How to Choose a Physical Therapist Degree Program near Wycombe 18980
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Wycombe PA is an important first step to beginning a rewarding career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated due to injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the proper training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate those you are thinking about to ensure they will supply a quality education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is select a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be evaluated besides cost and location. But before we cover what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists work in varying settings, including Wycombe PA private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help people that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they design a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Wycombe PA medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees
There are three physical therapist degree options available for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is attainable to practice as 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. Following are brief explanations of degree levels that are available in the Wycombe PA area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are most often provided by community or junior colleges, and require two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a component of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist training to ready students to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they normally take 4 years to finish and usually incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required if you want to become a practicing licensed 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 finish, making the overall investment of time seven years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an essential element along with the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in several 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 attainable in the USA. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Colleges Online
While not as common as the more traditional options, there are many accredited online physical therapy programs offered, more so 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 school campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the course of study can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Wycombe PA 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 similar on campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
At this point you undoubtedly have come to decision concerning several of your preliminary questions, like the type of physical therapy degree you want to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT colleges within the Wycombe PA area and across Pennsylvania, you’ll have to explore additional qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of school choices. Furthermore, you need to make certain that you pick the school that is right for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are considering. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions before making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Find out if the schools you are reviewing have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As previously mentioned, 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 college, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist program and school you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapist community. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Contact several Wycombe PA physical therapist clinics or other medical care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your program selections. It may also be a good idea to check with the Pennsylvania Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might mean that students left because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Wycombe PA area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or perhaps outstanding. It also verifies that the college has a broad network of contacts to help students gain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you choose furnishes both excellent training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing criteria for Pennsylvania or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapist programs you are assessing have associations with Wycombe PA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to obtain practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can help graduates and students establish professional connections in the Wycombe health care community and assist with job placement once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing what the average 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 a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapy school they pick will need to be within travelling distance of their Wycombe PA residence. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Support Offered? The majority of DPT colleges offer some form of financial support to their potential students. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid office and find out what kind of aid is available. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. Some physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial assistance might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapy program you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Wycombe PA area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Wycombe Pennsylvania?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Wycombe PA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Wycombe Air Park
Wycombe Air Park, also known as Booker Airfield (IATA: HYC, ICAO: EGTB), is an operational general aviation aerodrome located in Booker, Buckinghamshire, 2.4 nautical miles (4.4 km; 2.8 mi) south-west of High Wycombe, England. Wycombe air park celebrate its 50th year of opening on 25 April 2015. The airfield opened in 1941 as RAF Booker and was primarily involved in training during World War II, remaining a military establishment until 1965.
Wycombe Air Park (Booker Airport) has a CAA Ordinary Licence (Number P523) that allows flights for the public transport of passengers or for flying instruction as authorised by the licensee (Airways Aero Associations Limited).
The lease on the aerodrome is held by Airways Aero Associations, who run Booker Aviation from the airfield. They provide air traffic control, firefighting and other services to all the park users. The shareholding of AAA Ltd was sold in early 2014 to Heli Air.
Select the Best Physical Therapist Degree Program near Wycombe PA
Selecting the ideal physical therapy program is a necessary initial decision you must make to launch a fulfilling career in the health care field. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you pick should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. But there are additional relevant questions that you should ask regarding your school of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapy program, bear in mind that many variables will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You might decide to go to each of the colleges to see their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the best selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Wycombe PA.
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