How to Select a Physical Therapy School near Williamstown 08094
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Williamstown NJ is an essential first step to starting a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated as a result of injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the appropriate training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research the ones you are thinking about to make sure they will provide a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is select a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be evaluated besides location and cost. But before we cover 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 Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists practice in varying locations, such as Williamstown NJ private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they create a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also strive to stop any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Williamstown NJ medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Offered
There are three physical therapist degrees available for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the single degree that is offered 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 advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief descriptions of degree levels that are available in the Williamstown NJ area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are usually provided by community or junior colleges, and require two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a component of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy training to prepare students to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally require 4 years to finish and often incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated 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). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to finish, making the overall investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential component in addition to the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not only 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 phased out and is no longer offered in the United States. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Colleges Online
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 necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online portion of the curriculum may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Williamstown NJ residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition may be significantly less than comparable on campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
At this point you most likely have come to decision regarding a few of your preliminary queries, such as the type of physical therapist degree you would like to obtain, 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 Williamstown NJ area and throughout New Jersey, you’ll need to explore other qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of school choices. Furthermore, you need to make sure that you enroll in the school that is ideal for you. That’s why we have collected a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Ask if the programs you are considering have earned accreditation from a regional or a national 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 school, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy 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 recognized accrediting organization. In addition to guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapy community. There are several ways you can investigate a PT school’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. Contact some Williamstown NJ physical therapist clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any advice about your college selections. It might also be prudent to check with the New Jersey 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 Rate? There are a two useful statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapist schools you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might indicate that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Williamstown NJ area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even excellent. It also affirms that the school has a large network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you enroll in provides both excellent training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements for New Jersey or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internships Offered? Inquire if the physical therapy programs you are reviewing have partnerships with Williamstown NJ clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to receive practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may help students and graduates establish professional connections in the Williamstown health care community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Williamstown NJ home. Those 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 keep in mind is that if you choose 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 generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? The majority of DPT schools supply some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Find out if the schools you are considering have a financial assistance department and see what kind of assistance is offered. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. Some physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial assistance may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapy school you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Williamstown NJ area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Williamstown New Jersey?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Williamstown NJ area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Williamstown, New Jersey
Williamstown is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) located within Monroe Township, in Gloucester County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the CDP's population was 15,567.
Before settlement in 1737, Williamstown was inhabited by the Lenni-Lenape tribe of Native Americans, from whom the town derived its original name, "Squankum." The name (Lenape for 'place where evil spirits dwell') was changed to Williamstown when the town's first post office was established, due to postal regulations that prohibited two towns from having the same name and there was an older Squankum located 60 miles (97 km) northeast. It is generally thought that 'evil spirits' referred to the abundance of mosquitoes in the area, a by-product of the low-lying swamps that characterized the area during that time period. In the early eighteenth century, Richard Penn sold what eventually became Williamstown to his grandson, John Williams, who divided and resold the land in lots to settlers and for whom the town was eventually renamed. The town was officially incorporated as Monroe Township in March 1859, with Williamstown as meeting place to vote and have town discussions. A municipal court was established in the Township of Monroe, in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 264 of the Laws of 1948. The first school was built in 1750 and stood where the Washington Hotel now stands. The local schools operated on a pay-as-you-go basis until the 1850s and were predominantly church-run. The area built its first high school in 1958.
The population of the town remained small until the early 1830s when the glass industry sprung up (Glassboro, a neighboring town, still bears the name borne of that commercial boom). The first company to form was called Free Will Glass Manufacturing and caused a population surge. The industry thrived until the early 1900s when agricultural businesses began to flourish in the face of the waning glass industry. One notable company, The John Sharp Canning Co., still operates today as Blue Ribbon. The Monroe Township Historical Society was formed as a volunteer organization on October 16, 1974, by Mayor John W. Sharp (of the Canning Company Sharps), dedicated to the preservation of items that reflect the history of Monroe Township.
Select the Ideal Physical Therapist School near Williamstown NJ
Selecting the best physical therapist program is an important first decision you need to make to start a gratifying career in the medical field. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you pick should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. But there are other relevant questions that you should ask concerning your college of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapist school, keep in mind that many factors will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You might decide to visit different campuses to see their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me accomplish 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 field so you can make the ideal selection. And with the proper training and education, you can achieve your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Williamstown NJ.
A Few More Interesting Locations in New Jersey
Business Results 1 - 10 of 239