How to Select a Physical Therapist School near Whately 01093
Getting a physical therapy degree near Whately MA is an important first step to starting a rewarding career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated as a result of illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the proper education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate the ones you are thinking about to ensure they will furnish a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is enroll in a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be evaluated along with cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, 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 settings, including Whately MA hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a course of treatment to address the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Whately MA medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone considering going into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Offered
There are 3 physical therapy degrees offered for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short descriptions of degree levels that are offered in the Whately MA 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 equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are typically offered by community or junior colleges, and require 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a portion of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy education to prep students to progress 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 most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take four years to complete and commonly incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required 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 3 years to complete, making the total investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an essential component in addition to the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in a number of states for licensing as well.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has taken the place of 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 existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Colleges Online
While not as prevalent as the on campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapist degrees available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature 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. Fortunately, the online part of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Whately MA home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition can be significantly lower than similar on-campus options, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
By now you probably have come to decision concerning a few of your preliminary queries, including the type of physical therapy degree you want to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are so many PT schools within the Whately MA area and throughout Massachusetts, you’ll need to explore other qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of school choices. Moreover, you want to make certain that you select the school that is ideal for you. That’s why we have put together a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Find out if the programs you are reviewing 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 select an online college, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist program and school you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy community. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT college’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Call a few Whately MA physical therapist clinics or other medical care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your college selections. It may also be prudent to check with the Massachusetts Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two relevant statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapist colleges you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might suggest that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Whately MA area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or perhaps exceptional. It also confirms that the program has a large network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the school you enroll in furnishes both excellent training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing criteria for Massachusetts 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 therapy college. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the physical therapy colleges you are assessing have partnerships with Whately MA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific way to obtain practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Whately healthcare 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 class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are researching what the typical 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 converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapy school they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Whately MA home. Those who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Aid Offered? The majority of DPT schools offer some form of financial aid to their potential students. Ask if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance department and see what kind of aid is obtainable. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial assistance may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapist school you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Whately MA 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, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Whately Massachusetts?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Whately MA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Whately (/ˈhweɪtli/; WHAYT-lee) is a town in Franklin County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 1,496 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Springfield, Massachusetts Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Whately was first settled in 1672 as a northern section of Hatfield. The town peaceably petitioned for separation from the town because of its relatively long distance from the rest of Hatfield, and was officially incorporated in 1771, named by Governor Thomas Hutchinson for Thomas Whately, a Member of Parliament whose letter to Hutchinson would later be involved in the controversy which brought on Hutchinson's dismissal. Julian Whately, a descendant of Thomas, visited the town during the Bicentennial celebration in 1971. Whately was the site of the state's first gin distillery, as well as other small mills, including wool and furniture mills. The town also used the water in town for agricultural pursuits, including dairying and one of the few Sumatran tobacco fields outside of Indonesia.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 20.7 square miles (54 km2), of which 20.2 square miles (52 km2) is land and 0.5 square miles (1.3 km2), or 2.32%, is water. Whately lies along the southern border of the county, north of Hampshire County, and is bordered by Conway to the northwest, Deerfield to the northeast, Sunderland to the east, Hatfield to the south, and Williamsburg to the west. Whately is located 11 miles (18 km) south of Greenfield, 26 miles (42 km) north of Springfield, and 95 miles (153 km) west of Boston.
Select the Best Physical Therapist School near Whately MA
Picking the best physical therapist program is a necessary initial decision you need to make to begin a gratifying career in the medical profession. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you select should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. But there are additional important questions that you need to ask concerning your college of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapist school, keep in mind that numerous factors will guide you to your final decision. You might want to visit each of the campuses to view their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me achieve my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the right choice. And with the proper training and education, you can achieve your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Whately MA.
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