How to Find the Right Physical Therapist Program near Craig Alaska
Earning a physical therapist degree near Craig AK is a critical first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated due to injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the proper education and training. A PT must also become licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate those you are thinking about to ensure they will provide a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is enroll in a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be evaluated along with cost and location. 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 Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of settings, such as Craig AK hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they design a course of treatment to address the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also strive to stop any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Burn injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Cerebral Palsy
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Craig AK health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degree Options
There are 3 physical therapy degree options available for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the single degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief descriptions of degrees that are available in the Craig AK area:
- Associate Degrees train students to be physical therapy assistants, or can 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 most often provided by community or junior colleges, and require two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a portion of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy training to ready students to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take four years to finish and usually incorporate an internship program of at least 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to finish, making the total investment of time seven years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal component in addition to the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, 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 attainable in the United States. A number of practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Schools Online
While not as common as the on-campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapy programs offered, more so 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 necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online portion of the program may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Craig AK residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition might be somewhat less than similar on campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning several of your preliminary queries, such as the type of physical therapy degree you would like to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are so many PT schools within the Craig AK area and across Alaska, you’ll need to explore additional qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of school choices. Also, you want to make certain that you pick the school that is best for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapist programs you are considering. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Find out if the programs you are reviewing have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As previously 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 enroll in an online program, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy school and program you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy community. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Call several Craig AK physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your school selections. It may also be a good idea to contact the Alaska Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two significant statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Craig AK area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also verifies that the school has a wide network of contacts to help students obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you enroll in provides both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria for Alaska or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapist programs you are assessing have partnerships with Craig AK hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great way to get practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help students and graduates establish professional connections in the Craig health care community and assist with job placement once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are researching what the average 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 an opportunity to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Craig AK residence. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically 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 Aid Provided? Most DPT schools supply some type of financial support to their prospective students. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at have a financial assistance office and see what type of help is offered. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial aid may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapy college you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Craig AK area, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Craig Alaska?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Craig AK area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Craig (Tlingit: Sháan Séet) is a first-class city in the Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area in the Unorganized BoroughA[›] in the U.S. state of Alaska. The population was 1,201 at the 2010 census, down from 1,397 in 2000.
Craig is the largest town on Prince of Wales Island, the fourth largest island in the USA. Craig is approximately 56 miles (90 km) by air northwest of Ketchikan and 220 miles (350 km) south of Juneau.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 9.4 square miles (24.3 km2), of which, 6.7 square miles (17.4 km2) of it is land and 2.7 square miles (7.0 km2) of it (28.94%) is water.
How Long To Become Physical Therapist Craig AK
Selecting the ideal physical therapy college is an important initial decision you need to make to start a rewarding career in the healthcare profession. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you decide on should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. But there are additional relevant questions that you should ask pertaining to your school of choice also. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on How Long To Become Physical Therapist. However, as you start your search for a physical therapy school keep in mind that a number of factors will guide you toward your final decision. You might want to go to each of the schools to view their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me realize 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 best selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can fulfill your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Craig AK.
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