How to Pick a Physical Therapy Degree Program near Wahiawa 96786
Receiving a physical therapist degree near Wahiawa HI is a critical first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated as a result of injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the necessary training and education. 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 enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate the ones you are looking at to make certain they will deliver a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is enroll in a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be evaluated along with cost and location. But before we cover 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 Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of locations, including Wahiawa HI hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help people that are struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they design a program of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also strive to stop any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Wahiawa HI health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also supervise several 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 quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Offered
There are 3 physical therapy degrees offered for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short descriptions of degree levels that are available in the Wahiawa HI area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are usually offered by community or junior colleges, and require two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a portion of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist education to prepare candidates to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically take 4 years to complete and often incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required 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 three years to finish, making the overall investment of time seven years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal element along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in several states for licensing also.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer attainable in the USA. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Schools Online
While not as prevalent as the more traditional options, there are some accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the school campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the curriculum can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Wahiawa HI residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition can be somewhat less than comparable on campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online option the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
By now you undoubtedly have come to decision concerning several of your initial questions, including the type of physical therapist degree you want to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are so many PT colleges within the Wahiawa HI area and across Hawaii, you’ll have to look into other qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of college choices. Also, you need to be sure that you choose the school that is right for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Find out if the programs you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. 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 choose an online school, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist program and school you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Contact a few Wahiawa HI physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your school options. It may also be a good idea to check with the Hawaii Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two important statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapist colleges you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may mean that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Wahiawa HI area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even outstanding. It also verifies that the college has a broad network of contacts to assist students get internships or employment after graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you enroll in furnishes both superior training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria for Hawaii 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. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the physical therapist schools you are assessing have relationships with Wahiawa HI hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to obtain practical experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist students and graduates develop professional connections in the Wahiawa healthcare community and help with job placement after licensing.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapy college they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Wahiawa HI residence. Students who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school 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 don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? The majority of DPT colleges offer some type of financial support to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have a financial aid department and find out what type of help is offered. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. A number of physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program 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 confirm that the physical therapy program you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Wahiawa HI area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Wahiawa Hawaii?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Wahiawa HI area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Wahiawa (Hawaiian: Wahiawā) is a census-designated place (CDP) in Honolulu County, Hawaii, United States, on the island of Oahu. It is located in the Wahiawa District, on the plateau or "central valley" between the two volcanic mountains that comprise the island. In Hawaiian, wahi a wā means "space of the wa people". The population was 17,821 at the 2010 census.
Lakes and reservoirs are rare in Hawaii, and Wahiawa is at once unique in being surrounded on three sides by Lake Wilson (also known as Wahiawa Reservoir or Kaukonahua). The town must be accessed by either of two bridges on Kamehameha Highway (State Rte. 80) across the narrow north and south arms of the reservoir. Outside of the reservoir, the town used to be surrounded by military bases and agricultural fields, but development is making its way up from the increasingly urbanized southern portion of the central plain. Still, there are significant U.S. Army facilities here, including Schofield Barracks, Wheeler Army Airfield, and East Range, an Army training area extending into the hills south and east of town. Schofield Barracks alone is larger than Wahiawa. Wahiawa is also the home of the U.S. Navy's Naval Computer and Telecommunications Area Master Station Pacific.
Vehicular routes heading towards the North Shore from Wahiawa are Kamehameha Highway (State Rte. 80) to Haleiwa and Kaukonahua Road (State Rte. 801) to Waialua. Wheeler and Schofield are reached along Wilikina Drive (Wahiawa Bypass) (State Rte. 99), which bypasses Wahiawa from the south bridge, a road that eventually connects to both Kamehameha Highway and Kaukonahua Road northwest of town. Kamehameha Highway continues south (as State Rte. 99) past Wheeler to Mililani Town. However, the Interstate H-2 terminates at Wilikina Drive near the Kamehameha Highway intersection, and is a less congested route southward to Mililani and beyond to Pearl City and Honolulu via Interstate H-1. Kunia Road (State Rte. 750) runs from Wilikina Drive, between Schofield and Wheeler (on the bypass), then southward along the mostly still agricultural western side of the plain to Kunia and Waipahu beyond.
Select the Best Physical Therapy College near Wahiawa HI
Deciding on the right physical therapy school is a necessary first decision you have to make to launch a rewarding career in the medical field. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you enroll in should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. However there are additional critical questions that you need to ask regarding your school of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapist program, keep in mind that many variables will lead you to your ultimate decision. You might want to visit different schools to see their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me reach my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the ideal selection. And with the proper education and training, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Wahiawa HI.
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