How to Find the Right Physical Therapy Program near Klawock Alaska
Getting a physical therapy degree near Klawock AK is an essential first step to launching a rewarding career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated due to illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the proper education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to investigate the ones you are considering to make certain they will supply a quality education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is enroll in a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be considered along with location and cost. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists work in diverse settings, including Klawock AK private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they create a course of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also strive to stop any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Cardiac arrest
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Fire injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Cerebral Palsy
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Klawock AK medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone considering entering the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees
There are three physical therapist degrees available for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the only degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short descriptions of degree levels that are offered in the Klawock AK area:
- Associate Degrees train students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are usually offered by community colleges, and require two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a portion of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist training to prepare candidates to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally take 4 years to finish and commonly include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to complete, making the total commitment 7 years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an important component along with the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in a number of 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 attainable in the USA. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Degrees Online
While not as common as the more traditional alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapy degrees available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online part of the course of study may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Klawock AK home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition may be somewhat lower than similar on campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
By now you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding a few of your initial questions, including the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT colleges within the Klawock AK area and across Alaska, you’ll have to explore other qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of school choices. Moreover, you need to make certain that you choose the school that is best for you. That’s why we have collected a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapy schools you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Find out if the schools you are considering have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As previously 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 can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy program and school you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing 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 Program’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapy community. There are multiple ways you can research a PT program’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Contact several Klawock AK physical therapy centers or other medical care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any advice about your program selections. It may also be prudent to check with the Alaska 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 lower rate may indicate that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Klawock AK area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even exceptional. It also verifies that the school has a broad network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you enroll in provides both exceptional training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the physical therapist programs you are assessing have associations with Klawock AK clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great means to receive practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist graduates and students form professional relationships in the Klawock healthcare community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Klawock AK home. Students who have opted to attend classes online naturally 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 keep in mind is that if you decide 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 often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Aid Offered? The majority of DPT schools provide some type of financial aid to their potential students. Find out if the schools you are considering have a financial assistance department and find out what kind of assistance is obtainable. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. Some physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial assistance may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapist college you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Klawock AK area, verify that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Klawock Alaska?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Klawock AK area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Klawock (Tlingit: Láwaak) is a city in Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area, in the U.S. state of Alaska, on the west coast of Prince of Wales Island, on Klawock Inlet, across from Klawock Island. The population was 755 at the 2010 census, down from 854 in 2000.
Klawock's first settlers were Tlingit who came from the northern winter village of Tuxekan. They used it as a fishing camp for the summer period, and called it by several different names: Klawerak, Tlevak, Clevak, and Klawak. The name "Klawock" is derived from the Tlingit name ɬawa:k, a subgroup of the Tlingit nation. In 1853 a Russian navigator referred to the village as "Klyakkhan", and in 1855 as "Thlewakh".
In 1868, European Americans opened a trading post and a salmon saltery; some years later, in 1878, a San Francisco firm opened the first cannery in Alaska. In the following decades, several others were established. A United States post office was established in 1882. The 1890 census recorded the town's population as 260.
Classes To Take For Physical Therapy Klawock AK
Deciding on the right physical therapy school is an important initial decision you have to make to start a gratifying career in the health care profession. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you select should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. But there are additional relevant questions that you should ask concerning your college of choice also. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Classes To Take For Physical Therapy. However, as you start your search for a physical therapy program keep in mind that numerous variables will lead you toward your final decision. You may want to visit different campuses to view their facilities and talk with 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 supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the best selection. And with the proper training and education, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Klawock AK.
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