How to Enroll In a Physical Therapist Training Program near Wynnewood 19096
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Wynnewood PA is an essential first step to starting a fulfilling career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled as a result of illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the appropriate training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to investigate the ones you are looking at to ensure they will deliver a superior education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is enroll in a college just because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be evaluated in addition to location and cost. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists practice in diverse locations, such as Wynnewood PA hospitals, health clinics, 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 touched on, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they create a course of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also try to prevent any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Wynnewood PA health specialists, 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. Something to bear in mind for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degree Options
There are 3 physical therapy degree options available for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief explanations of degree levels that are available in the Wynnewood PA area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are usually offered by community or junior colleges, and require two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally part of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist education to ready candidates to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically take 4 years to finish and often include an internship program of at least 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 three years to complete, making the total investment of time 7 years in most cases. Clinical training is an intregal element along with the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not only 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 phased out and is no longer attainable in the USA. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Colleges Online
While not as common as the on campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapy programs offered, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature 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 in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online part of the course of study can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Wynnewood PA home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat less than comparable on campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
By now you probably have come to decision concerning a few of your initial questions, such as the type of physical therapy degree you would like to earn, 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 Wynnewood PA area and throughout Pennsylvania, you’ll have to research additional qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of college options. Furthermore, you want to be sure that you select the school that is ideal for you. That’s why we have put together a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapist programs you are considering. Ask all of the potential schools these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Ask if the schools you are considering 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 enroll in an online college, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy school and program you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapist community. There are multiple ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Contact several Wynnewood PA physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your college options. It might also be prudent to contact the Pennsylvania Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two useful statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapy colleges you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might suggest that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Wynnewood PA area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care field is good or perhaps outstanding. It also affirms that the college has a wide network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you enroll in provides both exceptional training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria for Pennsylvania 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 college. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the physical therapist schools you are reviewing have relationships with Wynnewood PA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to get hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help students and graduates establish professional connections in the Wynnewood healthcare community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering 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 determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy college they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Wynnewood PA residence. Students 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 importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? The majority of DPT colleges offer some type of financial support to their prospective students. Find out if the colleges you are examining have a financial assistance department and find out what type of aid is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. Some physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial assistance might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapy school you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Wynnewood PA area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. 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 Wynnewood Pennsylvania?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Wynnewood PA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Wynnewood is a suburban unincorporated community, west of Philadelphia, that straddles Lower Merion Township, Montgomery County and Haverford Township, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, United States. It was named in 1691 for Dr. Thomas Wynne, William Penn's physician and the first Speaker of the Pennsylvania General Assembly. Lower Merion Township is the fifth-most-affluent town in the United States. Wynnewood is one of many neighborhoods on the historic Pennsylvania Main Line, and is the home of institutions such as Lankenau Hospital, St. Charles Borromeo Seminary,Palmer Theological Seminary, and Friends' Central School.
Wynnewood is neither an incorporated area nor a census-designated place; all data is for its ZIP code 19096. As of 2010 Census, there were 13,572 people and 5,436 households residing in the community. In 2000, the population density was 3,882 people per square mile. The racial makeup of the community was 92.9% White, 3.2% Asian, 2.5% African American, 0.40% from other races, and 1.0% from two or more races. 1.2% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
The median income for a household in the community was $86,861, and the median income for a family was $111,683. The per capita income for the community was $51,543. About 0.9% of families and 2.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.7% of those under age 18 and 10.1% of those age 65 or over.
Select the Right Physical Therapist College near Wynnewood PA
Choosing the ideal physical therapist college is a necessary first decision you must make to start a gratifying career in the health care profession. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you select should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. However there are other important questions that you should ask pertaining to your college of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapist college, bear in mind that many variables will lead you to your final decision. You may want to go to each of the colleges to see their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me achieve my goal of becoming a practicing licensed 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 choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Wynnewood PA.
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