Do you want to become a physical therapist? If so, you are probably checking out physical therapy schools. But how do you know a good physical therapy program from a not-so-good one? Here are some considerations to help you find a good physical therapy school.
The location of the physical therapy school is important. Remember that you will spend three years in this place, so make sure it is somewhere you wish to live. Also, check out the cost of living in the area of the school you are considering. Finding a good school close to home is always a plus.
Accreditation ensures quality. It tells you that the standard of the coursework is high, and the school produces people qualified to perform the job. It is also a prerequisite for taking the licensure exam. To be safe, only consider established and accredited programs to avoid uncertainty.
NPTE/Graduation Pass Rates
The certification exam is the exam you will take after graduation. To become licensed, you must pass this exam. You must check a school’s NPTE pass rates. Contact schools and inquire about their pass rates. They might also share their graduation rates which is another consideration.
Schools will have their prerequisite requirements. They will list accepted courses that fulfill each prerequisite requirement. It is essential to check this information to ensure you are taking the correct courses.
Observation Hour Requirements
Most programs have an observation hour requirement. Check this out to ensure you meet the criteria. Programs will typically list the hour requirement, their hour recommendation, and whether or not they accept paid hours. It is best to have more hours than the school requires to show you are taking the time to learn about the profession.
Physical therapy school is a costly undertaking. When looking into schools, ensure you can pay for them if accepted. Tuitions vary, particularly between public and private schools. In-state and out-of-state tuition often differ too. Most students take out loans, but scholarships and other options are available, so research them all.
Research the curriculum. Is the program’s emphasis on problem-based learning? Do they teach by body system? Body part, perhaps? Can you take elective courses? Is research or group work required? It would help if you asked these questions when considering a PT school.
The mission and values of a school are important. Values and mission directly impact how a school runs. Read each school’s mission statement and find out what they value. Are they research-oriented, do they value diversity and inclusion, or is there participation in community outreach? You likely do not want to attend a program whose values do not align with yours.
There are many good physical therapy programs, and if you research, you will find one that fits your needs. When you become a therapist, let the pros at myPTsolutions help you find a great job!
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