How to Find the Right Physical Therapy School near Dillingham 99576
Earning a physical therapist degree near Dillingham AK is an essential first step to starting a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been disabled due to injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the proper education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research those you are considering to make certain they will furnish a superior education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is select a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be considered 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 is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of locations, including Dillingham AK private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Dillingham AK health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degree Options
There are three physical therapy degree options offered for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short summaries of degrees that are available in the Dillingham AK area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are typically offered by junior or community colleges, and require two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually part of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist training to prepare students to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral preliminary step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they typically require four 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 intregal element in addition to the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in a number of states for licensing as well.
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 attainable in the USA. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Degrees Online
Although not as prevalent as the on campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapist degrees available, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online part of the program may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Dillingham AK home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat less than comparable on-campus options, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
At this point you probably have made a decision regarding several of your initial questions, like the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are numerous PT colleges within the Dillingham AK area and throughout Alaska, you’ll have to explore additional qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of college options. Also, you want to be sure that you choose the school that is right for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Ask if the programs you are reviewing 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 select an online school, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy program and school you choose are accredited, not just the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Get in touch with some Dillingham AK physical therapist clinics or other healthcare facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your program selections. It might also be a good idea to contact the Alaska Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two important statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapy schools you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may suggest that students left because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Dillingham AK area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even outstanding. It also verifies that the college has a large network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you choose furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internships Offered? Find out if the physical therapist colleges you are assessing have relationships with Dillingham AK clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to receive practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Dillingham medical community and assist with job placement after licensing.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are researching 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 students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy school they choose will need to be within commuting distance of their Dillingham AK residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Help Provided? Most DPT colleges offer some type of financial aid to their prospective students. Ask if the colleges you are considering have a financial aid office and find out what kind of aid is available. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. Some physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial assistance may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapy program you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Dillingham AK area, check 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 have to enroll in. Also, learn 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 Dillingham Alaska?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Dillingham AK area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Dillingham /ˈdɪlɪŋhæm/ (Curyuk in Central Alaskan Yup'ik), also known as Curyung and (for the southwestern section) Kanakanak, is a city in Dillingham Census Area, Alaska, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city was 2,329, down from 2,466 in 2000.
Dillingham is on Nushagak Bay at the mouth of the Nushagak River, an inlet of Bristol Bay, an arm of the Bering Sea in the North Pacific, in southwestern Alaska. It is located at 59°02′48″N 158°30′31″W / 59.04667°N 158.50861°W / 59.04667; -158.50861 (59.046751, -158.508665).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 36.3 square miles (94.1 km2). 33.6 square miles (86.9 km2) of it is land, and 2.8 square miles (7.2 km2) of it (7.64%) is water. This may change as the City of Dillingham will likely petition the State of Alaska to increase the size of its boundaries to include most of Nushagak Bay and Wood River, to gain revenue from the Nushagak District and Wood River Special Harvest Area commercial salmon fisheries.
Enroll in the Right Physical Therapy School near Dillingham AK
Selecting the ideal physical therapist program is a necessary initial decision you must make to start a rewarding career in the healthcare profession. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you select should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. But there are additional important questions that you need to ask pertaining to your school of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapist college, bear in mind that many factors will guide you to your ultimate decision. You might want to go to different schools to view their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school 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 options so you can make the right selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can fulfill your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Dillingham AK.
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