How to Choose a Physical Therapist School near Woodward 73801
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Woodward OK is a critical first step to launching a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated due to injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the appropriate training and education. A PT must also be licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate the ones you are looking at to make sure they will deliver a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is enroll in a college just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must 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 what the educational options are.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists practice in diverse settings, including Woodward OK hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help patients that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they design a program of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Woodward OK health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy field, it is quite 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 Therapy Degrees Available
There are 3 physical therapist degrees available for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short explanations of degree levels that are offered in the Woodward OK area:
- Associate Degrees train students to practice as 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 programs are typically provided by community colleges, and require 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically part of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist training to ready students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral preliminary step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to complete and commonly 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). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to complete, making the total commitment seven years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal component along with the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in a number of states for licensing also.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer attainable in the United States. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Colleges
While not as common as the on campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online part of the course of study may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Woodward OK residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition might be significantly lower than similar on-campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
At this point you undoubtedly have come to decision concerning several of your preliminary queries, like the type of physical therapy degree you would like to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are so many PT schools within the Woodward OK area and across Oklahoma, you’ll need to research additional qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of school choices. Moreover, you want to be sure that you select the program that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. Ask each of the competing schools these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Find out if the schools you are considering have received 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 select an online program, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy program and school you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT school’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Call some Woodward OK physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your school selections. It may also be prudent to check with the Oklahoma 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 Rate? There are a two significant statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may indicate that students left due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Woodward OK area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even outstanding. It also affirms that the program has a wide network of contacts to assist students get internships or employment after graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you select furnishes both superior training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements for Oklahoma or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Provided? Find out if the physical therapy colleges you are evaluating have associations with Woodward OK hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to get practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Woodward medical community and assist with job placement after licensing.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are researching what the typical teacher to student 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 some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Woodward OK home. Individuals who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Aid Provided? The majority of DPT schools supply some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are looking at have a financial assistance department and find out what kind of assistance is offered. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial aid might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapy program you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Woodward OK area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Woodward Oklahoma?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Woodward OK area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
The area was historically occupied by the Kiowa, Comanche, Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes. European-American settlers established the town in 1887 after construction of the railroad to that point for shipping cattle to markets. The town was on the Great Western Cattle Trail. In the 19th century, it was one of the most important depots in the Oklahoma Territory for shipping cattle to the East. As an important cattle town, it had the rough frontier bawdiness of the time. The United States opened up much of the area to European-American settlement by the Land Run of 1893, and migrants rushed into the area.
Boiling Springs State Park, named for its artesian springs that seem to boil, has been established east of the city. Federal dockets were held annually in November through 1948, and sporadically at need after that.
For thousands of years, succeeding cultures of indigenous peoples inhabited the areas along the North Canadian River. The Plains tribes adopted use of the horse from the Spanish settlers in the 17th and 18th centuries, which greatly increased their range of nomadic hunting. Before the American Civil War, the historic Plains tribes of the Kiowa, Comanche, Apache, Cheyenne, and Arapaho occupied this area.
Choose the Best Physical Therapy Training Program near Woodward OK
Choosing the right physical therapist college is a necessary first decision you must make to start a rewarding career in the healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you decide on should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. However there are other critical questions that you should ask concerning your college of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapist school, bear in mind that numerous variables will guide you toward your final decision. You might decide to visit each of the colleges to see their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me achieve my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can achieve your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Woodward OK.
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