How to Choose a Physical Therapist College near Weymouth 02188
Receiving a physical therapist degree near Weymouth MA is an important first step to launching a rewarding career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated as a result of injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the necessary training and education. A PT must also become licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate the ones you are considering to ensure they will deliver a quality education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is choose a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be considered along with cost and location. 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 Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists work in a variety of settings, such as Weymouth MA private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a course of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Weymouth MA medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy field, it is quite 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 Therapist Degrees Offered
There are 3 physical therapist degrees offered for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single degree that is offered to become 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. Following are brief summaries of degrees that are offered in the Weymouth MA area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are most often offered by junior or community colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually part of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy training to prepare candidates to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they typically require 4 years to complete and usually include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required in order to become a practicing licensed 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 seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an essential component in addition to the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not just for graduation but in some states for licensing as well.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer available in the USA. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Programs
While not as prevalent as the on-campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy programs offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Weymouth MA home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition can be somewhat lower than comparable on campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
By now you most likely have made a decision regarding some of your initial questions, like the kind of physical therapist degree you would like to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are so many PT colleges within the Weymouth MA area and across Massachusetts, you’ll need to research additional qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of school options. Furthermore, you need to be sure that you select the college that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are considering. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Find out if the schools you are looking at have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As previously 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 program, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy program and school you select are accredited, not just the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapist community. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Call several Weymouth MA physical therapy centers or other medical care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your college options. It may also be prudent to check with the Massachusetts Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two useful statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapy schools you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may suggest that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Weymouth MA area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care field is good or even outstanding. It also confirms that the program has a broad network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you enroll in furnishes both exceptional training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria for Massachusetts or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. Although licensing requirements vary 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 Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the physical therapy programs you are evaluating have relationships with Weymouth MA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to obtain practical training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may help graduates and students establish professional connections in the Weymouth health care community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type 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 allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy college they select will need to be within commuting distance of their Weymouth MA home. Students who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Support Provided? Most DPT colleges provide some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Inquire if the schools you are looking at have a financial assistance department and see what type of aid is offered. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. Some physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapist college you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Weymouth MA area, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Weymouth Massachusetts?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Weymouth MA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Weymouth is a city in Norfolk County, Massachusetts. As of the 2010 census, Weymouth had a total population of 55,643. Weymouth is one of 13 Massachusetts municipalities that have applied for, and been granted, city forms of government but wish to retain "The town of" in their official names. It is named after Weymouth, Dorset, a coastal town in England. It is the second-oldest European settlement in Massachusetts. Weymouth is considered one of the South Shore's more affordable towns and offers a short commute into Boston, MBTA bus and rail service and a town beach.
As of the 2010 census, there were 53,743 people, 22,435 households, and 13,595 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,174.2 people per square mile (1,225.4/km²). There were 22,573 housing units at an average density of 1,327.1 per square mile (512.4/km²). 64% housing units were owner-occupied and 35% of housing units were renter-occupied. The racial makeup of the city was 84.7% White, 3.1% Black or African American, 0.2% Native American, 5.5% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 0.6% from other races, and 2.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.1% of the population.
There were 22,028 households out of which 27.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.6% were married couples living together, 10.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.8% were non-families, 37% of which were non-family households with residents over 65 years of age. 30.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 3.08.
Pick the Ideal Physical Therapy Degree Program near Weymouth MA
Deciding on the best physical therapy program is an important first decision you have to make to start a fulfilling career in the health care field. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you decide on should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. But there are additional important questions that you should ask concerning your college of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapy school, keep in mind that many variables will lead you toward your final decision. You might want to visit each of the colleges to view their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me accomplish my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the proper education and training, you can fulfill your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Weymouth MA.
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