Physical Therapy Schools
There are several different things to keep in mind when it comes to choosing the right physical therapist school for you. Cost of the school itself will obviously influence where you choose to go but the quality of the program may offset some of those costs in the long run. Also, the location of the school could significantly influence how well it will work for you as the urban or rural setting will greatly influence the kinds of patients and work environments you find yourself in upon graduation.
One of the essential things to ensure when looking at schools for training to become a physical therapist is to make sure that they are accredited by the American Physical Therapy Association. A post-baccalaureate degree from a non-accredited institution will be of very little use to you if you plan on using your degree in a major hospital or if you plan on marketing yourself in your own practice. The American Physical Therapy Association can also provide a list of all of the accredited schools in the area of the country that you are most interested in working in. One can find a list of the accredited institutions at the APTA website: www.apta.org.
Cost vs. Location
The other essential aspect to finding the right physical therapy program for you is to consider the cost. Initially, the cost may seem like a fairly straight forward equation based upon the tuition and fees wrought from the program itself. It becomes more complicated when you consider the types of institutions and the locations. If you were to pay a little bit less for school but lived in an expensive city where your other expenses were greatly increased then the overall cost may not be worthwhile for you. Inversely, if you were to go to a school that cost a bit more but you could somehow live with your parents or find some other way that would cost you less overall then you would save more money over the long run.
Also, the type of institution should also change how you look at cost. If you have a particular variety of physical therapy that you would like to pursue or a particular type of patient that you would like to help, then the school choice could also be significantly swayed. Certain schools will have relationships with hospitals for internships and possibly connections that will put you in a better position to get the job that you really desire when you receive your accreditation as a physical therapist.
The location of the school itself will also be a significant factor in your decision on the right school. Aside from the obvious factors regarding the cost associated with a certain location, the desired environment that you would like to work in after school will be a good place to go to school as well. Wherever you choose to attend school will most likely be the best place to practice physical therapy as your network of connections will be the largest from your experience in school. As a result, be sure to choose a place that you would like to live after school as well as during your physical therapist training if possible.