How to Pick the Right Physical Therapy College near Kailua Hawaii
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Kailua HI is an important first step to launching a rewarding career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated as a result of illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the necessary education and training. A PT must also 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 essential to evaluate the ones you are considering to ensure they will deliver a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is choose a school just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be considered in addition to location and cost. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of locations, such as Kailua HI hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they create a course of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries
- Heart attacks
- Sports injuries
- Burn injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Multiple Sclerosis
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Kailua HI medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Offered
There are 3 physical therapy degrees offered for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief descriptions of degrees that are offered in the Kailua HI area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are most often offered by community colleges, and require two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a component of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy training to prepare students to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take four years to finish and commonly incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to complete, making the total investment of time seven years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an essential element in addition to the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not solely 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 phased out and is no longer attainable in the United States. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Schools Online
While not as common as the on-campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapist programs available, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the school campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online segment of the program may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Kailua HI residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition may be significantly lower than comparable on-campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
At this point you most likely have come to decision regarding several of your initial questions, such as the type of physical therapy degree you want to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are so many PT colleges within the Kailua HI area and throughout Hawaii, you’ll need to look into other qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of college choices. Also, you want to be sure that you choose the college that is best for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. Ask each of the potential schools these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Find out if the programs you are looking at have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As previously stated, 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 school, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy program and school you choose are accredited, not just the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. 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 may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Contact some Kailua HI physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your program options. It might also be a good idea to check with the Hawaii 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 two relevant statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapist colleges you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may mean that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Kailua HI area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care community is good or perhaps outstanding. It also affirms that the school has a large network of contacts to help students get internships or employment after graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you enroll in provides both superior training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements for Hawaii or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapy programs you are evaluating have relationships with Kailua HI clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to obtain hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Kailua healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering 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 ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they pick will need to be within travelling distance of their Kailua HI residence. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Help Provided? Most DPT colleges offer some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Inquire if the colleges you are examining have a financial assistance department and see what kind of assistance is available. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. Some physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial assistance may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapy school you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Kailua HI area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure 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 Kailua Hawaii?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Kailua HI area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Kailua, Honolulu County, Hawaii
Kailua /kaɪˈluːə/ is a census-designated place (CDP) in Honolulu County, Hawaii, United States. It lies in the Koʻolaupoko District of the island of Oʻahu on the windward coast at Kailua Bay. It is in the judicial district and the ahupua'a named Ko'olaupoko. It is 12 miles (19 km) northeast of Honolulu – over Nu‘uanu Pali. The population was 38,635 at the 2010 census.
In the Hawaiian language Kailua means "two seas" or "two currents", a contraction of the words kai (meaning "sea" or "sea water") and ʻelua (meaning "two"); it is so named because of the two lagoons in the district or the two currents which run through Kailua Bay.
Places of note in Kailua include Kailua Beach Park, Lanikai Beach, Kawai Nui Marsh, Maunawili Falls, and Marine Corps Base Hawaii. It was home to Barack Obama’s winter White House and also of the famous South African businessman Ridwan Karrim.
Physical Therapist Online Degree Programs Kailua HI
Deciding on the right physical therapist school is an important initial decision you must make to launch a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you choose should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. However there are other important questions that you need to ask concerning your college of choice as well. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Physical Therapist Online Degree Programs. However, as you commence your search for a physical therapy program bear in mind that a number of variables will guide you to your ultimate decision. You might decide to go to each of the colleges to see their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me accomplish my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the ideal choice. And with the proper education and training, you can achieve your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Kailua HI.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Hawaii
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