How to Find the Right Physical Therapist Degree Program near Windsor 27983
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Windsor NC is an essential first step to launching a fulfilling career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated due to injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the appropriate education and training. A PT must also become licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research the ones you are looking at to make sure they will furnish a superior education and meet 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 important qualifications that need to be considered in addition to location and cost. 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 is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists practice in varying settings, such as Windsor NC hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help people that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Windsor NC health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, 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 take note of for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Offered
There are three physical therapy degree options offered for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is available 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 progress to the doctoral level. Below are short explanations of degree levels that are available in the Windsor NC area:
- Associate Degrees train students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are usually offered by community 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 designed as pre-physical therapy education to ready candidates to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically require 4 years to finish and usually incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required if you want to become a practicing licensed physical therapist. The degree program also must 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 finish, making the overall investment of time seven years in most cases. Clinical training is an intregal element along with the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not just 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 offered in the USA. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Degrees Online
Although not as common as the more traditional alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist programs offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the college campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the curriculum may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Windsor NC residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition might be significantly less than similar on campus options, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
At this point you undoubtedly have come to decision concerning a few of your preliminary queries, such as the type of physical therapist degree you would like to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are numerous PT schools within the Windsor NC area and across North Carolina, you’ll have to explore other qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of school choices. Also, you need to make certain that you choose the college that is best for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. Ask each of the potential schools these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Find out if the programs you are considering have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. 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 select an online program, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy school and program you select are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist community. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, beginning with asking for 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. Call several Windsor NC physical therapist centers or other medical care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any advice about your school selections. It might also be prudent to contact the North Carolina Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two significant statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapy colleges you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may indicate that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Windsor NC area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care field is good or even outstanding. It also affirms that the school has a large network of contacts to help students obtain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you select furnishes both excellent training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing criteria for North Carolina or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapist schools you are assessing have partnerships with Windsor NC clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to obtain practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Windsor medical community and assist with job placement after licensing.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing what the average student to teacher 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 talk with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist school they decide on will need to be within driving distance of their Windsor NC residence. Individuals who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally 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 Assistance Provided? Most DPT schools supply some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Inquire if the schools you are looking at have a financial assistance office and see what type of aid is available. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. A number of physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial assistance may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapist program you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Windsor NC 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 courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Windsor North Carolina?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Windsor NC area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Windsor, North Carolina
Windsor is a town in Bertie County, North Carolina, United States. The population was 3,630 at the 2010 census, up from 2,283 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Bertie County. Windsor is located in North Carolina's Inner Banks region.
Bertie County Courthouse, Bertie Memorial Hospital, Elmwood, Freeman Hotel, Hope Plantation, Jordan House, King House, Liberty Hall, Rosefield, and Windsor Historic District are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Windsor is a notable Inner Banks kayaking destination. Canoes and kayaks are offered by the Town of Windsor and the Roanoke Cashie River Center to use on the generally calm waters of the Cashie River.
Pick the Right Physical Therapist Training Program near Windsor NC
Selecting the ideal physical therapist college is an important initial decision you have to make to start a rewarding career in the medical field. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you decide on should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. But there are additional relevant questions that you should ask regarding your school of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapist school, bear in mind that many factors will guide you toward your final decision. You may want to go to different colleges to view their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can achieve your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Windsor NC.
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