How to Select the Right Physical Therapist College near Lahaina Hawaii
Receiving a physical therapist degree near Lahaina HI is an essential first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated as a result of illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the necessary education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate those you are looking at to make sure they will deliver a quality education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is select a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be considered in addition to cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists work in varying locations, such as Lahaina HI private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they design a course of treatment to address the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try 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
- Head injuries
- Cardiac arrest
- Sports injuries
- Burn injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Cerebral Palsy
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Lahaina HI health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to keep in mind 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 stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Offered
There are three physical therapy degree options available for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief explanations of degree levels that are available in the Lahaina HI area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are typically provided by junior or community colleges, and take about two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a portion of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist education to ready students to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally require 4 years to finish and usually include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement in order to become a licensed practicing 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 investment of time 7 years in most cases. Clinical training is an essential element in addition to the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not just 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 offered in the USA. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Programs
While not as common as the on-campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online part of the course of study may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Lahaina HI residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition can be somewhat less than comparable on-campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
At this point you probably have come to decision regarding a few of your preliminary questions, including the type of physical therapy degree you would like to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are so many PT colleges within the Lahaina HI area and across Hawaii, you’ll have to research other qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of college choices. Moreover, you need to make sure that you choose the college that is best for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are considering. Ask all of the competing schools these questions before making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Ask if the programs you are looking at have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As previously 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 enroll in an online program, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist program and school you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, beginning with requesting 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 as well. Contact several Lahaina HI physical therapist centers or other medical care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your college options. It might also be prudent to check with the Hawaii Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two relevant statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapist schools you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might mean that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Lahaina HI area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or perhaps outstanding. It also confirms that the program has a broad network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you select furnishes both superior training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements for Hawaii or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the physical therapist schools you are evaluating have partnerships with Lahaina HI hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to get hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can help students and graduates form professional relationships in the Lahaina medical community and assist with job placement once licensed.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Small 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 prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy school they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Lahaina HI home. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something 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 often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Aid Provided? The majority of DPT colleges provide some form of financial aid to their prospective students. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial assistance department and see what type of help is available. They at least should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. A number of physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial aid might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapist school you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Lahaina HI area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Lahaina Hawaii?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Lahaina HI area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Lāhainā is the largest census-designated place (CDP) in West Maui, Maui County, Hawaii, United States, and includes the Ka'anapali and Kapalua beach resorts. As of the 2010 census, the CDP had a resident population of 11,704. Lahaina encompasses the coast along Hawaii Route 30 from a tunnel at the south end, through Olowalu, and to the CDP of Napili-Honokowai to the north. During the tourist season, the population can swell to nearly 40,000 people.
In antiquity Lahaina was the royal capital of Maui Loa, aliʻi nui of the island of Maui, after he ceded the royal seat of Hana to the ruler of Hawaii Island. In Lahaina, the focus of activity is along Front Street, which dates back to the 1820s. It is lined with stores and restaurants and often packed with tourists. The Banyan Court Park features an exceptionally large banyan tree (Ficus benghalensis) planted by William Owen Smith on April 24, 1873, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the arrival of Christian missionaries. It is also the site of the reconstructed ruins of Lahaina Fort, originally built in 1832. It is the largest Banyan Tree in the United States.
Lele was an ancient name of Lahaina. The name Lā hainā means "cruel sun" in the Hawaiian language, describing the sunny dry climate. Lahaina's historic district averages only 13 inches (330 mm) of rain per year, much of which occurs from December to February.
Courses Needed To Become A Physical Therapist Lahaina HI
Selecting the ideal physical therapy school is an important initial decision you need to make to start a rewarding career in the health care profession. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you choose should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. But there are additional relevant questions that you should ask concerning your college of choice also. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Courses Needed To Become A Physical Therapist. However, as you start your search for a physical therapy school bear in mind that many factors will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You might want to visit different campuses to see their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the ideal selection. And with the proper education and training, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Lahaina HI.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Hawaii
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