located twelve miles north of the state's largest city, Portland. The town was settled in 1636 and incorporated in 1849. Its population was 8,349 in the 2010 census. As of 2015's estimation, this is about 0.6% of Maine's total population.
The town's proximity to the Atlantic Ocean and its location on the banks of the Royal River, which empties into Casco Bay less than a mile away, means it is a prime location as a harbor. Ships were built in the harbor mainly between 1818 and the 1870s, at which point demand declined dramatically. Meanwhile, the Royal River's four waterfalls within Yarmouth, whose Main Street sits about 80 feet above sea level, resulted in the foundation of almost sixty mills between 1674 and 1931.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 22.94 square miles (59.41 km2), of which, 13.35 square miles (34.58 km2) (58%) is land and 9.59 square miles (24.84 km2) (42%) is water.
Pick the Best Physical Therapy Degree Program near Yarmouth ME
Choosing the right physical therapy school is a necessary first decision you must make to begin a gratifying career in the healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you choose should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. However there are additional relevant questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapist school, keep in mind that many factors will guide you toward your final decision. You may want to visit different schools to see their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me realize my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the best selection. And with the proper education and training, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Yarmouth ME.
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