How to Pick the Right Physical Therapist College near Warren Rhode Island
Receiving a physical therapist degree near Warren RI is an essential first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated as a result of illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the appropriate training and education. A PT must also become licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate the ones you are thinking about to make sure they will provide a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is choose 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 need to be evaluated in addition to location and cost. But before we discuss 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 Warren RI hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier touched on, 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 course of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries
- Heart attacks
- Sports injuries
- Fire injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Multiple Sclerosis
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Warren RI health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Available
There are 3 physical therapist degree options available for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the single degree that is offered 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 short explanations of degrees that are offered in the Warren RI area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are typically made available by community colleges, and require two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually part of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to prep students to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically require 4 years to finish and often incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated 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 three years to finish, making the total commitment seven years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal element along with the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, not just 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 attainable in the United States. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Online Programs
While not as common as the on campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to 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 school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online portion of the program may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Warren RI home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition may be somewhat lower than similar on campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
By now you most likely have made a decision concerning some of your preliminary queries, like the type of physical therapy degree you want to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT schools within the Warren RI area and across Rhode Island, you’ll need to research additional qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of college options. Furthermore, you want to be sure that you pick the college that is best for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. Ask each of the potential schools these questions before making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Find out if the programs you are looking at have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As previously mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctoral degree the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you choose an online school, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist school and program you choose are accredited, not just the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist community. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT school’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Call a few Warren RI physical therapist clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your school selections. It might also be a good idea to check with the Rhode Island Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of important statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may mean that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, 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 Warren RI area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also verifies that the college has a large network of contacts to assist students get internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you choose provides both exceptional training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements for Rhode Island 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 therapy program. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internships Provided? Find out if the physical therapy programs you are assessing have associations with Warren RI clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent means to get hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can assist students and graduates form professional connections in the Warren healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. 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 speak with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy school they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Warren RI home. Individuals 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 concern. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Aid Provided? The majority of DPT colleges offer some type of financial support to their prospective students. Ask if the schools you are considering have a financial assistance department and see what kind of help is obtainable. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. Some physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial assistance may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapy college you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Warren RI area, check that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Warren Rhode Island?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Warren RI area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Warren, Rhode Island
Warren was the site of the Indian village of Sowams, located on the peninsula called Pokanoket (Mount Hope Neck), and Edward Winslow and Stephen Hopkins from the Plymouth Colony established a trading post there in 1621. In 1623, Winslow and John Hampden saved the life of Wampanoag Sachem Massasoit, gaining an important ally. In 1636, Roger Williams was banished from Salem, Massachusetts and fled to Sowams, where he was sheltered by Massasoit until he established Providence Plantations.
Permanent English settlement began east of the Indian village starting in 1653. Massasoit and his oldest son sold to certain Plymouth Colony settlers what is now Warren and parts of Barrington, Rhode Island, Swansea, Massachusetts, and Rehoboth, Massachusetts. The land was part of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and was first incorporated as part of Swansea. After the death of Massasoit, however, relations became strained between the Indians and the settlers, leading to King Philip's War in 1675 when the Indians destroyed the settlement at Sowams. In 1668, the township was officially incorporated with the name Sowams; in 1691, the Plymouth Colony merged with the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
Sowams was ceded to Rhode Island from Massachusetts in 1747 along with the Attleborough Gore (now Cumberland), Barrington, Bristol, Tiverton, and Little Compton, Rhode Island. The town was named "Warren" after British naval hero Admiral Sir Peter Warren after a victory at Louisburg in 1745. Barrington was unified with Warren at the time, until it was separated again in 1770.
Top Colleges For Physical Therapy Warren RI
Choosing the right physical therapist school is an important first decision you must make to begin a fulfilling career in the health care profession. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you decide on should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are other important questions that you should ask pertaining to your school of choice also. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Top Colleges For Physical Therapy. However, as you start your search for a physical therapist school bear in mind that many factors will guide you to your final decision. You may decide to go to different colleges to see their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me reach my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Warren RI.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Rhode Island
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