How to Pick a Physical Therapy College near West Dover 05356
Getting a physical therapist degree near West Dover VT is a critical first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been disabled as a result of injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the proper education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research those you are considering to ensure they will furnish a quality education and satisfy 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 lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be considered along with cost and location. But before we talk about 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 work in a variety of locations, including West Dover VT private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they develop a course of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also strive to stop any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other West Dover VT health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Available
There are three physical therapy degrees available for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief explanations of degree levels that are available in the West Dover VT 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 obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are usually provided by junior or community colleges, and take about two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a portion of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist training to prepare students to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically take 4 years to complete and often incorporate 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). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to finish, making the total commitment seven years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential component in addition to the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in some 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 attainable in the USA. A number of practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Degrees Online
Although not as prevalent as the on campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the school campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online part of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s West Dover VT home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition might be significantly less than similar on campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
By now you most likely have come to decision concerning some of your initial queries, such as the kind of physical therapy degree you want to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are so many PT colleges within the West Dover VT area and across Vermont, you’ll need to look into other qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of school options. Also, you want to be sure that you enroll in the program that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Find out if the programs you are considering have earned accreditation from a national or a regional agency. 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 choose an online program, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy school and program you choose are accredited, not just the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are several ways you can look into a PT college’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Contact a few West Dover VT physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your program options. It might also be a good idea to contact the Vermont Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of important statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapist schools you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might indicate that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the West Dover VT area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care community is good or perhaps excellent. It also affirms that the college has a broad network of contacts to help students get internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you select provides both exceptional training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria for Vermont or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internships Provided? Find out if the physical therapy colleges you are interested in have relationships with West Dover VT hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to receive hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can help graduates and students form professional connections in the West Dover medical community and assist with job placement once licensed.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they decide on will need to be within travelling distance of their West Dover VT 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 local 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 perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Most DPT colleges supply some type of financial support to their prospective students. Find out if the colleges you are considering have a financial aid office and see what kind of assistance is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. Some physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial assistance may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapist college you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the West Dover VT area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near West Dover Vermont?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the West Dover VT area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
West Dover, Vermont
West Dover is a village in the central part of Dover, Vermont. The village center, located on Vermont Route 100 at Cross Town and Valley View Roads, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985 as the West Dover Historic District. The village is a major service point for the nearby Mount Snow ski area.
West Dover is actually located in south-central Dover, and extends along Vermont Route 100, as it follows the North Branch Deerfield River. The central portion of the village is strung along VT 100 between Cross Town Road in the northwest and Dorr Fitch Road to the southeast, shortly before VT 100 cross the river and turns south toward Wilmington.
West Dover was settled in 1796, when the area was part of Wardsboro, and was incorporated into Dover when that town was chartered in 1810. The village grew economically in the 19th century due to the construction of mills along the river. The first mill, a sawmill, was built in 1796, and was expanded to process wool through the first half of the 19th century. The mill complex was destroyed by fire in 1901, bringing an end to that source of economic activity. Only traces of the mill complex survive today, but the village has a fine assortment of Federal and Greek Revival buildings that give it its character. In the 20th century the village benefitted from the state's promotion of the out-of-state purchase of farms for recreational purposes, and the growth of the nearby ski areas.
Choose the Ideal Physical Therapy College near West Dover VT
Choosing the ideal physical therapy program is a necessary initial decision you need to make to launch a rewarding career in the health care profession. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you choose should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. However there are additional important questions that you should ask pertaining to your college of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapy school, keep in mind that many variables will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You might want to visit each of the campuses to see their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me achieve my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the right choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in West Dover VT.
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