How to Find the Right Physical Therapy Training Program near Akron Ohio
Getting a physical therapist degree near Akron OH is a critical first step to beginning a rewarding career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated as a result of illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the appropriate training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate the ones you are thinking about to ensure they will provide a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is enroll in a school just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be considered besides cost and location. 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 work in a variety of locations, such as Akron OH hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help patients that are struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they design a course of treatment to address the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also strive to prevent any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Cardiac arrest
- Sports injuries
- Fire injuries
- Hip Replacement
- Cerebral Palsy
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Akron OH medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise 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 thinking about entering the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degree Options
There are three physical therapist degrees offered for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief explanations of degrees that are available in the Akron OH area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are most often provided by community colleges, and require two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a component of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy education to prep candidates to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they typically take four years to complete and commonly incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated 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 3 years to finish, making the total commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal element in addition to the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, 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 attainable in the United States. A number of practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Schools
Although not as prevalent as the on-campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, more so 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 necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online part of the course of study may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Akron OH home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition can be significantly less than similar on campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding several of your initial questions, such as the type of physical therapy degree you intend to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are numerous PT colleges within the Akron OH area and across Ohio, you’ll need to look into additional qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of college choices. Also, you need to make sure that you choose the program that is best for you. That’s why we have collected a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapy schools you are thinking about. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Ask if the schools you are considering have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As earlier 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 program, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist program and school you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, starting with asking for 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 also. Get in touch with a few Akron OH physical therapy clinics or other medical care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your school selections. It may also be prudent to check with the Ohio Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of significant statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapy schools you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might suggest that students left due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Akron OH area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care field is good or even exceptional. It also verifies that the college has a wide network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the school you select furnishes both exceptional training and a course of study that supports the licensing criteria for Ohio or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapist schools you are interested in have partnerships with Akron OH hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great way to obtain practical experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist graduates and students establish professional connections in the Akron healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy school they choose will have to be within driving distance of their Akron OH 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 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 perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Help Provided? Most DPT colleges offer some type of financial aid to their potential students. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance department and see what kind of aid is available. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. Some physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial aid may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapy college you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Akron OH area, make certain that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Akron Ohio?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Akron OH area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Akron (/ˈækrən/) is the fifth-largest city in the U.S. state of Ohio and is the county seat of Summit County. It is located on the western edge of the Glaciated Allegheny Plateau, about 30 miles (48 km) south of Cleveland. As of the 2017 Census estimate, the city proper had a total population of 197,846, making it the 119th-largest city in the United States. The Greater Akron area, covering Summit and Portage counties, had an estimated population of 703,505.
Co-founded along the Little Cuyahoga River in 1825 by Simon Perkins and Paul Williams, it was chosen as a strategic point at the summit of the developing Ohio and Erie Canal. The name is derived from the Greek word signifying a summit or high point. Due to Eliakim Crosby founding "North Akron" in 1833, "South" was added to its name until both merged into an incorporated village in 1836. Due to a long history of rubber manufacturing, which today still includes Goodyear Tire, Akron is nicknamed the "Rubber Capital of the World". Other corporations, including, Gojo Industries, FirstEnergy, Huntington Bank, and Charter Spectrum have diversified the economy to include manufacturing, education, healthcare, and biomedical research.
Notable historical events that occurred in the city include the Akron School Law of 1847 creating the K–12 system, and Sojourner Truth giving her Ain't I A Woman? speech in 1851. The popularization of the church architectural Akron Plan, the goiter prevention iodized salt Akron Experiment, City of Akron v. Akron Center for Reproductive Health, and portions of the 2014 Gay Games also occurred. Akron is known for the rubber, tire, and airship industries. With a population increase of 201.8% during the 1910s, it became the country's fastest-growing city. Due to the fast growth, major civil unrest events took place, including the riot of 1900, rubber strike of 1936, and the Wooster Avenue riots of 1968. Additionally, the growth created a racially diverse city, leading to noted racial relations speeches by W. E. B. Du Bois in 1920 and President Bill Clinton in 1997. In 1914, Marcus Garvey founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association in Akron.
Training For Physical Therapist Akron OH
Picking the best physical therapist school is an important initial decision you must make to launch a rewarding career in the health care profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you select should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. However there are other critical 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 Training For Physical Therapist. However, as you commence your search for a physical therapy program bear in mind that a number of factors will guide you toward your final decision. You may want to visit different schools to see their facilities and talk with active 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 selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Akron OH.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Ohio
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