How to Pick the Right Physical Therapist Course near Wailuku Hawaii
Earning a physical therapy degree near Wailuku HI is an essential first step to starting a rewarding career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated due to illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the proper training and education. A PT must also become licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate those you are thinking about to make sure they will supply a quality education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is enroll in a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be considered besides cost and location. But before we talk about 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?
Physical therapists practice in varying locations, such as Wailuku HI private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they create a course of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also try to prevent any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Heart attacks
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Fire injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Multiple Sclerosis
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Wailuku HI medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone considering entering the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Offered
There are three physical therapy degrees available for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief descriptions of degrees that are available in the Wailuku HI area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are usually offered by junior or community colleges, and require 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a component of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy training to ready candidates to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take four years to finish and usually incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required 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 three years to finish, making the total commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an intregal element along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in several states for licensing also.
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 United States. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Schools Online
Although not as prevalent as the more traditional alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapy degrees available, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the college campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online part of the program can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Wailuku HI home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition can be somewhat less than comparable on campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
At this point you most likely have come to decision concerning a few of your initial queries, like the kind of physical therapist degree you want to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT colleges within the Wailuku HI area and across Hawaii, you’ll have to explore additional qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of school choices. Moreover, you want to make certain that you pick the college that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapist programs you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing schools these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are looking at have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As earlier mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctoral degree the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you choose an online program, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist program and school you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapist community. There are a number of ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Get in touch with some Wailuku HI physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your school selections. It may also be a good idea to check with 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 Rate? There are a two useful statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapist schools you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may mean that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Wailuku HI area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even excellent. It also affirms that the program has a wide network of contacts to help students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you enroll in provides both excellent training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria for Hawaii or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapist schools you are interested in have associations with Wailuku HI hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent manner to obtain hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Wailuku health care community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are looking at 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 talk with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy college they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their Wailuku HI residence. Those who have chosen 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 importance. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Support Offered? Most DPT schools supply some form of financial support to their prospective students. Inquire if the schools you are examining have a financial aid department and see what type of help is available. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapist college you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Wailuku HI area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Wailuku Hawaii?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Wailuku HI area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Wailuku is located just west of Kahului, at the mouth of the ʻĪao Valley. In the early 20th century Wailuku was the main tourist destination on Maui, though it has since been eclipsed with the rise of the resort towns such as Kaʻanapali, so much that there are no hotels to speak of in Wailuku.
Historic sites in the town include Kaʻahumanu Church (named after one of Hawaiʻi's great monarchs, Queen Kaʻahumanu) which dates to 1876, the Wailuku Civic Center Historic District, the site of the Chee Kung Tong Society Building, and the Bailey House, a 19th-century former seminary and home that houses a history museum and the Maui Historical Society.
There are two ancient temples near Wailuku, called heiau — the Halekiʻi Heiau and the Pihanakalani Heiau. Both date back hundreds of years and were used for religious purposes by the native Hawaiians.
Top Physical Therapy Schools Wailuku HI
Picking the best physical therapist school is an important initial decision you need to make to launch a rewarding career in the health care field. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you decide on should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. But there are other 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 Top Physical Therapy Schools. However, as you begin your search for a physical therapist college bear in mind that a number of factors will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You might want to visit different campuses to view their facilities and talk with active 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 appropriate choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can fulfill your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Wailuku HI.
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