Category Archives: Pennsylvania

Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – Willow Street PA

How to Select a Physical Therapist College near Willow Street 17584

Willow Street PA physical therapy school student with volunteerGetting a physical therapist degree near Willow Street PA is a critical first step to starting a fulfilling career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been disabled 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 necessary education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research those you are looking at to make sure they will furnish a superior education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is choose a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be considered besides cost and location. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.

What Do Physical Therapists Do?

Willow Street PA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in diverse locations, such as Willow Street PA private practices, hospitals, 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 earlier touched on, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a course of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also strive to prevent any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Willow Street PA health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work under 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 routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degree Options

Willow Street PA physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapy degrees available for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short summaries of degrees that are offered in the Willow Street PA area:

  • Associate Degrees train students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are typically provided by community colleges, and take about two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a component of the curriculum.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist training to ready students to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require 4 years to complete and usually include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are mandated 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 7 years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an important component in addition to the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not only 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 phased out and is no longer offered in the United States. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapist Online Schools

woman attending physical therapy school online in Willow Street PAAlthough not as prevalent as the more traditional alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapy programs available, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the program can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Willow Street PA residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition can be somewhat lower than comparable on-campus options, and costs for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.

Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges

By now you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding several of your initial queries, including the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are so many PT colleges within the Willow Street PA area and throughout Pennsylvania, you’ll have to research additional qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of college choices. Moreover, you want to make sure that you select the college that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapy schools you are thinking about. Ask each of the potential schools these questions prior to making a final selection.

Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited?  Find out if the schools you are considering have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As previously stated, if you are pursuing a doctoral degree the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you enroll in an online program, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy program and school you choose are accredited, not just the school. Also, check 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 mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.

What is the College’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple 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 search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Get in touch with some Willow Street PA physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your school selections. It may 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 Percentage? There are a two useful statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapist schools you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might indicate that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Willow Street PA area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or perhaps outstanding. It also confirms that the program has a broad network of contacts to assist students get internships or employment after graduation.

Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you choose provides both superior training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria for Pennsylvania or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internships Offered? Ask if the physical therapist colleges you are assessing have relationships with Willow Street PA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent means to get hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist graduates and students establish professional connections in the Willow Street health care community and assist with job placement once licensed.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program also.

Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapy school they select will have to be within travelling distance of their Willow Street PA home. Students who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Help Offered? The majority of DPT schools supply some form of financial aid to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are considering have a financial aid office and find out what type of assistance is available. They at least should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. A number of physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial assistance might be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapy school you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Willow Street PA area, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Willow Street Pennsylvania?

If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Willow Street PA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.

Willow Street, Pennsylvania

Willow Street is a census-designated place (CDP) in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 8,908 at the 2016 census. In the early part of the 20th century the main thoroughfare in town was lined with willow trees on both sides for the length of the town, hence the community's name. As time marched on and the town grew, the road was widened and sidewalks were installed which required the trees be removed. Only a few of the original trees remain to this day.

As of the census[4] of 2000, there were 7,258 people, 3,203 households, and 2,091 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 1,340.9 people per square mile (518.0/km²). There were 3,323 housing units at an average density of 613.9/sq mi (237.2/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 98.26% White, 0.37% African American, 0.04% Native American, 0.51% Asian, 0.36% from other races, and 0.45% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.18% of the population.

There were 3,203 households, out of which 19.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.7% were married couples living together, 4.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.7% were non-families. 32.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 25.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.15 and the average family size was 2.69.

Enroll in the Ideal Physical Therapy School near Willow Street PA

Picking the ideal physical therapy college is a necessary first decision you have to make to start a rewarding career in the medical field. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you select should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. But there are other important questions that you need to ask regarding your school of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapist program, bear in mind that numerous factors will guide you to your ultimate decision. You may want to visit each of the campuses to see their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me accomplish my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the ideal choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Willow Street PA.

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