How to Select the Right Physical Therapy Program near Delta Junction Alaska
Earning a physical therapy degree near Delta Junction AK is an important first step to launching a fulfilling career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been disabled as a result of 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 necessary education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate those you are looking at to ensure they will deliver a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is enroll in a school just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has cheapest 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 cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists practice in varying settings, such as Delta Junction AK private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they create a course of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries
- Cardiac arrest
- Sports injuries
- Burn injuries
- Hip Replacement
- Cerebral Palsy
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Delta Junction AK health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Available
There are 3 physical therapist degrees available for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short summaries of degrees that are offered in the Delta Junction AK area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are typically provided by community colleges, and take about two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically part of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy training to ready students to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally require 4 years to finish and usually include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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 three years to finish, making the total investment of time seven years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal element along with the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not only 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 eliminated and is no longer offered in the United States. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Online Schools
While not as common as the more traditional alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online portion of the program can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Delta Junction AK home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition can be significantly less than similar on-campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
By now you undoubtedly have come to decision concerning several of your preliminary queries, like the kind of physical therapist degree you would like to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are so many PT schools within the Delta Junction AK area and across Alaska, you’ll need to look into other qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of college choices. Moreover, you need to be sure that you choose the program that is ideal for you. That’s why we have put together a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. Ask each of the competing schools these questions before making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are considering have received 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 enroll in an online college, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist program and school you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist community. There are several ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, beginning 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 agencies for their reviews as well. Contact several Delta Junction AK physical therapist clinics or other healthcare facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your program selections. It might also be prudent to contact the Alaska Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of important statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may mean that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Delta Junction AK area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or perhaps excellent. It also confirms that the program has a wide network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you enroll in furnishes both superior training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing criteria for Alaska or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the physical therapist programs you are reviewing have relationships with Delta Junction AK hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist students and graduates develop professional connections in the Delta Junction healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are looking at what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapy school they decide on will need to be within travelling distance of their Delta Junction AK residence. Individuals who have opted to attend classes online 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 program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Support Provided? The majority of DPT schools supply some form of financial support to their potential students. Ask if the schools you are examining have a financial aid department and find out what type of help is available. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. Some physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial aid may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapist program you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Delta Junction AK area, check that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Delta Junction Alaska?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Delta Junction AK area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Delta Junction, Alaska
Delta Junction is a city in the Southeast Fairbanks Census Area, Alaska, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 958, up from 840 in 2000. The 2016 estimate was down to 934. The city is located a short distance south of the confluence of the Delta River with the Tanana River, which is at Big Delta. It is about 160 km (99 mi) south of Fairbanks. Native inhabitants are Tanana Athabaskans.
The early history of non-native settlement in the area occurred at the river crossing at Big Delta and is found at the entry, Big Delta, Alaska. In 1904, the town first served as a telegraph station. In 1928, a herd of 23 bison were brought from the National Bison Range in Montana to an area south of Big Delta to provide an additional game species for hunters. Buffalo Center, a small community near the center of present-day Delta Junction, was named because of their presence, especially during the winter months. The huge animals were troublesome, and sometimes made landings dangerous at nearby Allen Army Airfield.
The herd is now kept at several hundred animals by the annual issuance of hunting permits. In the early 1980s, the 90,000-acre (360 km2) Delta Junction Bison Range, south of the Alaska Highway and between Ft. Greely and the Little Gerstle River was established; the range is now managed by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to provide fall habitat for bison to reduce farm depredations and to provide habitat for other wildlife.
How Many Years Of College To Become A Physical Therapist Delta Junction AK
Selecting the right physical therapy college is an important first decision you must make to begin a gratifying career in the health care field. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you select should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are other relevant questions that you need to ask regarding your college of choice as well. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on How Many Years Of College To Become A Physical Therapist. However, as you commence your search for a physical therapy school keep in mind that a number of variables will guide you to your final decision. You might decide to visit each of the schools to view their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me reach 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 education and training, you can achieve your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Delta Junction AK.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Alaska