How to Choose the Right Physical Therapy School near Cochise Arizona
Earning a physical therapist degree near Cochise AZ is an essential first step to starting a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled due to injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the necessary training and education. A PT must also be licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research the ones you are thinking about to make certain they will supply a superior education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is select a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be considered besides cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists work in diverse settings, including Cochise AZ private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help people that are struggling with a lack of mobility and often pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they develop a program of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries
- Cardiac arrest
- Sports injuries
- Burn injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Multiple Sclerosis
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Cochise AZ medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degree Options
There are 3 physical therapist degrees offered for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the single degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short explanations of degrees that are offered in the Cochise AZ area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are most often made available by junior or community colleges, and require two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually 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. While they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically require four years to finish and commonly include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required if you want to become a licensed practicing 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 3 years to finish, making the total investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an intregal component along with the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in a number of states for licensing as well.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has taken the place of the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer offered in the USA. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Degrees Online
Although not as prevalent as the more traditional options, there are some accredited online physical therapy programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the program can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Cochise AZ residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition might be somewhat lower than comparable on-campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online option the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
At this point you probably have made a decision regarding several of your initial queries, including the type of physical therapy degree you intend to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are numerous PT schools within the Cochise AZ area and across Arizona, you’ll have to look into additional qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of college choices. Also, you want to make certain that you select the program that is ideal for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering. Ask each of the potential schools these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Ask if the programs you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As previously 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 enroll in an online school, it can also earn 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 through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are several ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Call some Cochise AZ physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your college options. It may also be a good idea to contact the Arizona Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two useful statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might suggest that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Cochise AZ area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even excellent. It also confirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you select provides both excellent training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the physical therapy schools you are interested in have associations with Cochise AZ clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can help students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Cochise healthcare community and assist with job placement after licensing.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want 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 perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist college they select will have to be within driving distance of their Cochise AZ home. Those who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have 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 Aid Offered? The majority of DPT schools supply some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Inquire if the schools you are looking at have a financial assistance department and see what kind of help is obtainable. They at least should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. A number of physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a college 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 therapist school you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Cochise AZ area, confirm 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 carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Cochise Arizona?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Cochise AZ area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Cochise County, Arizona
In 1528 Spanish Explorers: Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca, Estevanico, and Fray Marcos de Niza survived a shipwreck off Texas coast. Captured by Native Americans they spent 8 years finding their way back to Mexico City, via the San Pedro Valley. Their journals, maps, and stories lead to the Cibola, seven cities of gold myth. The Expedition of Francisco Vásquez de Coronado in 1539 using it as his route north through what they called the Guachuca Mountains of Pima (Tohono O'odham) lands and later part of the mission routes north, but was actually occupied by the Sobaipuri descendants of the Hohokam. They found a large Pueblo (described as a small city) between Benson and Whetstone, and several smaller satellite villages and smaller pueblos including ones on Fort Huachuca, Huachuca City and North Eastern Fry. About 1657 Father Kino visited the Sobaipuris just before the Apache forced most from the valley, as they were struggling to survive due to increasing Chiricahua Apache attacks as they moved into the area of Texas Canyon in the Dragoon Mountains. In 1776 The Presidio Santa Cruz de Terrante was founded on the West bank of the San Pedro River, to protect the natives as well as the Spanish settlers who supplied the mission stations, but it was chronically short on provisions from raids, and lack of personnel to adequately patrol the eastern route due to wars with France and England, so the main route north shifted west to the Santa Cruz valley, farther from the Chiricahua Apache's ranges who almost exclusively controlled the area by 1821.
Cochise County was created on February 1, 1881, out of the eastern portion of Pima County. It took its name from the legendary Chiricahua Apache war chief Cochise. The county seat was Tombstone until 1929 when it moved to Bisbee. Notable men who once held the position of County Sheriff were Johnny Behan, who served as the first sheriff of the new county, and who was one of the main characters during the events leading to and following the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. Later, in 1886, Texas John Slaughter became sheriff. Lawman Jeff Milton and lawman/outlaw Burt Alvord both served as deputies under Slaughter.
A syndicated television series which aired from 1956 to 1958, Sheriff of Cochise starring John Bromfield, was filmed in Bisbee. The Jimmy Stewart movie Broken Arrow and subsequent television show of the same name starring John Lupton, which also aired from 1956 to 1958, took place (but was not filmed) in Cochise County.
Schools With Physical Therapy Majors Cochise AZ
Picking the right physical therapy school is a necessary first decision you need to make to start a fulfilling career in the medical profession. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you select should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are other critical questions that you should ask regarding your college of choice also. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Schools With Physical Therapy Majors. However, as you commence your search for a physical therapist college keep in mind that many variables will lead you toward your final decision. You may want to visit different schools to view their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me realize my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the ideal choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can fulfill your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Cochise AZ.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Arizona