Home >> Alaska >> Tanaina >> Physical Therapy Schools


Get Free Info on Physical Therapy Degree Majors Tanaina AK 99654

How to Find the Right Physical Therapy Training Program Near Tanaina Alaska

Tanaina Alaska physical therapist working with female patient holding exercise ballGetting a physical therapist degree near Tanaina AK is an important first step to starting a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated due to injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the appropriate education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it's important to evaluate those you are thinking about to ensure they will furnish a quality education and comply with your state's licensing standards. What you do not want to do is choose a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be considered besides cost and location. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we'll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.

What Does a Physical Therapist Do?

Tanaina Alaska DPT helping female patient to walk

Physical therapists practice in varying settings, such as Tanaina AK private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a course of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Strokes
  • Heart attacks
  • Sports injuries
  • Burn injuries
  • Hip Replacement
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Multiple Sclerosis

Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Tanaina AK health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degrees

Tanaina Alaska DPT working with patient in pool

There are 3 physical therapy degree options available for individuals 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 concentrate on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief explanations of degree levels that are available to prospective students in the Tanaina AK area:

  • Associate Degrees train students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are usually provided by junior or community colleges, and require 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually a component of the program.
  • Bachelor's Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist training to prepare students to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an integral preliminary step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor's degrees, they typically take 4 years to complete and commonly incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 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 three years to complete, making the overall commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal element along with the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not solely 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 attainable in the United States. Some 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 Therapist Colleges Online

Tanaina Alaska woman taking physical therapist courses onlineAlthough not as prevalent as the on campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist programs offered, 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 near the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online part of the course of study may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student's Tanaina AK residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition might be significantly lower than similar on-campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.

What to Ask Physical Therapy Schools

At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning a few of your initial questions, like the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are numerous PT colleges within the Tanaina AK area and throughout Alaska, you'll have to look into other qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of college choices. Moreover, you want to make sure that you enroll in the program that is best for you. That's the reason we have compiled a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapy schools you are thinking about. Ask all of the potential schools these questions before making a final selection.

Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited?  Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As previously 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 can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's essential that both the physical therapy school and program you select are accredited, not just the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the School's Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it's essential that the school and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist community. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT program's reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Get in touch with a few Tanaina AK physical therapist clinics or other medical care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your school options. It may also be prudent to check with the Alaska Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may suggest that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the support of the college's job placement program, particularly in the Tanaina AK area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care field is good or perhaps excellent. It also confirms that the school has a wide network of contacts to assist students get internships or employment after graduation.

Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It's imperative that the college you select provides both superior training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria for Alaska or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the physical therapy schools you are interested in have associations with Tanaina AK hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent manner to receive hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can help students and graduates establish professional connections in the Tanaina healthcare community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the physical therapy program also.

Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapy college they decide on will have to be within travelling distance of their Tanaina AK home. Individuals who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.

Is Financial Support Offered? The majority of DPT schools provide some form of financial support to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial aid department and find out what kind of assistance is offered. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. Some physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance may be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapy college you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Tanaina AK area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.

Find Out More About Tanaina Online Physical Therapist Training

Enroll in the Best Tanaina Physical Therapy School

Choosing the right physical therapist school is an important first decision you must make to start a fulfilling career in the health care field. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you choose should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. But there are additional critical questions that you need to ask pertaining to your school of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapist program bear in mind that many factors will guide you to your ultimate decision. You might decide to go to each of the schools to view their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me accomplish my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the proper training and education, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Tanaina Alaska.


 

Tanaina Physical Therapy Major Programs | Main | Tanaina Physical Therapist Schools