How to Select the Right Physical Therapy School near Thorne Bay Alaska
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Thorne Bay AK is an important first step to launching a rewarding career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated due to illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the proper education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to research the ones you are thinking about to ensure they will deliver a quality education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is choose a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be evaluated besides location and cost. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists work in a variety of settings, including Thorne Bay AK private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help patients that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Burn injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Cerebral Palsy
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Thorne Bay AK health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Available
There are 3 physical therapy degrees offered for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the single degree that is offered 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 progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief explanations of degrees that are available in the Thorne Bay AK area:
- Associate Degrees train students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are typically provided by junior or community colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a component of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy training to ready candidates to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally require 4 years to complete and usually incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement if you want to become a licensed practicing 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 complete, making the overall commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an essential component in addition to the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not only 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 eliminated and is no longer available in the United States. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Degrees
Although not as common as the on campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapist programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online part of the course of study may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Thorne Bay AK residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat less than comparable on-campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
By now you most likely have come to decision regarding a few of your initial questions, like the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are numerous PT schools within the Thorne Bay AK area and across Alaska, you’ll need to explore other qualifications as well in order to further reduce 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 put together a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering. Ask each of the competing schools these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Find out if the schools you are looking at have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As earlier 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 college, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy program and school you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are several ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Get in touch with a few Thorne Bay AK physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your school options. It may also be prudent 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 Program’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 looking at. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may mean that students left because of dissatisfaction 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 college’s job placement program, particularly in the Thorne Bay AK area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care field is good or perhaps exceptional. It also confirms that the college has a broad network of contacts to help students gain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapy programs you are reviewing have partnerships with Thorne Bay AK hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to receive practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may help students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Thorne Bay healthcare community and assist with job placement once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are considering what the typical 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 talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician 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 Thorne Bay AK home. Students who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Help Provided? Most DPT schools provide some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Ask if the colleges you are examining have a financial assistance office and find out what type of aid is available. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial aid might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapy college you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Thorne Bay AK area, confirm 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 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 Thorne Bay Alaska?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Thorne Bay AK area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Thorne Bay, Alaska
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 30.4 square miles (79 km2), of which, 25.5 square miles (66 km2) of it is land and 4.8 square miles (12 km2) of it (15.85%) is water.
Thorne Bay first appeared on the 1890 census as the unincorporated settlement of "Tolstoi Bay." It had 1290 residents, of which 14 were Native and 4 were White. It would not appear again until 1970 when it returned as Thorne Bay, also an unincorporated village. It was made a census-designated place (CDP) in 1980. It formally incorporated in 1982.
As of the census of 2000, there were 557.25 people, 219 households, and 157 families residing in the city. The population density was 541.8 people per square mile (8.4/km²). There were 327 housing units at an average density of 12.8 per square mile (4.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 92.46% Caucasian, 2.87% Alaska Native, 0.18% Pacific Islander, 0.54% from other races, and 3.95% from two or more races. 1.26% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
What Degree For Physical Therapy Thorne Bay AK
Selecting the best physical therapy program is a necessary initial decision you need to make to start a rewarding career in the medical field. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you choose should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. However there are other 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 What Degree For Physical Therapy. However, as you start your search for a physical therapist school bear in mind that many factors will lead you to your ultimate decision. You may want to visit each of the colleges to view their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me achieve 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 right selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can fulfill your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Thorne Bay AK.
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