How to Select the Right Physical Therapist School near Congress Arizona
Receiving a physical therapist degree near Congress AZ is a critical first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been disabled as a result of injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the appropriate education and training. A PT must also become licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research the ones you are looking at to ensure they will deliver a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. 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 significant qualifications that need to be evaluated in addition to location and cost. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists practice in diverse locations, such as Congress AZ private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they develop a course of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries
- Cardiac arrest
- Sports injuries
- Burn injuries
- Hip Replacement
- Multiple Sclerosis
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Congress AZ medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can 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 rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Available
There are three physical therapist degrees offered for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the only degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief summaries of degrees that are available in the Congress AZ area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are usually made available by community colleges, and require two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically part of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist training to ready students 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 becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally take four years to finish and usually incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to finish, making the overall investment of time seven years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential component along with the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in a number of states for licensing as well.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer offered in the USA. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Colleges
While not as common as the on-campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapy programs offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online part of the course of study can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Congress AZ home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition may be somewhat less than comparable on-campus options, and costs for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online option the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
By now you most likely have made a decision concerning some of your initial questions, including the type of physical therapy degree you would like to obtain, 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 Congress AZ area and throughout Arizona, you’ll have to research additional qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of college options. Furthermore, you want to be sure that you choose the program that is best for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Find out if the schools you are looking at have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As previously stated, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you enroll in an online college, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy school and program you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Call some Congress AZ physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your college selections. It may also be prudent to contact the Arizona Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two important statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapy colleges you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may suggest that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Congress AZ area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or perhaps excellent. It also confirms that the program has a large network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you select provides both exceptional training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is required 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 PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the physical therapist schools you are evaluating have associations with Congress AZ clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to get practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may help students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Congress medical community and assist with job placement after licensing.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Congress AZ home. Those who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry 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 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 commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Aid Provided? The majority of DPT schools provide some form of financial support to their prospective students. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial assistance office and find out what type of aid is available. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapist program you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Congress AZ area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option 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 might miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Congress Arizona?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Congress AZ area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Congress is a census-designated place (CDP) in Yavapai County, Arizona, United States. Once a gold-mining center for the Congress Mine and then a ghost town, Congress now serves as a retirement and bedroom community for nearby Wickenburg. The population was 1,717 at the 2000 census.
Gold was discovered at the Congress Mine in 1884. By 1893, the Santa Fe, Prescott and Phoenix Railway passed within three miles of the mine, at Congress Junction. Congress boomed, and remained prosperous until the mid-1930s, when the mines closed. Total gold production at the Congress Mine exceeded $8 million, at the then-current price of $20.67 per ounce — or about $400 million, at the 2007 price.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 37.7 square miles (98 km2), of which, 37.6 square miles (97 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) (0.08%) is water.
Online Physical Therapy Assistant Schools Congress AZ
Selecting the right physical therapy program is an important first decision you must make to start a rewarding career in the health care field. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you select should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. However there are additional critical questions that you need to ask regarding your college of choice as well. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Online Physical Therapy Assistant Schools. However, as you begin your search for a physical therapist program keep in mind that a number of factors will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You may want to visit different colleges to see their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me achieve my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the right selection. And with the proper education and training, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Congress AZ.
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