How to Choose a Physical Therapy Training Program near Galena 99741
Receiving a physical therapist degree near Galena AK is an important first step to launching a rewarding career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated as a result of injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the necessary education and training. A PT must also be licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to investigate the ones you are thinking about to make sure they will furnish a quality education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is select a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be considered in addition to cost and location. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists work in diverse locations, such as Galena AK private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they design a course of treatment to address the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also strive to prevent any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Galena AK medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Offered
There are 3 physical therapist degree options offered for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the single degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short summaries of degrees that are available in the Galena AK area:
- Associate Degrees train students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are most often provided by junior or community colleges, and require 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a portion of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist education to prep candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to complete and often include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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 total commitment 7 years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an important element along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion 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 phased out and is no longer offered in the United States. Some licensed 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 Therapy Programs Online
Although not as common as the more traditional alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapist programs available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online part of the program can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Galena AK home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition may be significantly lower 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 right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning some of your initial questions, like the kind of physical therapist degree you would like to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are so many PT colleges within the Galena AK area and throughout Alaska, you’ll need to explore additional qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of college options. Moreover, you need to make certain that you select the program that is best for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are considering. Ask each of the potential schools these questions before making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Find out if the programs you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As earlier stated, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you enroll in an online program, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist program and school you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are a number of ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Get in touch with several Galena AK physical therapy clinics or other medical care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your college selections. It may also be a good idea to contact the Alaska Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of significant statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapy schools you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A low 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 college’s job placement program, particularly in the Galena AK area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care community is good or perhaps excellent. It also verifies that the program has a wide network of contacts to help students obtain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you choose provides both superior training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the physical therapist programs you are reviewing have associations with Galena AK hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to obtain practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can help students and graduates develop professional connections in the Galena healthcare community and help with job placement after licensing.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on 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 opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they choose will have to be within travelling distance of their Galena AK home. Individuals who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern 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 decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually 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 Support Provided? The majority of DPT schools provide some type of financial assistance to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are examining have a financial aid office and find out what type of assistance is offered. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. A number of physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapist program you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Galena AK area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Galena Alaska?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Galena AK area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Galena (/ɡəˈliːnə/) (Notaalee Denh in Koyukon) is a city in the Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area in the U.S. state of Alaska. At the 2010 census the population was 470, with a 2016 estimate of 488 inhabitants. Galena was established in 1918, and a military airfield was built adjacent to the city during World War II. The city was incorporated in 1971.
The Koyukon Athabascans had seasonal camps in the area and moved as the wild game migrated. In the summer many families floated on rafts to the Yukon River to fish for salmon. There were 12 summer fish camps located on the Yukon River between the Koyukuk River and the Nowitna River. Galena was established in 1918 near an Athabascan fish camp called Henry's Point. It became a supply and point for nearby lead ore mines that opened in 1918 and 1919.
In 1941 and 1942, during World War II, a military air field was built adjacent to the civilian airport, and the two facilities shared the runway and flight line facilities. This air field was designated Galena Air Force Station shortly after the split of the United States Air Force from the United States Army, which occurred as a result of the National Security Act of 1947. During the 1950s, the construction of additional military facilities at Galena and the nearby Campion Air Force Station, in support of Galena's mission as a forward operating base under the auspices of the 5072nd Air Base Group, headquartered at Elmendorf Air Force Base, near Anchorage, provided improvements to the airport and the local infrastructure, causing economic growth for the area.
Choose the Best Physical Therapy Training Program near Galena AK
Choosing the ideal physical therapy school is a necessary initial decision you must make to start a gratifying career in the health care field. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you select should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. However there are additional relevant questions that you need to ask regarding your college of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapy program, keep in mind that a number of variables will guide you to your final decision. You may decide to go to each of the colleges to view their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me realize 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 options so you can make the best choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Galena AK.
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