How to Choose the Right Physical Therapy College near Wahiawa Hawaii
Receiving a physical therapist degree near Wahiawa HI is an essential first step to starting a rewarding career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated due to illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the proper training and education. A PT must also be licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate those you are considering to make sure they will supply a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is select a school just because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be considered along with location and cost. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists work in varying settings, such as Wahiawa HI hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program 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 requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries
- Heart attacks
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Fire injuries
- Hip Replacement
- Multiple Sclerosis
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Wahiawa HI medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Available
There are 3 physical therapist degree options available for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is attainable 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 advance to the doctoral level. Following are short explanations of degrees that are available in the Wahiawa HI area:
- Associate Degrees train students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are most often made available by junior or 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 developed as pre-physical therapy training to prepare candidates to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to complete and usually incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required if you want to become a practicing licensed physical therapist. The degree program must also be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). After earning 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 element along with the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, not just 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 phased out and is no longer offered in the United States. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Schools Online
Although not as prevalent as the more traditional options, there are many accredited online physical therapist degrees available, even more at the graduate level. Because of 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 college campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online part of the course of study may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Wahiawa HI home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition might be significantly lower than comparable on campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
At this point you most likely have made a decision concerning a few of your preliminary queries, such as the kind of physical therapy degree you want to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are numerous PT colleges within the Wahiawa HI area and throughout Hawaii, you’ll have to explore additional qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of school choices. Furthermore, you need to make sure that you select the college that is best for you. That’s why we have put together a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapy schools you are thinking about. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Ask if the programs you are reviewing have earned 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 choose an online program, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy program and school you select are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy community. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Contact some Wahiawa HI physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your program selections. It might also be a good idea to contact the Hawaii Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of useful statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapy colleges you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Wahiawa HI area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care field is good or perhaps exceptional. It also confirms that the college has a wide network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you choose furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria for Hawaii or the state where you will be practicing. In every 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 differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing have relationships with Wahiawa HI clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to obtain hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may help students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Wahiawa medical community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Large 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. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are looking at what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy college they select will need to be within commuting distance of their Wahiawa HI home. Students who have decided to attend classes online obviously 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 consider is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Help Offered? The majority of DPT colleges provide some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Inquire if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid department and find out what type of help is available. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. Some physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial assistance may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapist college you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Wahiawa HI area, make sure that they are offered. 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 have to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Wahiawa Hawaii?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Wahiawa HI area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Wahiawa (Hawaiian: Wahiawā) is a census-designated place (CDP) in Honolulu County, Hawaii, United States, on the island of Oahu. It is located in the Wahiawa District, on the plateau or "central valley" between the two volcanic mountains that comprise the island. In Hawaiian, wahi a wā means "space of the wa people". The population was 17,821 at the 2010 census.
Lakes and reservoirs are rare in Hawaii, and Wahiawa is at once unique in being surrounded on three sides by Lake Wilson (also known as Wahiawa Reservoir or Kaukonahua). The town must be accessed by either of two bridges on Kamehameha Highway (State Rte. 80) across the narrow north and south arms of the reservoir. Outside of the reservoir, the town used to be surrounded by military bases and agricultural fields, but development is making its way up from the increasingly urbanized southern portion of the central plain. Still, there are significant U.S. Army facilities here, including Schofield Barracks, Wheeler Army Airfield, and East Range, an Army training area extending into the hills south and east of town. Schofield Barracks alone is larger than Wahiawa. Wahiawa is also the home of the U.S. Navy's Naval Computer and Telecommunications Area Master Station Pacific.
Vehicular routes heading towards the North Shore from Wahiawa are Kamehameha Highway (State Rte. 80) to Haleiwa and Kaukonahua Road (State Rte. 801) to Waialua. Wheeler and Schofield are reached along Wilikina Drive (Wahiawa Bypass) (State Rte. 99), which bypasses Wahiawa from the south bridge, a road that eventually connects to both Kamehameha Highway and Kaukonahua Road northwest of town. Kamehameha Highway continues south (as State Rte. 99) past Wheeler to Mililani Town. However, the Interstate H-2 terminates at Wilikina Drive near the Kamehameha Highway intersection, and is a less congested route southward to Mililani and beyond to Pearl City and Honolulu via Interstate H-1. Kunia Road (State Rte. 750) runs from Wilikina Drive, between Schofield and Wheeler (on the bypass), then southward along the mostly still agricultural western side of the plain to Kunia and Waipahu beyond.
Physical Therapist Programs Wahiawa HI
Picking the ideal physical therapist school is an important first decision you need to make to start a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you select should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. However there are other relevant questions that you need to ask regarding your school of choice as well. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Physical Therapist Programs. However, as you commence your search for a physical therapist program keep in mind that many factors will guide you toward your final decision. You may want to visit different schools to see their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me accomplish my goal of becoming a practicing licensed 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 selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can achieve your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Wahiawa HI.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Hawaii
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