How to Select a Physical Therapist School near Waipahu 96797
Getting a physical therapy degree near Waipahu HI is an important first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated due to injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the proper training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research those you are looking at to ensure they will furnish a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is enroll in a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be evaluated besides cost and location. But before we cover what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists work in a variety of settings, including Waipahu HI private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they design a course of treatment to resolve 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 numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Waipahu HI medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone considering going into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Available
There are three physical therapy degrees available for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief descriptions of degree levels that are available in the Waipahu HI area:
- Associate Degrees train students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are most often provided by community or junior colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a component of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist education to prepare candidates to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to finish and often include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated in order to become a licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program must also 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 overall investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an essential element along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, 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 available in the United States. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Online Programs
While not as common as the on campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapist degrees available, more so 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 a sponsored internship. However, the online part of the program can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Waipahu HI home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition can be somewhat less than similar on-campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online option the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
By now you undoubtedly have come to decision concerning some of your preliminary queries, such as the type of physical therapy degree you want to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are so many PT colleges within the Waipahu HI area and throughout Hawaii, you’ll have to research other qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of school choices. Furthermore, you need to be sure that you select the program that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are considering have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As previously mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctoral degree the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you choose an online program, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist program and school you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Call a few Waipahu HI physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your program selections. It might also be a good idea to contact the Hawaii Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two useful statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapist colleges you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might indicate 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 help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Waipahu HI area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even excellent. It also verifies that the program has a broad network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you enroll in furnishes both superior training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements for Hawaii or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with 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 performed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapy colleges you are interested in have relationships with Waipahu HI hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to obtain hands on 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 form professional connections in the Waipahu healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy school they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Waipahu HI home. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online obviously 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 program that is out of state or perhaps 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 often charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Support Offered? The majority of DPT colleges supply some form of financial support to their potential students. Ask if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance department and find out what kind of help is available. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. Some physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial aid might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapist program you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Waipahu HI area, make certain that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative 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 may miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Waipahu Hawaii?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Waipahu HI area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Waipahu is a former sugarcane plantation town and now census-designated place (CDP) located in the ʻEwa District on the island of Oʻahu in the City & County of Honolulu, Hawaiʻi, United States. As of the 2010 Census, the CDP population was 38,216. The U.S. postal code for Waipahu is 96797.
Waipahu is the name of an artesian spring. In Hawaiian, Waipahu is derived from wai, meaning water, and pahū, meaning "burst or explode"; combined, Waipahu means "water forced up (as out of a spring)". The early Native Hawaiians took pleasure in the cool and clear water gushing from the ground and named this spring Waipahu. Before the Western civilization set foot in Hawaii, the Hawaiians considered Waipahu to be the capital of Oahu. Royalty in the Kingdom of Hawaii would often gather and enjoy the fresh water from the spring Waipahu.
In 1897, Oahu Sugar Company was incorporated, and its board of directors located the sugar mill in Waipahu. It had 943 field workers. There were 44 Hawaiians, including 10 minors; 57 Portuguese; 443 Japanese, 408 of them contract laborers; and 399 Chinese, 374 of whom were contract laborers. The company's managers from 1897 to 1940 were August Ahrens (1897–1904), E.K. Bull (1904–1919), J.B. Thomson (1919–1923), E.W. Greene (1923–1937), and Hans L'Orange (1937–1956).
Select the Ideal Physical Therapist Degree Program near Waipahu HI
Picking the best physical therapist program is an important initial decision you need to make to start a rewarding career in the health care field. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you enroll in should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. However there are other important questions that you need to ask regarding your college of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapy program, keep in mind that a number of variables will lead you to your final decision. You might want to go to each of the colleges to see their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me reach 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 field so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the proper training and education, you can achieve your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Waipahu HI.
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