How to Pick the Right Physical Therapy Course near Kodiak Alaska
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Kodiak AK is an important first step to starting a rewarding career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated as a result of injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the necessary training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to research the ones you are considering to make sure they will deliver a superior education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not 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 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 the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists practice in varying settings, including Kodiak AK private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they design a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also strive to prevent any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Cardiac arrest
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Burn injuries
- Hip Replacement
- Multiple Sclerosis
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Kodiak AK medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone considering going into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Offered
There are 3 physical therapist degrees offered for students 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 concentrate on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short summaries of degree levels that are available in the Kodiak AK area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are most often provided by junior or community colleges, and require 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually part of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist education to prepare candidates to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential initial step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally require 4 years to complete and often incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated in order 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 overall commitment seven years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential component in addition to the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not only 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 USA. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Programs Online
While not as common as the on campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Kodiak AK residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition can be significantly lower than similar on campus options, and costs for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning several of your initial queries, like the kind of physical therapist degree you intend to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT colleges within the Kodiak AK area and across Alaska, you’ll have to research additional qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of school options. Moreover, you need to make sure that you select the college that is right for you. That’s why we have put together a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist programs you are considering. Ask all of the potential schools these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are looking at have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As earlier 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 select an online school, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist school and program you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are several ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, beginning with asking for 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 also. Call a few Kodiak AK physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your school options. It may also be a good idea to check with the Alaska Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of significant statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may suggest that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Kodiak AK area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care community is good or even outstanding. It also confirms that the school has a wide network of contacts to help students gain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you enroll in provides both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements for Alaska or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the physical therapist programs you are reviewing have partnerships with Kodiak AK clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to get hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can help students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Kodiak healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are researching 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 converse with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist college they select will need to be within commuting distance of their Kodiak AK home. Those who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Most DPT colleges supply some form of financial support to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance department and find out what type of aid is available. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. Some physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a school 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 therapy college you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Kodiak AK area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Kodiak Alaska?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Kodiak AK area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Kodiak (Alutiiq: Sun'aq; Russian: Кадьяк, tr. Kadʹyak) is one of seven communities and the main city on Kodiak Island, Kodiak Island Borough, in the U.S. state of Alaska. All commercial transportation between the entire island and the outside world goes through this city either via ferryboat or airline. The population was 6,130 as of the 2010 census. 2014 estimates put the population at 6,304.
After the Alaska Purchase by the United States in 1867, Kodiak became a commercial fishing center which continues to be the mainstay of its economy. A lesser economic influence includes tourism, mainly by those seeking outdoor adventure trips. Salmon, halibut, the unique Kodiak bear, elk, Sitka deer (black tail), and mountain goats attract hunting tourists as well as fishermen to the Kodiak Archipelago. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game maintains an office in the city and a website to help hunters and fishermen obtain the proper permits and learn about the laws specific to the Kodiak area.
The city has four public elementary schools, a middle and high school, as well as a branch of the University of Alaska. An antenna farm at the summit of Pillar Mountain above the city historically provided communication with the outside world before fiber optic cable was run. Transportation to and from the island is provided by ferry service on the Alaska Marine Highway as well as local commercial airlines.
Education For A Physical Therapist Kodiak AK
Selecting the best physical therapy school is an important first decision you must make to launch a fulfilling career in the healthcare profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you choose should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. However there are additional relevant 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 Education For A Physical Therapist. However, as you commence your search for a physical therapy program bear in mind that many variables will lead you toward your final decision. You might decide to go to each of the colleges to see their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me accomplish my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the right choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can achieve your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Kodiak AK.
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