How to Enroll In the Right Physical Therapist Course near Whittier Alaska
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Whittier AK is a critical first step to launching a fulfilling career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled as a result of injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the appropriate training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to investigate those you are considering to make certain they will provide a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is enroll in a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be considered besides cost and location. But before we discuss 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 Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists practice in varying settings, such as Whittier AK private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to address the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to prevent any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries
- Heart attacks
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Fire injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Cerebral Palsy
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Whittier AK health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degree Options
There are 3 physical therapy degrees offered for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief descriptions of degrees that are offered in the Whittier AK area:
- Associate Degrees train students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are typically offered by community colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically part of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy education to ready students to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an essential initial step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they typically require 4 years to finish and often include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required 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 7 years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an essential component in addition to the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment 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 licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Schools Online
Although not as common as the on-campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the course of study may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Whittier AK home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition can be somewhat lower than similar on-campus options, and costs for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
By now you probably have made a decision regarding several of your preliminary questions, like the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the Whittier AK area and throughout Alaska, you’ll need to research other qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of college choices. Furthermore, you need to make certain that you enroll in the college that is best for you. That’s why we have put together a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering. Ask each of the competing schools these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Ask if the schools you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As previously mentioned, 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 program, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist community. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Contact some Whittier AK physical therapy clinics or other medical care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your school options. It might also be a good idea to contact the Alaska Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two relevant statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapist programs you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might indicate that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Whittier AK area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even excellent. It also affirms that the college has a broad network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you enroll in furnishes both exceptional training and a course of study that supports 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 therapy college. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing have partnerships with Whittier AK clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help graduates and students develop professional connections in the Whittier medical community and help with job placement once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are researching what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy college they decide on will have to be within travelling distance of their Whittier AK residence. Those who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically 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. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial assistance department and find out what type of help is obtainable. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. Some physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial assistance might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapy program you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Whittier AK area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Whittier Alaska?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Whittier AK area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Whittier is a city at the head of the Passage Canal in the U.S. state of Alaska, about 58 miles (93 km) southeast of Anchorage. The city is within the Valdez–Cordova Census Area. At the 2010 census the population was 220, up from 182 in 2000. The 2016 estimate was 214 people, almost all of whom live in a single building. Whittier is also a port for the Alaska Marine Highway.
The region occupied by Whittier was once part of the portage route of the Chugach people native to Prince William Sound. Later, the passage was used by Russian and American explorers, and by prospecting miners during the gold rush. The nearby Whittier glacier was named for American poet John Greenleaf Whittier in 1915, and the town eventually took the name as well.
During World War II, the United States Army constructed a military facility, complete with port and railroad near Whittier Glacier and named the facility Camp Sullivan. The spur of the Alaska Railroad to Camp Sullivan was completed in 1943 and the port became the entrance for United States soldiers into Alaska.
How Long Is A Physical Therapy Program Whittier AK
Choosing the ideal physical therapy college is a necessary first decision you need to make to launch a rewarding career in the healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you pick should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. But there are other critical questions that you need to ask concerning your college of choice as well. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on How Long Is A Physical Therapy Program. However, as you commence your search for a physical therapist college bear in mind that a number of factors will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You might decide to go to different campuses to view their facilities and talk with current 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 have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the best choice. And with the proper training and education, you can achieve your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Whittier AK.
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