How to Choose a Physical Therapist School near West Hartland 06091
Earning a physical therapy degree near West Hartland CT is an important first step to starting a rewarding career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated as a result of illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the proper training and education. A PT must also become licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate those you are considering to make sure they will provide a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is select a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be evaluated besides cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists work in diverse locations, such as West Hartland CT hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help people that are struggling with a lack of mobility and often pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they develop a course of treatment to address the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other West Hartland CT medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Offered
There are 3 physical therapist degree options available for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short descriptions of degree levels that are offered in the West Hartland CT area:
- Associate Degrees train students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are usually offered by community or junior colleges, and require 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a portion of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy training to prepare candidates to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally take four years to finish and usually incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement if you want to become a practicing licensed physical therapist. The degree program must also be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to complete, making the overall commitment 7 years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal component along with the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in some 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 available in the USA. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Degrees Online
Although not as common as the on-campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the school campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online segment of the course of study may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s West Hartland CT residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition can be somewhat less than similar on-campus options, and costs for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
By now you most likely have come to decision regarding several of your initial queries, including the kind of physical therapist degree you would like to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are so many PT schools within the West Hartland CT area and throughout Connecticut, you’ll have to research additional qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of college options. Moreover, you need to be sure that you pick the program that is right for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions before making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Find out if the colleges 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 school, it may 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, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Contact a few West Hartland CT physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your program options. It might also be prudent to check with the Connecticut 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 couple of relevant 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 left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the West Hartland CT area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even exceptional. It also verifies that the program has a large network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you choose furnishes both exceptional training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements for Connecticut 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 therapist school. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internships Offered? Ask if the physical therapist programs you are assessing have associations with West Hartland CT hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to get practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist students and graduates form professional relationships in the West Hartland healthcare community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. 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 speak with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they choose will need to be within travelling distance of their West Hartland CT residence. Those who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? The majority of DPT schools provide some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial assistance department and see what type of aid is available. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. Some physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial assistance might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapist college you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the West Hartland CT area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near West Hartland Connecticut?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the West Hartland CT area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 34.6 square miles (89.6 km2), of which 33.1 square miles (85.7 km2) is land and 1.5 square miles (3.9 km2), or 4.39%, is water. Bounded on the north by the Massachusetts border, Hartland is drained by the Farmington River, a tributary of the Connecticut River. The 42nd parallel north and the 73rd meridian west meet in the central western part of town.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,012 people, 707 households, and 583 families residing in the town. The population density was 60.9 people per square mile (23.5/km²). There were 759 housing units at an average density of 23.0 per square mile (8.9/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 98.31% White, 0.15% African American, 0.05% Native American, 0.60% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.20% from other races, and 0.65% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.60% of the population.
There were 707 households out of which 38.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 70.9% were married couples living together, 8.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 17.5% were non-families. 13.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.83 and the average family size was 3.12.
Pick the Right Physical Therapy Degree Program near West Hartland CT
Deciding on the right physical therapist college is an important initial decision you must make to launch a fulfilling career in the health care field. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you decide on should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. However there are other relevant questions that you should ask concerning your school of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapist program, keep in mind that numerous variables will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You may want to visit different colleges to see their facilities and talk with 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 ideal choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can fulfill your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in West Hartland CT.
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