How to Enroll In the Right Physical Therapy Program near Wrangell Alaska
Getting a physical therapy degree near Wrangell AK is a critical first step to starting a rewarding career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated due to illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the appropriate education and training. A PT must also be licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research those you are considering to make sure they will provide a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is select a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must 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 what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists practice in varying settings, including Wrangell 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 the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help people that are struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Heart attacks
- Sports injuries
- Burn injuries
- Hip Replacement
- Cerebral Palsy
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Wrangell AK health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees
There are three physical therapist degrees offered for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short summaries of degree levels that are available in the Wrangell AK area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are typically provided by community colleges, and take about two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually a portion of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to ready candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take four years to complete and commonly include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated 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). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to finish, making the overall investment of time 7 years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal element along with the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in a number of 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 attainable in the USA. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Schools Online
While not as prevalent as the on-campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy degrees available, even more 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 necessitates that the student live near the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online segment of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Wrangell AK residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition may be significantly less than comparable on-campus options, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
By now you probably have made a decision concerning a few of your preliminary questions, including the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are numerous PT colleges within the Wrangell AK area and across Alaska, you’ll have to explore other qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of college choices. Furthermore, you want to make sure that you pick the college that is best for you. That’s why we have collected a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapist colleges you are thinking about. Ask each of the potential schools these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are considering have earned accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As previously stated, 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 program, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist school and program you choose are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist community. There are several ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Contact some Wrangell AK physical therapy centers 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 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 submitted against the colleges.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two significant statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapy schools you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may indicate that students left because of 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 school’s job placement program, particularly in the Wrangell AK area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even exceptional. It also verifies that the school has a wide network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you select furnishes both excellent training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the physical therapy programs you are reviewing have partnerships with Wrangell AK clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to obtain hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Wrangell medical community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Wrangell AK residence. Those who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Support Provided? Most DPT schools supply some form of financial aid to their potential students. Ask if the schools you are examining have a financial aid office and find out what type of help is available. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any grants you may qualify 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, learn what financial assistance might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapist program you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Wrangell AK area, confirm that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Wrangell Alaska?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Wrangell AK area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
The City and Borough of Wrangell (Tlingit: Ḵaachx̱aana.áakʼw) is a borough in Alaska, United States. As of the 2010 census the population was 2,369, up from 2,308 in 2000. Incorporated as a Unified Home Rule Borough on May 30, 2008, Wrangell was previously a city in the Wrangell-Petersburg Census Area (afterwards renamed the Petersburg Census Area (the Petersburg Borough was formed from part of this census area)). Its Tlingit name is Ḵaachx̱aana.áakʼw ("Ḵaachx̱ans Little Lake" with áa-kʼw 'lake-diminutive'). The Tlingit people residing in the Wrangell area, who were there centuries before Europeans, call themselves the Shtaxʼhéen Ḵwáan after the nearby Stikine River. Alternately they use the autonym Shxʼát Ḵwáan, where the meaning of shxʼát is unknown.
The central (urban) part of Wrangell is located at 56°28′15″N 132°22′36″W / 56.47083°N 132.37667°W / 56.47083; -132.37667, in the northwest corner of Wrangell Island, whereas the borough now encompasses the entire eastern half of the former Wrangell-Petersburg Census Area, in addition to the area around Meyers Chuck, which was formerly in the Prince of Wales-Outer Ketchikan Census Area. It also includes Thoms Place, a former census-designated place on Wrangell Island.
Tlingit people and their ancestors have inhabited this island for thousands of years. According to Naanyaa.aayí clan traditions, Tlingit people migrated down the Stikine River during a time when the river still flowed underneath glaciers. The population slowly moved down the river, settling in different locations such as Tlákw.aan "Ancient Village", Sʼiknáx̱ "Across from the Grass", Shaal.aan "Fish Trap Town", Xakw.aan "Sandbar Village", and Kayáash "Platform", Hehl (Xel/Xehl) "Foam People", Hehl being the senior of house of the village.
Schools With 6 Year Physical Therapy Programs Wrangell AK
Choosing the right physical therapist program is a necessary initial decision you need to make to start a fulfilling career in the health care profession. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you select should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. However there are additional critical questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice also. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Schools With 6 Year Physical Therapy Programs. However, as you start your search for a physical therapist college bear in mind that numerous factors will lead you to your ultimate decision. You might decide to visit different campuses to view their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me achieve my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the ideal choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Wrangell AK.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Alaska