How to Choose the Right Physical Therapist School near York Pennsylvania
Getting a physical therapy degree near York PA is an important first step to launching a rewarding career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled as a result of illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the necessary education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate those you are considering to make certain they will supply a quality education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is enroll in a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be considered in addition to location and cost. But before we cover what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists work in varying settings, including York PA hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help patients that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a course of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Heart attacks
- Sports injuries
- Burn injuries
- Hip Replacement
- Multiple Sclerosis
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other York PA medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degree Options
There are 3 physical therapy degrees offered for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short summaries of degree levels that are offered in the York PA area:
- Associate Degrees train students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are most often provided by junior or community colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a component of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist training to prepare candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically take 4 years to finish and commonly incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required in order to become a practicing licensed physical therapist. The degree program also must 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 total investment of time 7 years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an essential element along with the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not only 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 offered in the United States. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Schools Online
While not as common as the more traditional alternatives, there are many 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 requires that the student live near the school campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online part of the curriculum may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s York PA home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition might be somewhat less than comparable on-campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
By now you undoubtedly have come to decision concerning some of your initial queries, including the kind of physical therapist degree you want to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT colleges within the York PA area and throughout Pennsylvania, you’ll need to explore additional qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of college choices. Also, you want to be sure that you select the program that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing schools these questions before making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Find out if the schools you are considering have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As earlier stated, 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 college, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy school and program you select are accredited, not just the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapy community. There are several ways you can look into a PT college’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Get in touch with several York PA physical therapy clinics or other health care 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 a good idea to check with the Pennsylvania Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapy programs you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may suggest that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the York PA area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps excellent. It also confirms that the school has a wide network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the school you select furnishes both exceptional training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements for Pennsylvania or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapy programs you are interested in have relationships with York PA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to get practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can help graduates and students form professional relationships in the York healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they pick will need to be within driving distance of their York PA residence. Those who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually 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 Aid Offered? The majority of DPT schools provide some type of financial aid to their prospective students. Find out if the colleges you are considering have a financial assistance department and see what type of help is offered. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. A number of physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial assistance may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapy college you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the York PA area, check 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, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near York Pennsylvania?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the York PA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
York (Pennsylvania German: Yarrick), known as the White Rose City (after the symbol of the House of York), is the county seat of York County, Pennsylvania, United States, located in the south-central region of the state. The population within York's city limits was 43,718 at the 2010 census, a 7.0% increase from the 2000 count of 40,862. When combined with the adjacent boroughs of West York and North York and surrounding Spring Garden, West Manchester, and Springettsbury townships, the population of Greater York was 108,386. York is the 11th largest city in Pennsylvania.
The city has been called an "architectural museum," because the downtown features numerous well-preserved historic structures, such as the 1741 Golden Plough Tavern, the 1751 General Horatio Gates House, the 1766 York Meetinghouse, the 1863 Billmeyer House, the 1888 York Central Market, and the 1907 Moorish Revival Temple Beth Israel. Other notable buildings are the Laurel-Rex Fire Company House, Forry House, Farmers Market, Barnett Bobb House, Cookes House, United Cigar Manufacturing Company building, Stevens School, York Dispatch Newspaper Offices, and York Armory.
York, also known as Yorktown in the mid 18th to early 19th centuries, was founded in 1741 by settlers from the Philadelphia region and named for the English city of the same name. By 1777, most of the area residents were of either German or Scots-Irish descent. York was incorporated as a borough on September 24, 1787, and as a city on January 11, 1887. During the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), York served as the temporary capital of the Continental Congress. The Articles of Confederation were drafted and adopted in York, though they were not ratified until March 1781.
Physical Therapy College York PA
Deciding on the best physical therapist college is a necessary first decision you must make to begin a rewarding career in the healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you select should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. However there are other relevant questions that you need to ask pertaining to your school of choice also. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Physical Therapy College. However, as you commence your search for a physical therapy program keep in mind that numerous variables will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You might decide to go to different schools to view their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me achieve my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the ideal choice. And with the proper education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in York PA.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Pennsylvania
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