How to Select the Right Physical Therapist Program near Metlakatla Alaska
Earning a physical therapist degree near Metlakatla AK is an important first step to starting a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated as a result of illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the proper education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to investigate those you are considering to make certain they will deliver a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is enroll in a school just because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be considered along with location and cost. But before we talk about 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 Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists work in a variety of locations, such as Metlakatla AK private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes 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 people that are struggling with a lack of mobility and often pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they develop a course of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Cardiac arrest
- Sports injuries
- Burn injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Multiple Sclerosis
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Metlakatla AK medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy profession, it is rather 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 Therapist Degree Options
There are 3 physical therapy degree options available for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short explanations of degrees that are offered in the Metlakatla AK area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are typically provided by community colleges, and take about two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically part of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist training to prep candidates to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically require 4 years to complete and commonly incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required if you want to become a practicing licensed 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 investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an important element along with the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not just for graduation but in some 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 phased out and is no longer available in the USA. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Programs Online
While not as common as the on-campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the curriculum may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Metlakatla AK residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition may be somewhat lower than comparable on-campus options, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages may make the online option the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
At this point you most likely have made a decision regarding several of your preliminary queries, like the kind of physical therapy degree you want to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are so many PT schools within the Metlakatla AK area and throughout Alaska, you’ll need to explore other qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of school options. Also, you want to make sure that you enroll in the college that is right for you. That’s why we have put together a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering. Ask all of the potential schools these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As previously stated, 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 program, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy school and program you choose are accredited, not just the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Contact some Metlakatla AK physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your college selections. It might also be a good idea to check with the Alaska Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of useful statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapist colleges you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might indicate that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Metlakatla AK area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even excellent. It also confirms that the college has a large network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you select provides both excellent training and a curriculum that supports 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) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the physical therapist schools you are reviewing have partnerships with Metlakatla AK clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great means to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can help graduates and students form professional connections in the Metlakatla medical community and help with job placement once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist 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 decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy school they select will have to be within driving distance of their Metlakatla AK residence. Those who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Help Offered? Most DPT colleges provide some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have a financial assistance office and find out what type of aid is offered. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. A number of physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapist program you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Metlakatla AK area, verify 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 carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Metlakatla Alaska?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Metlakatla AK area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Metlakatla /ˌmɛtləˈkætlə/ (Tsimshian: Maaxłakxaała "Saltwater pass") is a census-designated place (CDP) on Annette Island in Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area, Alaska, United States. At the 2000 census the population was 1,375; this had grown to 1,405 by the 2010 census.
Since the late 19th century, it has been the major settlement of the Metlakatla Indian Community of the federally recognized Annette Islands Reserve, the only reserve in Alaska and U.S. The Metlakatla voted to opt out of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of the 1970s and retained rights to their land and waters. Membership in the community is primarily by lineage; it consists primarily of Tsimshian people and also includes those from other Alaskan Native tribes who wish to join the Metlakatla Indian Community as a bona fide member. Bona fide membership is granted upon approval of the Metlakatla Tribal Council and Executives.
Metlakatla comes from Maxłakxaała, a Tsimshian word meaning "Salt Water Passage." Metlakatla was named after another village of the same name ("Old Metlakatla") in British Columbia, which is on Metlakatla Pass, near Prince Rupert. In a more ancient time, it was a Tlingit hunting ground known as Taquan. The Tsimshian were granted permission to own the land by Chief Johnson of the Tlingit tribe.
Best PTA Programs Metlakatla AK
Choosing the ideal physical therapist program is an important first decision you have to make to begin a fulfilling career in the healthcare profession. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you pick should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. However there are additional important questions that you should ask concerning your school of choice also. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Best PTA Programs. However, as you start your search for a physical therapist program bear in mind that numerous variables will guide you to your ultimate decision. You might want to go to different schools to see their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me accomplish my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the best selection. And with the proper education and training, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Metlakatla AK.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Alaska