How to Enroll In a Physical Therapist Training Program near Wilmerding 15148
Receiving a physical therapist degree near Wilmerding PA is a critical first step to beginning a rewarding career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated due to illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the appropriate education and training. A PT must also be licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate the ones you are looking at to make sure they will deliver a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is enroll in a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be evaluated along with location and cost. But before we talk about 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 practice in a variety of locations, such as Wilmerding PA hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they create a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also strive to stop any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Wilmerding PA health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degree Options
There are three physical therapy degree options available for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is available to practice as 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 brief summaries of degree levels that are offered in the Wilmerding PA area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are typically offered by community or junior colleges, and require two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually a portion of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy training to prepare students to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally take four years to finish and often include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated if you want to become a licensed practicing 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 three years to complete, making the overall commitment seven years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal element along with the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in some 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 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 mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Schools Online
Although not as common as the on campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapist programs available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online part of the course of study can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Wilmerding PA home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition may be significantly lower than comparable on-campus options, and costs for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
At this point you undoubtedly have come to decision concerning several of your preliminary questions, such as the type of physical therapist degree you want to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are so many PT colleges within the Wilmerding PA area and throughout Pennsylvania, you’ll have to look into other qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of school options. Furthermore, you need to make certain that you choose the program that is right for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapy colleges you are thinking about. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Find out if the schools you are reviewing 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 program, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are several ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Contact some Wilmerding PA physical therapist clinics or other medical care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your school selections. It might also be prudent to contact the Pennsylvania Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may suggest that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Wilmerding PA area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even outstanding. It also affirms that the school has a large network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the school you select provides both exceptional training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements for Pennsylvania or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapy schools you are evaluating have associations with Wilmerding PA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to obtain practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may help graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Wilmerding medical community and help with job placement after licensing.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Small 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 a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Wilmerding PA residence. Those who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Help Offered? The majority of DPT colleges provide some type of financial aid to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance department and see what kind of assistance is obtainable. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. A number of physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn 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 pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Wilmerding PA area, verify 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, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Wilmerding Pennsylvania?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Wilmerding PA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Wilmerding is a borough in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 2,190 at the 2010 census. It is located 12 miles (19 km) southeast of Pittsburgh. At the start of the twentieth century, it had extensive foundries and machine shops of the Westinghouse Air Brake Company. Wilmerding is adjacent to the borough of Turtle Creek, which takes its name from a small stream that flows past both places.
George Westinghouse purchased land in the Turtle Creek valley in 1887 and 1888 as a site for his Westinghouse Air Brake Company and related facilities. Westinghouse then sold the land to the East Pittsburgh Improvement Company, incorporated in December 1888, to develop the site, and it began the sale of lots in June 1889.
Wilmerding's most notable historic structure is the Westinghouse Air Brake Company General Office Building (1889–1890, rebuilt 1896), designed by Frederick J. Osterling and now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Select the Ideal Physical Therapy Degree Program near Wilmerding PA
Deciding on the best physical therapy college is an important first decision you must make to start a rewarding career in the health care profession. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you enroll in should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are other relevant questions that you should ask concerning your college of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapy school, bear in mind that numerous factors will guide you toward your final decision. You might want to go to each of the colleges to view their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me accomplish my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the ideal choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can achieve your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Wilmerding PA.
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