Home >> Alaska >> Knik Fairview >> Physical Therapy Major Programs


Get Free Info on Physical Therapy Programs Knik Fairview AK 99654

How to Pick the Right Physical Therapist Program Near Knik Fairview Alaska

Knik Fairview Alaska physical therapist working with female patient holding balance ballReceiving a physical therapist degree near Knik Fairview AK is an essential first step to beginning a rewarding career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated as a result of injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the necessary education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee earn 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 thinking about to ensure they will provide a superior education and satisfy your state's licensing requirements. What you should not do is select 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 must be evaluated in addition to cost and location. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we'll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.

What is a Physical Therapist?

Knik Fairview Alaska DPT assisting woman to walk

Physical therapists practice in varying settings, including Knik Fairview AK 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 mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they develop a course of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Head injuries
  • Heart attacks
  • Sports injuries
  • Fire injuries
  • Knee Replacement
  • Sciatica
  • Cerebral Palsy

Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Knik Fairview AK medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone considering entering the physical therapy profession, it is quite 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

Knik Fairview Alaska physical therapist working with man in pool

There are 3 physical therapy degree options offered for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single degree that is available that qualifies the graduate to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing 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 available to prospective students in the Knik Fairview AK 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 earned a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are usually made available by junior or community colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a component of the program.
  • Bachelor's Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist training to ready candidates to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor's degrees, they normally require four years to complete and usually include an internship program of at least 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 overall investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential component in addition to the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not just for graduation but in a number of states for licensing as well.

The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master's of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer available in the USA. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master's or even a bachelor's degree were "grandfathered" in before the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapy Degrees Online

Knik Fairview Alaska female student taking physical therapy classes onlineWhile not as prevalent as the on-campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy degrees available, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature 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 curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student's Knik Fairview AK home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition can be somewhat lower than similar 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 can make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.

Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges

By now you most likely have made a decision concerning a few of your initial questions, such as the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are so many PT schools within the Knik Fairview AK area and across Alaska, you'll need to explore additional qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of school options. Furthermore, you need to make certain that you pick the college that is ideal for you. That's the reason we have collected a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.

Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited?  Ask if the schools you are looking at have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As earlier stated, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you select an online program, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's essential that both the physical therapy school and program you choose are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the College's Ranking? Along with accreditation, it's essential that the school and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are several ways you can investigate a PT college's reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Call some Knik Fairview AK physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your school selections. It might also be prudent to contact the Alaska Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the schools.

What is the College's Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of significant statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapy schools you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may mean that students left due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the help of the school's job placement program, particularly in the Knik Fairview AK area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it's an indication that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even exceptional. It also confirms that the college has a wide network of contacts to help students obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It's essential that the college you enroll in provides both superior training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria for Alaska or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.

Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapist programs you are reviewing have relationships with Knik Fairview AK hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to receive 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 graduates and students form professional connections in the Knik Fairview healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the back of class or hide 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 researching what the typical student to teacher 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 an opportunity to converse with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the physical therapy program also.

Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy college they select will have to be within driving distance of their Knik Fairview AK home. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online 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 need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.

Is Financial Support Provided? The majority of DPT schools provide some form of financial support to their prospective students. Inquire if the schools you are looking at have a financial assistance department and find out what type of assistance is offered. They at least should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. Some physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial aid might be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapy college you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Knik Fairview AK area, check that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.

Learn More About Knik Fairview Online Physical Therapy Majors

Enroll in the Right Knik Fairview Physical Therapist School

Deciding on the right physical therapist school is an important first decision you need to make to start a fulfilling career in the health care profession. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you select should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are additional critical questions that you should ask pertaining to your school of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapist college keep in mind that a number of factors will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You might want to visit different colleges to view their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me reach my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the best selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can fulfill your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Knik Fairview Alaska.


 

Knik Fairview Physical Therapist Degrees | Main | Knik Fairview Physical Therapy Schools