How to Choose a Physical Therapy Program near Warren 02885
Getting a physical therapy degree near Warren RI is an important first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated due to injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the appropriate training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research those you are considering to make certain they will furnish a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is choose a college just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must 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 what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists practice in varying locations, including Warren RI hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a course of treatment to address the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also strive to stop any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Warren RI health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degree Options
There are 3 physical therapist degrees available for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief descriptions of degree levels that are offered in the Warren RI area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are typically offered by community or junior colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a component of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy education to prep students to advance 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 typically take four years to complete and often include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated in order to become a licensed practicing 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 three years to complete, making the overall investment of time 7 years in most cases. Clinical training is an important element in addition to the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in several states for licensing as well.
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. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Schools Online
While not as common as the on campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapist programs available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online part of the program can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Warren RI home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition can be somewhat less than comparable on-campus options, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning a few of your initial questions, such as the kind of physical therapist degree you would like to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are so many PT colleges within the Warren RI area and throughout Rhode Island, you’ll have to research other qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of college options. Also, you want to make sure that you pick the program that is best for you. That’s why we have put together a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapy schools you are thinking about. Ask all of the potential schools these questions before making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Ask if the schools you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a regional or a national 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 choose an online school, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy school and program you select are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy community. There are several ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Get in touch with some Warren RI physical therapist centers or other medical care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your college options. It may also be prudent to check with the Rhode Island Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of significant statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapy schools you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might suggest that students left due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Warren RI area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or perhaps outstanding. It also confirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you choose furnishes both superior training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the physical therapist schools you are interested in have relationships with Warren RI hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to obtain hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may help graduates and students develop professional connections in the Warren healthcare community and assist with job placement after licensing.
What Size 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 probably prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are researching what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. 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 talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Warren RI residence. Those who have chosen to attend classes online 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 consider is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Aid Provided? The majority of DPT schools supply some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are examining have a financial aid department and find out what kind of assistance is obtainable. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. Some physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial assistance may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapy school you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Warren RI area, make certain that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Warren Rhode Island?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Warren RI area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Warren, Rhode Island
Warren was the site of the Indian village of Sowams, located on the peninsula called Pokanoket (Mount Hope Neck). It was first explored by Europeans Edward Winslow and Stephen Hopkins in 1621. By the next year, Plymouth Colony had established a trading post at Sowams. In 1623, Winslow and John Hampden saved the life of Wampanoag Sachem Massasoit with medicine, gaining an important ally. In 1636, Roger Williams was banished from Salem, Massachusetts and fled to Sowams, where he was sheltered by Massasoit until he settled at Providence Plantations.
Permanent English settlement began east of the Indian village. In 1653, Massasoit and his oldest son sold to certain Plymouth Colony settlers what is now Warren and parts of Barrington, Rhode Island, Swansea, Massachusetts, and Rehoboth, Massachusetts. After the death of Massasoit, relations became strained between the Indians and the settlers, leading to King Philip's War in 1675. The English settlement at Sowams was destroyed during the war but was rebuilt. In 1668, the township was officially incorporated with the name Sowams; in 1691, the Plymouth Colony merged with the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
Warren was ceded to Rhode Island from Massachusetts in 1747. The town was named "Warren" after British naval hero Admiral Sir Peter Warren after a victory at Louisburg in 1745. At the time of cession in 1747, Barrington was unified with Warren, until it was separated again in 1770.
Choose the Ideal Physical Therapist Degree Program near Warren RI
Deciding on the right physical therapy college is an important initial decision you need to make to begin a fulfilling career in the health care profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you decide on should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. However there are additional important questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapist school, keep in mind that many factors will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You might decide to visit different colleges to view their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me achieve 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 ideal choice. And with the proper education and training, you can achieve your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Warren RI.
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