How to Pick a Physical Therapy Program near Wellington 80549
Earning a physical therapist degree near Wellington CO is an essential first step to starting a fulfilling career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated as a result of injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the appropriate education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to investigate the ones you are looking at to ensure they will supply a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is choose a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be considered in addition to location and cost. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover 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 Wellington CO hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help individuals that are struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they create a program of treatment to address the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Wellington CO 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 the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone considering getting into 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 extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Available
There are three physical therapy degree options available for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the single degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short summaries of degrees that are available in the Wellington CO area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are usually provided by junior or community colleges, and require 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a portion of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy education to prep candidates to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential initial step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take 4 years to finish and usually incorporate an internship program of at least 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). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to complete, making the total investment of time 7 years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal element in addition to the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in a number of 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 phased out and is no longer offered in the USA. Some practicing physical therapists holding 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 Therapy Online Schools
While not as prevalent as the on campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy degrees available, even more 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 in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Wellington CO home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition can be somewhat lower than similar on-campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
By now you most likely have made a decision regarding some of your initial questions, like the type of physical therapy degree you want to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are numerous PT schools within the Wellington CO area and across Colorado, you’ll need to explore other qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of school choices. Furthermore, you need to be sure that you pick the college that is right for you. That’s why we have collected a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions before making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Find out if the schools you are looking at have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. 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 imperative that both the physical therapist school and program you select are accredited, not just the school. Also, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy community. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, starting with requesting 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 Wellington CO physical therapist clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your program options. It might also be prudent to contact the Colorado 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 relevant statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapy schools you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may suggest that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Wellington CO area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also affirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you enroll in furnishes both excellent training and a course of study that supports the licensing criteria for Colorado or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internships Offered? Ask if the physical therapy colleges you are evaluating have relationships with Wellington CO clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great way to obtain practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can assist graduates and students form professional relationships in the Wellington medical community and help with job placement after licensing.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are considering what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist college they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Wellington CO residence. Students who have opted 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 importance. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Support Offered? The majority of DPT schools offer some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance office and see what type of assistance is available. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. A number of physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial aid may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapy school you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Wellington CO area, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Wellington Colorado?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Wellington CO area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Wellington (/ˈwɛlɪŋtən/; Māori: Te Whanganui-a-Tara [tɛ ˈfaŋanʉi a taɾa]) is the capital city and second most populous urban area of New Zealand, with 412,500 residents. It is located at the south-western tip of the North Island, between Cook Strait and the Remutaka Range. Wellington is the major population centre of the southern North Island and is the administrative centre of the Wellington Region, which also includes the Kapiti Coast and Wairarapa. It is the world's southernmost capital of a sovereign state. Wellington features a temperate maritime climate and is the world's windiest city, with an average wind speed of over 26 km/h (16 mph).
The Wellington urban area comprises four local authorities: Wellington City, on the peninsula between Cook Strait and Wellington Harbour, contains the central business district and about half the population; Porirua on Porirua Harbour to the north is notable for its large Māori and Pacific Island communities; Lower Hutt and Upper Hutt are largely suburban areas to the northeast, together known as the Hutt Valley.
Situated near the geographic centre of the country, Wellington was well placed for trade. In 1839 it was chosen as the first major planned settlement for British immigrants coming to New Zealand. The settlement was named in honour of Arthur Wellesley, the first Duke of Wellington and victor of the Battle of Waterloo.
Select the Right Physical Therapist School near Wellington CO
Choosing the right physical therapy program is an important initial decision you have to make to begin a gratifying career in the healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you decide on should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. But there are other critical questions that you should ask concerning your college of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapy school, bear in mind that numerous variables will guide you to your final decision. You might decide to visit each of the campuses to see their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me reach 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 appropriate selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can fulfill your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Wellington CO.
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