How to Select a Physical Therapy Program near Temple Hills 20748
Earning a physical therapy degree near Temple Hills MD is an important first step to starting a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated due to injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the appropriate education and training. A PT must also become licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate those you are thinking about to make certain they will provide a quality education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is select a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be considered in addition to location and cost. But before we discuss 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’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in varying locations, such as Temple Hills MD 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 touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to address the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Temple Hills MD health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone considering going into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Available
There are three physical therapist degree options available for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short explanations of degrees that are available in the Temple Hills MD area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are typically offered by junior or community colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a portion of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy education to ready candidates to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally take four years to complete and usually incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required if you want to become a licensed practicing 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 finish, making the total investment of time 7 years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal element in addition to the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in a number of states for licensing also.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer available 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 implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Schools
While not as common as the on campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapy programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online part of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Temple Hills MD home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition can be significantly less than similar on campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
By now you probably have come to decision concerning several of your initial queries, like the kind of physical therapist degree you want to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the Temple Hills MD area and across Maryland, you’ll have to research other qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of college options. Furthermore, you want to make sure that you pick the program that is right for you. That’s why we have put together a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are considering. Ask all of the potential schools these questions before making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Find out if the schools you are looking at have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As earlier mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you enroll in an online school, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy program and school you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Get in touch with some Temple Hills MD physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your college options. It may also be prudent to contact the Maryland Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapist colleges you are considering. First 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 school’s job placement program, particularly in the Temple Hills MD area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even excellent. It also confirms that the program has a wide network of contacts to help students obtain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you enroll in provides both excellent training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements for Maryland or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the physical therapy programs you are reviewing have partnerships with Temple Hills MD hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to get practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may assist graduates and students develop professional connections in the Temple Hills medical community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapy school they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their Temple Hills MD home. Students who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble 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 program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually 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 Aid Offered? The majority of DPT schools supply some form of financial support to their prospective students. Inquire if the schools you are looking at have a financial assistance office and see what kind of aid is offered. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. Some physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial aid may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapy school you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Temple Hills MD area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, find out 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 Temple Hills Maryland?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Temple Hills MD area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Temple Hills, Maryland
Temple Hills is a suburb of Washington, D.C., southeast of the downtown district. It is an unincorporated area and census-designated place (CDP) in Prince George's County, Maryland, United States. As of the 2010 census it had a population of 7,852.
The community was named after Dr. Edward Temple, who in the 1860s lived in a home beside Henson Creek known as Moor Park. Within the area are numerous garden apartments, duplexes, and single family communities constructed mostly from the 1950s through 1970s. The large community of Hillcrest Heights is nearby (and has a Temple Hills mailing address), with the 1960s 2-level Iverson Mall and Marlow Heights shopping centers.
Rosecroft Raceway (since 1949, harness horse racing) is nearby in Oxon Hill, although the racing audience has declined greatly. There are large public indoor and outdoor swimming pools operated by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, and also the private Temple Hills Swim Club. Students may attend either Potomac, Crossland, Friendly high schools. The area is especially convenient to the Capital Beltway (I-95/I-495), the Metrorail Green Line, Andrews Air Force Base, the U.S. Census Bureau, and Capitol Hill.
Enroll in the Right Physical Therapist Training Program near Temple Hills MD
Deciding on the ideal physical therapy college is an important initial decision you must make to launch a fulfilling career in the healthcare profession. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you select should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. But there are additional critical questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapist program, keep in mind that many factors will lead you to your final decision. You may want to go to different colleges to view their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me achieve my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the ideal selection. And with the proper training and education, you can accomplish your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Temple Hills MD.
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