Study Physical Therapy Petersburg AK

How to Choose the Right Physical Therapist College near Petersburg Alaska

Petersburg AK physical therapist in pool with patientObtaining a physical therapist degree near Petersburg AK is an essential first step to starting a rewarding career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated as a result of injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the appropriate training and education. A PT must also be licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate those you are looking at to make certain they will furnish a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is select a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be evaluated in addition to cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.

What is a Physical Therapist?

Petersburg AK physical therapy patient learning to walkPhysical therapists work in diverse locations, such as Petersburg AK private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help individuals that are struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they design a program of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Head injuries
  • Heart attacks
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Burn injuries
  • Hip Replacement
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Multiple Sclerosis

Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Petersburg AK medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degrees

Petersburg AK physical therpaist welcoming patientThere are three physical therapy degrees offered for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief summaries of degree levels that are available in the Petersburg AK area:

  • Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are usually offered by junior or community colleges, and take about 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 developed as pre-physical therapist training to prep candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally 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 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 complete, making the overall commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an essential element in addition to the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not solely 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 available in the United States. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapy Online Colleges

student attending physical therapy degree program online in Petersburg AKWhile not as common as the on campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy degrees available, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Petersburg AK residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition can be significantly lower than similar on campus options, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.

Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Programs

Questions to ask Petersburg AK physical therapy schoolsAt this point you probably have made a decision regarding some of your preliminary questions, like the type of physical therapy degree you want to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are so many PT colleges within the Petersburg AK area and throughout Alaska, you’ll have to look into other qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of college options. Also, you need to make sure that you select the program that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering. Ask each of the potential schools these questions before making an ultimate decision.

Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited?  Find out if the schools you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. 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 can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy program and school you select are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.

What is the Program’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Get in touch with a few Petersburg AK physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your college selections. It may also be a good idea to check with the Alaska Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.

What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two relevant statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapy colleges you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might indicate that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Petersburg AK area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care field is good or even excellent. It also verifies that the school has a large network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you choose provides both exceptional training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria 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) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental exams.

Are Internships Offered? Ask if the physical therapy colleges you are interested in have partnerships with Petersburg AK clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great way to receive practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can assist students and graduates develop professional connections in the Petersburg health care community and assist with job placement once licensed.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are reviewing 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 final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program also.

Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapy school they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Petersburg AK home. Individuals who have chosen 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 keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Help Offered? The majority of DPT colleges provide some type of financial aid to their prospective students. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have a financial assistance department and see what type of help is available. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. Some physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial assistance may be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapist program you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Petersburg AK area, check that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family obligations.

Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Petersburg Alaska?

If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Petersburg AK area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.

Petersburg, Alaska

Petersburg (Tlingit: Gantiyaakw SĂ©edi "Steamboat Channel") is a census-designated place (CDP) in Petersburg Borough, Alaska, United States. The population was 2,948 at the 2010 census, down from 3,224 in 2000.

The borough encompasses Petersburg and Kupreanof, plus mostly uninhabited areas stretching to the Canadian–American border and the southern boundary of the City and Borough of Juneau.[1][2] While the city of Petersburg ceased to exist as a separate administrative entity (the borough assembly created a service area to assume operation of the former city's services), the tiny city of Kupreanof remains separate within the borough.[3]

Tlingits from Kupreanof Island had long used a summer fish camp at the north end of Mitkof Island. Earlier cultures of indigenous people also used the island: remnants of fish traps and some petroglyphs have been carbon-dated back some 1,000 years.

Study Physical Therapy Petersburg AK

Selecting the ideal physical therapist program is an important first decision you must make to start a rewarding career in the medical field. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you pick should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. However there are additional relevant questions that you should ask regarding your college of choice as well. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Study Physical Therapy. However, as you begin your search for a physical therapy program bear in mind that numerous variables will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You might want to visit different campuses to see their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me accomplish my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can achieve your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Petersburg AK.

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