How to Find the Right Physical Therapist School near North Pole 99705
Receiving a physical therapist degree near North Pole AK is an important first step to launching a rewarding career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated as a result of illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the appropriate training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s important to research those you are thinking about to make certain they will supply a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is choose a school just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be evaluated in addition to 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 varying locations, such as North Pole AK hospitals, health clinics, 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 people that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they create a course of treatment to address the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other North Pole AK medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone considering entering the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Offered
There are three physical therapy degree options offered for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short summaries of degree levels that are available in the North Pole AK area:
- Associate Degrees train students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are most often provided by junior or community colleges, and require 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a portion of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy education to prepare candidates to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they normally take four years to finish and commonly incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated in order to become a practicing licensed physical therapist. The degree program must also 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. Clinical or practical training is an intregal component along with the extensive 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 eliminated and is no longer offered in the United States. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Programs
While not as prevalent as the on-campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the program may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s North Pole AK residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition may be significantly less than comparable on-campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online option the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
By now you undoubtedly have come to decision concerning several of your initial questions, including the type of physical therapist degree you want to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT colleges within the North Pole AK area and throughout Alaska, you’ll have to research other qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of college options. Moreover, you need to make sure that you choose the school that is ideal for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Find out if the programs you are looking at have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As earlier 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 important that both the physical therapy school and program you choose are accredited, not just the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT school’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 agencies for their reviews also. Call a few North Pole AK physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your school options. It may also be prudent to contact the Alaska Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two useful statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapist schools you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may indicate 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 help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the North Pole AK area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even outstanding. It also affirms that the school has a large network of contacts to assist students get internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you enroll in furnishes both exceptional training and a course of study that supports the licensing criteria for Alaska or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the physical therapist colleges you are evaluating have partnerships with North Pole AK clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to obtain hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may assist students and graduates establish professional connections in the North Pole health care community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely want 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 teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they select will need to be within commuting distance of their North Pole AK residence. Students who have chosen 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 concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Support Provided? The majority of DPT schools offer some form of financial support to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are considering have a financial assistance office and see what kind of assistance is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. Some physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial assistance might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapist school you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the North Pole AK area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near North Pole Alaska?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the North Pole AK area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
North Pole, Alaska
North Pole is a small city in the Fairbanks North Star Borough, Alaska, United States. It is part of the Fairbanks, Alaska metropolitan statistical area. As of the 2016 United States Census, the city had a population of 2,232, up from 1,570 in 2000.
The name "North Pole" is often applied to the entire area covered by its zip code, 99705. This area stretches between Fort Wainwright and Eielson Air Force Base, and between the Chena River and the Tanana River, including subdivisions off of Badger Road, a loop road connecting the eastern edge of Fairbanks city limits with North Pole city limits, and in the nearby census-designated place of Moose Creek. Despite the name, the city is about 1,700 miles (2,700 km) south of Earth's geographic North Pole and 125 miles (200 km) south of the Arctic Circle.
The city is a summertime attraction for tourists visiting nearby Fairbanks and, due to its location on the Richardson Highway, those traveling to and from the Alaska Highway and Valdez. North Pole was home to two oil refineries, the town's major industry aside from tourism, but closed because of sulofane contamination in ground water. The larger refinery, operated by Flint Hills Resources, was a major source of jet fuel for Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. Tanker car traffic on the Alaska Railroad, entering and leaving the refinery, frequently bisects the city.
Choose the Right Physical Therapist Degree Program near North Pole AK
Selecting the right physical therapy program is a necessary first decision you must make to start a fulfilling career in the medical profession. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you enroll in 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 commence your search for a physical therapy program, bear in mind that numerous factors will lead you to your final decision. You might want to visit different schools to view their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the ideal choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in North Pole AK.
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