Category Archives: Rhode Island

Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – West Greenwich RI

How to Select a Physical Therapy School near West Greenwich 02817

West Greenwich RI physical therapy school student with volunteerGetting a physical therapy degree near West Greenwich RI is an important first step to starting a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been disabled due to injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the proper education and training. A PT must also become licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate those you are considering to ensure they will provide a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is choose a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be evaluated besides location and cost. But before we talk about 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’s Job Description?

West Greenwich RI physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in a variety of locations, such as West Greenwich RI hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help patients that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they design a course of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also try to stop 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
  • Head injuries.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other West Greenwich RI health professionals, 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. One thing to bear in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degree Options

West Greenwich RI physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapy degree options available for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the single degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short explanations of degree levels that are offered in the West Greenwich RI area:

  • Associate Degrees train students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are usually offered by community colleges, and require two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally part of the curriculum.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist training to prepare candidates to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they normally take four years to finish and often incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are required if you want to become a licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program must also be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to finish, making the overall investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal element along with the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not just for graduation but in some 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 even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapist Colleges Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in West Greenwich RIAlthough 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, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the curriculum can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s West Greenwich RI home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition might be somewhat less than comparable on campus options, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.

Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Schools

At this point you probably have come to decision concerning a few of your initial queries, like the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are numerous PT colleges within the West Greenwich RI area and across Rhode Island, you’ll have to research other qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of school options. Furthermore, you want to be sure that you pick the program that is ideal for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are considering. Ask all of the potential schools these questions prior to making a final selection.

Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited?  Find out if the programs you are looking at have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As earlier 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 school, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist program and school you select are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.

What is the Program’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy community. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Call a few West Greenwich RI physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your school selections. It might also be a good idea to check with the Rhode Island Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.

What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two important statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapy colleges you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might indicate 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 college’s job placement program, particularly in the West Greenwich RI area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps outstanding. It also confirms that the program has a broad network of contacts to help students gain internships or employment upon graduation.

Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you choose provides both exceptional training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria for Rhode Island or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental exams.

Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapy colleges you are assessing have partnerships with West Greenwich RI hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to get hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can help students and graduates form professional relationships in the West Greenwich healthcare community and help with job placement after licensing.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program also.

Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist college they select will have to be within driving distance of their West Greenwich RI home. Those who have decided 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 decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even 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 live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Help Provided? The majority of DPT schools provide some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Inquire if the colleges you are considering have a financial aid office and see what type of aid is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. A number of physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial assistance might be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapist college you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the West Greenwich RI area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near West Greenwich Rhode Island?

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

West Greenwich, Rhode Island

West Greenwich is a town in Kent County, Rhode Island, United States. The population was 6,135 at the 2010 census. West Greenwich was named for the historic town of Greenwich, Kent, England. It was separated from East Greenwich in 1741. Students go to Exeter-West Greenwich Regional School in West Greenwich.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 51.3 square miles (133 km2), of which, 50.6 square miles (131 km2) of it is land and 0.7 square miles (1.8 km2) of it (1.34%) is water. Escoheag Hill is located within the town and is the site of a former ski area.

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 5,085 people, 1,749 households, and 1,451 families residing in the town. The population density was 100.4 people per square mile (38.8/km²). There were 1,809 housing units at an average density of 35.7 per square mile (13.8/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 97.70% White, 0.28% African American, 0.24% Native American, 0.57% Asian, 0.24% from other races, and 0.98% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.69% of the population.

Select the Best Physical Therapist Degree Program near West Greenwich RI

Selecting the best physical therapist college is an important first decision you must make to launch a gratifying career in the medical profession. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you choose should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. However there are additional important questions that you need to ask pertaining to your school of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapy college, keep in mind that a number of variables will lead you to your final decision. You might decide to visit each of the campuses to view their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me accomplish 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 right choice. And with the proper training and education, you can achieve your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in West Greenwich RI.

A Few More Interesting Locations in Rhode Island

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