How to Enroll In the Right Physical Therapy Program near Barrow Alaska
Getting a physical therapist degree near Barrow AK is a critical first step to starting a fulfilling career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated due to injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the proper education and training. A PT must also be licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate the ones you are looking at to make certain they will supply a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is choose a school just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be considered besides cost and location. 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 Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of settings, such as Barrow AK hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they develop a program of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also strive to stop any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks
- Sports injuries
- Fire injuries
- Hip Replacement
- Multiple Sclerosis
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Barrow AK medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Available
There are three physical therapy degree options offered for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short explanations of degree levels that are offered in the Barrow AK area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are typically provided by community or junior colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a portion of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist training to prep students to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they typically take 4 years to complete and commonly include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated in order 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 total commitment 7 years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal component in addition to the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not just for graduation but in several states for licensing as well.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has taken the place of the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer offered in the USA. 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 Therapist Online Degrees
While not as common as the more traditional options, there are some accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online part of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Barrow AK home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition may be somewhat less than comparable on-campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
At this point you undoubtedly have come to decision regarding some of your preliminary questions, like the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are so many PT schools within the Barrow AK area and throughout Alaska, you’ll have to explore additional qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of college choices. Moreover, you need to make sure that you enroll in the program that is right for you. That’s why we have collected a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. Ask all of the potential schools these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Find out if the colleges 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 choose an online college, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist school and program you select are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to guaranteeing 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 College’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are several ways you can look into a PT school’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Get in touch with several Barrow AK physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any advice about your college selections. It may also be a good idea to contact the Alaska 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 important statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapy schools you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may mean that students left due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Barrow AK area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care field is good or even outstanding. It also affirms that the program has a large network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you choose furnishes both excellent training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the physical therapy colleges you are assessing have partnerships with Barrow AK clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to obtain hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may help graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Barrow medical community and assist with job placement once licensed.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they select will have to be within travelling distance of their Barrow AK home. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically 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 Assistance Offered? Most DPT schools supply some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are considering have a financial aid department and find out what type of assistance is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial assistance may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapy college you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Barrow AK area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Barrow Alaska?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Barrow AK area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Utqiagvik (Inupiaq: Utqiaġvik, IPA: [utqe.ɑʁvik], English: /ˌʊtkiˈɑːvɪk/ UUT-kee-AH-vik), officially the City of Utqiaġvik,[A] and previously Barrow (/ˈbæroʊ/) is the largest city and the borough seat of the North Slope Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska and is located north of the Arctic Circle. It is one of the northernmost public communities in the world and is the northernmost city in the United States. Nearby Point Barrow is the country's northernmost point. It is also the northernmost point of the entire American mainland landmass that begins at the very southernmost tip of South America. To go any further north, you would either have to venture into the icy expansive of the Arctic Ocean, or go to the islands of the Arctic Archipelago. Barrow’s population was 4,581 at the 2000 census and 4,212 at the 2010 census.
The location has been home to the Iñupiat, an indigenous Inuit ethnic group, for more than 1,500 years. The city's native name, Utqiaġvik, refers to a place for gathering wild roots. It is derived from the Iñupiat word utqiq, also used for "potato". The name was first recorded in 1853 as "Ot-ki-a-wing" by Commander Rochfort Maguire, Royal Navy. John Simpson's native map dated 1855, records the name "Otkiawik," which was misprinted on the subsequent British Admiralty Chart as "Otkiovik."
The name Barrow was derived from Point Barrow, and was originally a general designation, because non-native Alaskan residents found it easier to pronounce than the Inupiat name. A post office established in 1901 helped the name "Barrow" to become dominant. Point Barrow was named after Sir John Barrow of the British Admiralty by explorer Frederick William Beechey in 1825.
Colleges With Good Physical Therapy Programs Barrow AK
Deciding on the right physical therapy program is an important initial decision you have to make to start a rewarding career in the health care profession. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you enroll in should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. But there are additional important questions that you should ask concerning your school of choice as well. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Colleges With Good Physical Therapy Programs. However, as you start your search for a physical therapy program bear in mind that numerous factors will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You may decide to visit different campuses to see their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me accomplish my goal of becoming a licensed practicing 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 best choice. And with the proper training and education, you can fulfill your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Barrow AK.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Alaska