How to Find the Right Physical Therapy Course near Kotzebue Alaska
Receiving a physical therapist degree near Kotzebue AK is an essential first step to beginning a rewarding career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated as a result of illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the appropriate education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research those you are looking at to make sure they will provide a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is choose a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be considered 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 Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of locations, including Kotzebue AK private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to address the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries
- Heart attacks
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Burn injuries
- Hip Replacement
- Cerebral Palsy
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Kotzebue AK health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with 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 kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Available
There are three physical therapy degree options offered for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short descriptions of degrees that are offered in the Kotzebue AK area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are usually made available by community or junior colleges, and require two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a component of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy education to ready students to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally take four years to finish and often incorporate 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). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to complete, making the total investment of time 7 years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an important element along with the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment 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 available in the USA. 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 implemented.
Physical Therapy Online Programs
While not as common as the on-campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapist programs available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online portion of the curriculum may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Kotzebue AK residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition may be somewhat less than comparable on campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
At this point you most likely have come to decision regarding several of your preliminary questions, such as the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are so many PT schools within the Kotzebue AK area and across Alaska, you’ll have to research additional qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of college choices. Also, you want to be sure that you select the college that is right for you. That’s why we have collected a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist programs you are considering. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Ask if the programs you are considering have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As earlier 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 school, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist program and school you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.
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 therapist community. There are several ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Call a few Kotzebue AK physical therapist clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insight 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 submitted against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two significant statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might mean that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Kotzebue 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 college has a large network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you choose provides both excellent training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapy colleges you are interested in have associations with Kotzebue AK clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to obtain practical training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can help graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Kotzebue health care community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are researching what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist college they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their Kotzebue AK home. Individuals who have decided to attend classes online obviously 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 even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? The majority of DPT colleges supply some form of financial support to their potential students. Inquire if the colleges you are examining have a financial aid department and find out what type of help is available. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. A number of physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial assistance might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapist college you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Kotzebue AK area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, find out 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 Kotzebue Alaska?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Kotzebue AK area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Kotzebue (/ˈkɒtsəbjuː/ KOTS-ə-bew) or Kikiktagruk (Inupiaq: Qikiqtaġruk [qekeqtɑʁʐuk]) is a city in the Northwest Arctic Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska. It is the borough's seat, by far its largest community and the economic and transportation hub of the subregion of Alaska encompassing the borough. The population of the city was 3,201 as of the 2010 census, up from 3,082 in 2000.
There is archaeological evidence that Inupiat people have lived at Kotzebue since at least the 15th century. Owing to its location and relative size, Kotzebue served as a trading and gathering center for the various communities in the region. The Noatak, Selawik and Kobuk Rivers drain into the Kotzebue Sound near Kotzebue to form a center for transportation to points inland. In addition to people from interior villages, inhabitants of the Russian Far East came to trade at Kotzebue. Furs, seal-oil, hides, rifles, ammunition, and seal skins were some of the items traded. People also gathered for competitions like the current World Eskimo Indian Olympics. With the arrival of the whalers, traders, gold seekers, and missionaries the trading center expanded.
Kotzebue was originally known as Qikiqtaġruk, which means "big island" in Iñupiatun, the language of the Iñupiat. Kotzebue gets its name from the Kotzebue Sound, which was named after Otto von Kotzebue, a Baltic German who explored the sound while searching for the Northwest Passage in the service of Russia in 1818.
Good Physical Therapy Colleges Kotzebue AK
Picking the right physical therapist college is an important first decision you need to make to launch a fulfilling career in the medical profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you choose should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. But there are additional critical questions that you need to ask regarding your school of choice also. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Good Physical Therapy Colleges. However, as you start your search for a physical therapy program bear in mind that a number of factors will guide you toward your final decision. You might want to go to different schools to see their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing 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 ideal selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Kotzebue AK.
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