How to Enroll In the Right Physical Therapy Training Program near Westwego Louisiana
Getting a physical therapy degree near Westwego LA is an important first step to beginning a rewarding career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated due to illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the necessary education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate those you are thinking about to make sure they will provide a superior 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 lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be evaluated 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 what the educational options are.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists practice in varying settings, including Westwego LA private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help people that are struggling with a lack of mobility and often pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they design a course of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also strive to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries
- Heart attacks
- Sports injuries
- Burn injuries
- Hip Replacement
- Cerebral Palsy
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Westwego LA medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to take note of 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 prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees
There are 3 physical therapist degree options available for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the only degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief descriptions of degree levels that are offered in the Westwego LA area:
- Associate Degrees train students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are most often made available by junior or community colleges, and require 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a portion of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist training to ready candidates to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to finish and commonly incorporate 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). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to complete, making the overall investment of time 7 years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential element along with the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in a number of 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. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Schools Online
While not as prevalent as the on-campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist programs available, more so 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 requires that the student live near the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online part of the course of study may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Westwego LA residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition might be significantly less than comparable on-campus options, and costs for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
By now you probably have made a decision regarding several of your preliminary questions, such as the type of physical therapist degree you want to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are so many PT colleges within the Westwego LA area and throughout Louisiana, you’ll need to research other qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of school choices. Also, you want to make sure that you select the college that is best for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are thinking about. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Ask if the schools you are reviewing 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 enroll in an online college, it may also obtain 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, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Get in touch with a few Westwego LA physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your school selections. It may also be prudent to contact the Louisiana 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 relevant statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapy colleges you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might mean that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Westwego LA area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or perhaps outstanding. It also confirms that the program has a large network of contacts to help students obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you choose provides both excellent training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria for Louisiana or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the physical therapist colleges you are interested in have relationships with Westwego LA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to get hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can help students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Westwego health care community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist college they select will need to be within commuting distance of their Westwego LA home. Students who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Support Provided? Most DPT colleges offer some type of financial assistance to their potential students. Find out if the schools you are examining have a financial aid office and see what type of assistance is offered. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial assistance may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapy school you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Westwego LA area, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Westwego Louisiana?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Westwego LA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.6 square miles (9.2 km²), of which 3.1 square miles (8.3 km²) is land and 0.5 square mile (1.0 km²) (10.64%) is water.
One story states generally that Westwego was so named because it was a major crossing point on the Mississippi river during the great westward movement of the late 19th century. When travelers were asked their destination, they would often reply "west we go". Another more specific tale, recounted in John Churchill Chase's Frenchmen, Desire, Good Children is that the name was the specific outcome of an 1871 meeting of a railroad board of directors in New York, where planning was undertaken to use the site as an eastern terminus ("...west we go from there"). There has been further speculation that this use of "Westwego" as a place name may have been influenced by the board members' familiarity with the name of Oswego, New York.
The area of Westwego, Louisiana was inhabited by Native Americans for thousands of years before Europeans settled here. These indigenous people created huge shells middens that can still be seen in the vicinity today. The French first developed the area in 1719 when French Minister of State LeBlanc started a plantation and a port along the Mississippi River. The port became an important site in the history of the transatlantic slave trade. The estate was later owned by the Zeringue family, who turned it into bustling sugar plantation, known as Seven Oaks. Planter Camille Zeringue built a canal at the plantation that played a prominent role in the community's history for decades. Other antebellum plantations in the area included the Whitehouse Plantation, Magnolia Lane, and the LaBranche Plantation among others. After Camille Zeringue's death, Seven Oaks was owned by Pablo Sala, who divided the property along the canal into lots, which he sold for $40 each. Many of these lots were purchased by displaced hurricane victims from Cheniere Caminada whose homes were destroyed in the great unnamed 1893 storm. With the addition of these families, who were mostly fisherman and trappers, the community of Salaville was born.
Top Universities For Physical Therapy Westwego LA
Deciding on the right physical therapy college is an important first decision you have to make to launch a gratifying career in the health care field. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you decide on should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. But there are other important 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 Top Universities For Physical Therapy. However, as you start your search for a physical therapist college bear in mind that many variables will guide you toward your final decision. You might decide to visit each of the campuses to see their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me achieve my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the best choice. And with the proper training and education, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Westwego LA.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Louisiana
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