How to Choose the Right Physical Therapist College near Glennallen Alaska
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near Glennallen AK is a critical first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated 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 acquire the necessary training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate those you are looking at to make certain they will supply a superior education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is enroll in a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be evaluated along with cost and location. But before we cover 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?
Physical therapists practice in diverse locations, including Glennallen AK hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help patients that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they design 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. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Cardiac arrest
- Sports injuries
- Fire injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Cerebral Palsy
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Glennallen AK health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone considering entering the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Offered
There are three physical therapy degrees available for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief explanations of degrees that are offered in the Glennallen AK area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are typically offered by community colleges, and require 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally part of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy training to prep candidates to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally require four years to finish and often include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated if you want to become a licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program must also 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 the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal component in addition to the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in several states for licensing also.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer offered in the USA. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Degrees Online
Although not as prevalent as the on-campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy programs 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 school campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the program may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Glennallen AK residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition might be significantly lower than comparable on-campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages may make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
By now you undoubtedly have come to decision regarding some of your preliminary questions, like the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are numerous PT schools within the Glennallen AK area and across Alaska, you’ll need to research other qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of college options. Also, you want to be sure that you choose the college that is ideal for you. That’s why we have collected a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapy colleges you are thinking about. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions before making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Ask if the programs you are considering have earned accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As earlier 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 select an online college, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist program and school you select are accredited, not simply the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are several ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Call several Glennallen AK physical therapist centers or other medical care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your college selections. It might also be a good idea to check with the Alaska Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two relevant statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapist programs you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might indicate that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Glennallen AK area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care field is good or even exceptional. It also verifies that the program has a large network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you choose provides both exceptional training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements 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) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the physical therapist programs you are assessing have relationships with Glennallen AK hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to obtain practical training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can help students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Glennallen healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist school they decide on will have to be within driving distance of their Glennallen AK home. Individuals who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often 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 Aid Provided? Most DPT colleges offer some type of financial aid to their prospective students. Ask if the schools you are considering have a financial aid department and find out what kind of assistance is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial assistance may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapy program you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Glennallen AK area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Glennallen Alaska?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Glennallen AK area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Glennallen /ɡlɛˈnælən/ (Ciisik’e Na’ in Ahtna) is a census-designated place (CDP) in the Valdez–Cordova Census Area in the Unorganized Borough of the U.S. state of Alaska. As of the 2010 census, the population of the CDP was 483, down from 554 in 2000.
Glennallen is located at 62°06′33″N 145°32′47″W / 62.10917°N 145.54639°W / 62.10917; -145.54639 (62.109170, -145.54639; Sec. 23, T004N, R002W, Copper River Meridian), in the Chitina Recording District and Game Management Unit 13.
It lies along the Glenn Highway at its junction with the Richardson Highway, 189 road miles (304 km) east of Anchorage. It is just outside the western boundary of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve.
Physical Therapy Assistant Online Courses Glennallen AK
Picking the ideal physical therapist school is a necessary first decision you must make to launch a gratifying career in the health care profession. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you pick should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are other important questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice also. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Physical Therapy Assistant Online Courses. However, as you start your search for a physical therapist college keep in mind that many variables will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You might decide to go to each of the colleges to see their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me accomplish my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the right selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can achieve your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Glennallen AK.
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