How to Enroll In the Right Physical Therapist Program near Dateland Arizona
Earning a physical therapy degree near Dateland AZ is a critical first step to launching a fulfilling career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated due to illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the appropriate training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate those you are thinking about to ensure they will furnish a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is select a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be evaluated along with cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists practice in diverse settings, including Dateland AZ hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they design a course of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also strive to stop any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries
- Heart attacks
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Fire injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Multiple Sclerosis
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Dateland AZ medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Offered
There are three physical therapist degrees offered for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is attainable 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. Following are brief descriptions of degree levels that are offered in the Dateland 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 a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are usually provided by community colleges, and take about two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually a component of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist training to prep candidates to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take 4 years to complete and commonly include an internship program of at least 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 complete, making the overall commitment seven years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal element along with the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in several states for licensing also.
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 United States. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Degrees Online
While not as common as the on-campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapist programs available, more so 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 requires that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online part of the course of study may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Dateland AZ residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition might be significantly lower than similar on-campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning some of your initial questions, including the type of physical therapy degree you would like to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are so many PT colleges within the Dateland AZ area and throughout Arizona, you’ll need to look into other qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of college choices. Furthermore, you want to be sure that you select the program that is best for you. That’s why we have put together a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are considering. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As previously stated, 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 college, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist program and school you select are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist community. There are a number of ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Call some Dateland AZ physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your program selections. It might also be prudent to contact the Arizona Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might suggest that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Dateland AZ area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also confirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to help students gain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you select furnishes both excellent training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing criteria for Arizona or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the physical therapist schools you are assessing have partnerships with Dateland AZ hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Dateland medical community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are looking at what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy school they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Dateland AZ home. Those who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Help Provided? The majority of DPT colleges offer some form of financial aid to their potential students. Find out if the schools you are examining have a financial aid office and see what kind of assistance is offered. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. Some physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial aid might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapist college you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Dateland AZ area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Dateland Arizona?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Dateland AZ area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Dateland began as a road stop in the 1920s. During World War II, Dateland was home to Dateland Air Force Auxiliary Field. After the closure of the airfield, the land was subdivided in the 1970s. The developers of one subdivision on the former airfield, El Camino Del Sol, were convicted of fraud in 1977. Most of Dateland consists of undeveloped lots.
This area has a large amount of sunshine year round due to its stable descending air and high pressure. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Dateland has a desert climate, abbreviated "Bwh" on climate maps.
Online Schools For Physical Therapy Assistant Dateland AZ
Deciding on the right physical therapist school is an important first decision you need to make to begin a fulfilling career in the medical profession. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you choose should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are additional important questions that you should ask pertaining to your school of choice as well. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Online Schools For Physical Therapy Assistant. However, as you commence your search for a physical therapy school keep in mind that numerous factors will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You might want to visit each of the schools to view their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me realize my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the proper training and education, you can achieve your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Dateland AZ.
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