How to Choose the Right Physical Therapy College near Wytopitlock Maine
Earning a physical therapy degree near Wytopitlock ME is an important first step to launching a rewarding career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated as a result of illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the appropriate education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate those you are thinking about to ensure they will supply a quality education and satisfy 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 the lowest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be evaluated in addition to 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 what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists practice in varying locations, such as Wytopitlock ME hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they design a course of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries
- Heart attacks
- Sports injuries
- Burn injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Cerebral Palsy
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Wytopitlock ME medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone considering entering the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Available
There are 3 physical therapy degree options offered for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the single degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief summaries of degrees that are available in the Wytopitlock ME area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are usually made available by junior or community colleges, and require 2 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 created as pre-physical therapist training to ready students to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally require 4 years to complete and often include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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 finish, making the overall commitment 7 years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an essential element in addition to the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in some 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 available in the United States. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Schools Online
Although not as common as the on campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapist degrees available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the program can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Wytopitlock ME home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition can be somewhat less than similar on-campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
At this point you most likely have made a decision regarding several of your preliminary queries, like the type of physical therapist degree you would like to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are so many PT schools within the Wytopitlock ME area and across Maine, you’ll need to explore additional qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of college choices. Furthermore, you need to be sure that you choose the program that is ideal for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. Ask all of the potential schools these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Ask if the programs you are considering have received 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 obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy school and program you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist community. There are several ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Call several Wytopitlock ME physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your school options. It may also be prudent to check with the Maine Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might suggest that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Wytopitlock ME area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even exceptional. It also verifies that the school has a large network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you enroll in provides both exceptional training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements for Maine 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 therapy college. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapist colleges you are evaluating have partnerships with Wytopitlock ME clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to get hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Wytopitlock medical community and assist with job placement once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist school they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Wytopitlock ME residence. Those who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area 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 might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Help Provided? Most DPT schools provide some form of financial support to their prospective students. Find out if the colleges you are considering have a financial aid office and see what kind of help is offered. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. Some physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial assistance might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapist college you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Wytopitlock ME area, check that they are available. 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 protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Wytopitlock Maine?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Wytopitlock ME area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Maine State Route 171
State Route 171 (SR 171) is part of Maine's system of numbered state highways. It runs 17.8 miles (28.6 km) from an intersection with SR 169 in Prentiss to an intersection with U.S. Route 2A (US 2A) in Reed Plantation. SR 171 travels through Drew Plantation and the unincorporated community of Wytopitlock.
PhD Physical Therapy Wytopitlock ME
Picking the ideal physical therapist program is a necessary first decision you must make to start a rewarding career in the medical profession. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you decide on should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. But there are additional relevant questions that you should ask regarding your college of choice as well. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on PhD Physical Therapy. However, as you start your search for a physical therapist school keep in mind that many factors will guide you to your final decision. You might decide to visit each of the colleges to see their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the best choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can fulfill your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Wytopitlock ME.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Maine