How to Find the Right Physical Therapy Training Program near Aiea 96701
Earning a physical therapist degree near Aiea HI is an essential first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled due to illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the proper education and training. A PT must also become licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to research those you are thinking about to make sure they will provide a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is select a college just because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be evaluated besides location and cost. 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 what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists practice in varying locations, including Aiea HI hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they develop a course of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Aiea HI health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Available
There are three physical therapy degrees offered for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief summaries of degrees that are offered in the Aiea HI area:
- Associate Degrees train students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are usually offered by 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 created as pre-physical therapy education to prepare candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take 4 years to complete and usually incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required 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 3 years to complete, making the total commitment 7 years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an important component along with the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in several states for licensing also.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has taken the place of the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer offered in the United States. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Schools Online
Although not as common as the on campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of 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 nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the program can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Aiea HI home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition may be significantly less than comparable on-campus options, and costs for commuting are reduced. And many 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 learn at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
By now you most likely have come to decision regarding some of your initial questions, such as the type of physical therapist degree you want to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are numerous PT colleges within the Aiea HI area and across Hawaii, you’ll have to explore additional qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of school choices. Furthermore, you need to make certain that you select the program that is right for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are considering. Ask each of the potential schools these questions prior to making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are considering have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As earlier 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 program, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy program and school you select are accredited, not simply the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT college’s reputation, beginning with asking for 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 also. Contact several Aiea HI physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your school options. It may also be prudent to check with the Hawaii Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two useful statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may indicate that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once 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 Aiea HI area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or perhaps excellent. It also confirms that the college has a broad network of contacts to help students get internships or employment after graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you choose provides both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements for Hawaii or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapist colleges you are interested in have relationships with Aiea HI clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help graduates and students form professional relationships in the Aiea medical community and assist with job placement after licensing.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Aiea HI residence. Those who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Help Offered? Most DPT schools offer some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are looking at have a financial assistance department and find out what kind of aid is available. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapist school you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Aiea HI area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Aiea Hawaii?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Aiea HI area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Aiea is located at 21°23′9″N 157°55′51″W / 21.38583°N 157.93083°W / 21.38583; -157.93083 (21.385900, −157.930927). According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 1.8 square miles (4.7 km2), of which, 1.6 square miles (4.1 km2) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) of it (5.71%) is water.
Kamehameha Highway (Hawaii Route 99) divides most of Aiea from the shore of Pearl Harbor (mostly US government property), and the parallel major thoroughfare, Interstate H-1, further cuts the town's commercial district into two distinct areas. These east-west routes (and other streets, such as Moanalua Road) connect Aiea to Pearl City, immediately adjacent on the west, and Halawa, adjacent on the east. The residential area known as Aiea Heights extends up the ridgeline above the town. The communities of Newtown Estates and Royal Summit are located at the western edge of Aiea near its border with Pearl City at Kaahumanu Street. Residents of the census-designated places (CDP) of Waimalu and Hālawa use Aiea in their postal address.
"ʻAiea" was originally the name of an ahupuaʻa, or Hawaiian land division. The name was derived from a species of plant in the nightshade family, Nothocestrum latifolium. It stretched from ʻAiea Bay (part of Pearl Harbor) into the mountains to the north. At the end of the 19th century, a sugarcane plantation was opened in the district by the Honolulu Plantation Company.
Select the Ideal Physical Therapist Training Program near Aiea HI
Choosing the right physical therapy school is a necessary initial decision you have to make to begin a fulfilling career in the medical field. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you decide on should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. However there are additional critical questions that you need to ask concerning your college of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapy program, bear in mind that many variables will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You might decide to visit different colleges to view their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me accomplish 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 right choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Aiea HI.
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