How to Find the Right Physical Therapy Training Program near West Hartford Connecticut
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near West Hartford CT is a critical first step to launching a fulfilling career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled as a result of injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the proper education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s important to research the ones you are looking at to make certain they will provide a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is select a college just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be considered besides location and cost. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists practice in varying settings, such as West Hartford CT private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a course of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to prevent any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Heart attacks
- Sports injuries
- Burn injuries
- Hip Replacement
- Multiple Sclerosis
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other West Hartford CT health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone considering going into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Available
There are 3 physical therapy degree options offered for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief descriptions of degrees that are available in the West Hartford CT area:
- Associate Degrees train students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are usually 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 part of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy training to prep candidates to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally require four years to complete and often include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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 three years to finish, making the overall commitment 7 years in most cases. Clinical training is an important element in addition to the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not just for graduation but in some states for licensing also.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer available in the USA. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Programs
Although not as prevalent as the more traditional options, there are some accredited online physical therapy programs available, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the curriculum may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s West Hartford CT home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition can be significantly less than similar on campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
At this point you undoubtedly have come to decision regarding several of your preliminary questions, including the type of physical therapy degree you would like to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the West Hartford CT area and throughout Connecticut, you’ll have to research other qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of college choices. Also, you want to make sure that you enroll in the college that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Find out if the schools you are looking at have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. 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 choose an online program, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist community. There are several ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Get in touch with some West Hartford CT physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your program selections. It may also be a good idea to contact the Connecticut Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of significant statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapist schools you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may suggest that students left because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once 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 West Hartford CT area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps excellent. It also affirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to help students obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you choose furnishes both exceptional training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements for Connecticut or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Provided? Find out if the physical therapist schools you are assessing have associations with West Hartford CT clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to get hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can help graduates and students establish professional connections in the West Hartford healthcare community and assist with job placement after licensing.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are looking at what the typical teacher to student 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 an opportunity to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their West Hartford CT residence. Students who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even 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 to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Support Offered? The majority of DPT schools provide some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Inquire if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance office and see what type of help is offered. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial aid may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapist school you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the West Hartford CT area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses 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 obligations.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near West Hartford Connecticut?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the West Hartford CT area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
West Hartford, Connecticut
The town's popular downtown area is colloquially known as "West Hartford Center," or simply "The Center," and is centered on Farmington Avenue and South/North Main Street. West Hartford Center has been the community's main hub since the late 17th century. In 2008, Blue Back Square opened as a new addition to the central area, which includes a bookstore, a movie theater, two parking garages, various physician and medical offices, and several restaurants.
Incorporated as a town in 1854, West Hartford was previously a parish of Hartford, founded in 1672. Among the southernmost of the communities in the Hartford-Springfield Knowledge Corridor metropolitan region, West Hartford is home to University of Hartford and the University of Saint Joseph.
In 2010, Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine listed West Hartford as one of the nation's "10 Great Cities for Raising Families" and ranked it #9 on its "10 Best Cities for the Next Decade" list. Also in 2010, CNN Money ranked West Hartford the 55th best small city in America and Travelandleisure.com called it one of 10 "coolest" suburbs in the nation, and the West Hartford Reservoir off Farmington Avenue "West Hartford's version of Central Park," noting the town's "vacation-worthy hot spots, with cutting-edge restaurants, great shopping, and plenty of parking."
Physical Therapy Assistant Bachelor’s Degree West Hartford CT
Selecting the right physical therapist college is a necessary first decision you must make to begin a rewarding career in the health care profession. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you select should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. However there are additional relevant questions that you need to ask concerning your college of choice also. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Physical Therapy Assistant Bachelor’s Degree. However, as you start your search for a physical therapist program bear in mind that a number of factors will lead you to your ultimate decision. You might want to visit different colleges to view their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program 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 appropriate selection. And with the proper education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in West Hartford CT.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Connecticut
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