How to Pick the Right Physical Therapist College near Clarkdale Arizona
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near Clarkdale AZ is a critical first step to starting a fulfilling career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated due to illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the proper training and education. A PT must also become licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate the ones you are thinking about to ensure they will furnish a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is enroll in a school just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be evaluated along with location and cost. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists practice in diverse settings, including Clarkdale AZ private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they design a program of treatment to address the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also strive to prevent any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Heart attacks
- Sports injuries
- Fire injuries
- Hip Replacement
- Multiple Sclerosis
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Clarkdale AZ medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degree Options
There are 3 physical therapy degrees available for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single degree that is offered to practice as 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 explanations of degree levels that are offered in the Clarkdale AZ area:
- Associate Degrees train students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are typically provided by community or junior colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually a portion of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy education to prepare candidates to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally require 4 years to complete and often include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to complete, making the overall commitment seven years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal element in addition to the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in several states for licensing also.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has taken the place of the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer offered in the United States. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Colleges
Although not as prevalent as the on campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapist programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the program can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Clarkdale AZ home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition can be somewhat lower than comparable on campus options, and costs for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
At this point you most likely have come to decision regarding some of your preliminary questions, including the type of physical therapist degree you intend to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are so many PT schools within the Clarkdale AZ area and across Arizona, you’ll need to look into additional qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of school choices. Furthermore, you need to make sure that you pick the college that is right for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapist programs you are considering. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Find out if the programs you are considering have earned accreditation from a national or a regional 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 essential that both the physical therapy school and program you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist community. There are several ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Contact several Clarkdale AZ physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your program selections. It may also be a good idea to check with the Arizona 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 couple of relevant statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapist colleges you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may suggest that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Clarkdale AZ area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care community is good or even exceptional. It also confirms that the college has a large network of contacts to help students gain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the school you select provides both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria for Arizona or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapist schools you are assessing have associations with Clarkdale AZ clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to obtain practical training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may assist students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Clarkdale health care community and assist with job placement once licensed.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they choose will have to be within travelling distance of their Clarkdale AZ residence. Students who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Aid Provided? The majority of DPT schools supply some type of financial support to their potential students. Inquire if the colleges you are examining have a financial aid office and see what kind of aid is available. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. Some physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial aid might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapist college you ultimately select can furnish 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 Clarkdale AZ area, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Clarkdale Arizona?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Clarkdale AZ area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Clarkdale (Yavapai: Saupkasuiva) is a town in Yavapai County, Arizona, United States. The Verde River flows through the town as does Bitter Creek, an intermittent tributary of the river. According to the 2010 census, the population of the town was 4,097.
Clarkdale was founded in 1912 as a company smelter town by William A. Clark, for his copper mine in nearby Jerome. Clarkdale was one of the most modern mining towns in the world, including telephone, telegraph, electrical, sewer and spring water services, and was an early example of a planned community. The Clark Mansion, a local landmark, was built in the late 1920s by William Clark III, Clark's grandson and heir to the United Verde Copper Company. The structure, east of town across the Verde River near Pecks Lake, was destroyed in 2010 by a fire of "suspicious" origin.
The town center and business district were built in Spanish Colonial style, and feature the Clark Memorial Clubhouse and Memorial Library, both still in use. The Clubhouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The entire original town site is also on the National Register as the Clarkdale Historic District.
Education For Physical Therapy Clarkdale AZ
Selecting the best physical therapy school is an important initial decision you must make to begin a fulfilling career in the healthcare profession. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you select should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. But there are other relevant questions that you need to ask regarding your school of choice as well. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Education For Physical Therapy. However, as you begin your search for a physical therapist college keep in mind that a number of factors will guide you to your ultimate decision. You may decide to visit each of the colleges to see their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me achieve 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 choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Clarkdale AZ.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Arizona
Business Results 1 - 10 of 34