How to Find the Right Physical Therapist School near Elmendorf Afb Alaska
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near Elmendorf Afb AK is a critical first step to beginning a rewarding career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated due to illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the appropriate training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to investigate the ones you are thinking about to ensure they will supply a quality education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is choose a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be evaluated besides cost and location. But before we cover what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists work in diverse settings, including Elmendorf Afb AK private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they design a course of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks
- Sports injuries
- Burn injuries
- Hip Replacement
- Cerebral Palsy
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Elmendorf Afb AK health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Available
There are 3 physical therapy degrees available for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the single 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 progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief descriptions of degrees that are available in the Elmendorf Afb AK area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to become physical therapy assistants, or can 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 degrees are most often made available by junior or community colleges, and require two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a component of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy education to prep students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically require 4 years to complete and commonly include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required 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 3 years to complete, making the overall commitment seven years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal element in addition to the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in a number of 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 USA. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Online Colleges
While not as prevalent as the on campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapist 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 necessitates 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 can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Elmendorf Afb AK residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition can be somewhat lower than similar on campus options, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
At this point you most likely have made a decision regarding several of your initial queries, including the kind of physical therapist degree you intend to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT colleges within the Elmendorf Afb AK area and throughout Alaska, you’ll have to research other qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of school choices. Furthermore, you want to be sure that you choose the school 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 therapy schools you are considering. Ask each of the potential schools these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Ask if the programs you are looking at have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As earlier mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you select an online school, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist program and school you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapy 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 can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Get in touch with several Elmendorf Afb AK physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your program options. It might also be prudent to contact the Alaska Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two useful statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapy programs you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might mean that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Elmendorf Afb AK area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also verifies that the school has a large network of contacts to assist students get internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you enroll in furnishes both exceptional training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapy colleges you are interested in have partnerships with Elmendorf Afb AK clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to obtain practical training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may help graduates and students form professional relationships in the Elmendorf Afb healthcare community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Elmendorf Afb AK residence. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you choose 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 commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Most DPT colleges provide some type of financial support to their potential students. Ask if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance department and find out what kind of aid is offered. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial assistance might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapy college you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Elmendorf Afb AK area, check that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Elmendorf Afb Alaska?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Elmendorf Afb AK area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Joint Base Elmendorf–Richardson
Joint Base Elmendorf–Richardson (IATA: EDF, ICAO: PAED, FAA LID: EDF) is a United States military facility in Anchorage, the largest city in Alaska. It is an amalgamation of the United States Air Force's Elmendorf Air Force Base and the United States Army's Fort Richardson, which were merged in 2010.
The adjacent facilities were officially combined by the 2005 Base Closure and Realignment Commission. Its mission is to support and defend U.S. interests in the Asia Pacific region and around the world by providing units who are ready for worldwide air power projection and a base that is capable of meeting PACOM's theater staging and throughput requirements.
It is the home of the Headquarters, Alaskan Command (ALCOM), Alaskan NORAD Region (ANR), Joint Task Force-Alaska (JTF-AK), Eleventh Air Force (11 AF), the 673d Air Base Wing, the 3rd Wing, the 176th Wing and other Tenant Units.
Degree Required For Physical Therapist Elmendorf Afb AK
Selecting the best physical therapy college is a necessary first decision you have to make to launch a gratifying career in the health care field. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you pick should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. But there are additional critical 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 Degree Required For Physical Therapist. However, as you commence your search for a physical therapist school keep in mind that numerous factors will lead you toward your final decision. You may want to go to different schools to view their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me realize 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 appropriate selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can achieve your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Elmendorf Afb AK.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Alaska
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