How to Select the Right Physical Therapy Training Program near Flagstaff Arizona
Getting a physical therapy degree near Flagstaff AZ is an important first step to launching a fulfilling career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated as a result of illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the proper training and education. A PT must also be licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate the ones you are thinking about to make sure they will deliver a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is enroll in a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be considered in addition to cost and location. But before we cover what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists practice in diverse settings, such as Flagstaff AZ hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they develop a program of treatment to address the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Cardiac arrest
- Sports injuries
- Fire injuries
- Hip Replacement
- Multiple Sclerosis
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Flagstaff AZ health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Available
There are 3 physical therapy degree options offered for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief summaries of degree levels that are available in the Flagstaff AZ area:
- Associate Degrees train students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are usually provided by community or junior colleges, and require 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically part of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy education to prep students to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential initial step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally require 4 years to complete and commonly 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 also must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to complete, making the overall commitment seven years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal component in addition to the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in some 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 available in the United States. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Programs Online
While not as common as the on-campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy 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 necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online part of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Flagstaff AZ residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition can be somewhat lower than comparable on-campus options, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning several of your preliminary queries, like the type of physical therapy degree you intend to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are numerous PT colleges within the Flagstaff AZ area and throughout Arizona, you’ll have to look into additional qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of college options. Moreover, you need to be sure that you pick the college that is right for you. That’s why we have collected a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are considering. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are considering have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. 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 can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Contact a few Flagstaff AZ physical therapist clinics or other medical care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your program options. It might also be a good idea to contact the Arizona Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapist programs you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might indicate that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Flagstaff AZ area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even excellent. It also affirms that the school has a wide network of contacts to help students gain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you select furnishes both exceptional training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements 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) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the physical therapist programs you are reviewing have partnerships with Flagstaff AZ hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to receive hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist students and graduates develop professional connections in the Flagstaff health care community and help with job placement once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist college they choose will have to be within driving distance of their Flagstaff AZ residence. Those who have decided 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. Something to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Support Provided? Most DPT schools offer some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Ask if the colleges you are considering have a financial assistance office and find out what type of help is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. Some physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapist college you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Flagstaff AZ area, make certain 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 have to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Flagstaff Arizona?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Flagstaff AZ area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Flagstaff is a city in and the county seat of Coconino County in northern Arizona, in the southwestern United States. In 2015, the city's estimated population was 70,320. Flagstaff's combined metropolitan area has an estimated population of 139,097. The city is named after a ponderosa pine flagpole made by a scouting party from Boston (known as the "Second Boston Party") to celebrate the United States Centennial on July 4, 1876.
Flagstaff lies near the southwestern edge of the Colorado Plateau, along the western side of the largest contiguous ponderosa pine forest in the continental United States. Flagstaff is next to Mount Elden, just south of the San Francisco Peaks, the highest mountain range in the state of Arizona. Humphreys Peak, the highest point in Arizona at 12,633 feet (3,851 m), is about 10 miles (16 km) north of Flagstaff in Kachina Peaks Wilderness.
Flagstaff's early economy was based on the lumber, railroad, and ranching industries. Today, the city remains an important distribution hub for companies such as Nestlé Purina PetCare, and is home to Lowell Observatory, The U.S. Naval Observatory, the United States Geological Survey Flagstaff Station, and Northern Arizona University. Flagstaff has a strong tourism sector, due to its proximity to Grand Canyon National Park, Oak Creek Canyon, the Arizona Snowbowl, Meteor Crater, and historic Route 66. The city is also a growing center for medical and biotechnology manufacturing, home to corporations such as SenesTech and W. L. Gore and Associates. 
Best Physical Therapy Graduate Schools Flagstaff AZ
Deciding on the ideal physical therapist school is an important initial decision you need to make to launch a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you decide on should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. But there are additional relevant questions that you need to ask regarding your college of choice also. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Best Physical Therapy Graduate Schools. However, as you begin your search for a physical therapist school bear in mind that numerous factors will guide you to your ultimate decision. You might decide to go to each of the colleges to view their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me reach my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the ideal selection. And with the proper training and education, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Flagstaff AZ.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Arizona
Business Results 1 - 10 of 33
Bing: Arizona Physical Therapy Schools Search results
Guide to 2021 Online Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Programs
Accreditation for Online Doctor of Physical Therapy Programs. In order to be licensed as a physical therapist in any state you must have a DPT from a CAPTE accredited program or a foreign equivalent.Accreditation ensures that the quality of education given by the university is high enough to prepare you to be a quality physical therapist.
Physical Therapy Department - ATSU
ATSU Physical Therapy Department is recognized by the Arizona State Board of Physical Therapy to provide category A continuing education courses. A.T. Still University’s Continuing Education department provides support for the University’s schools, graduates and the professional community to fulfill their potential throughout their careers ...
10 Best Physical Therapy Schools in the United States ...
Physical therapy is a fast-growing, worthwhile career in health services, promising job security and workplace satisfaction. However, a quick look at the statistics shows that PT schools are expensive – often unreasonably so.. In your search to find the best Physical Therapy school, ignore the rankings and consider the one factor that most people often ignore: cost.
The 100 Best Physical Therapy Schools In The U.S. 
The Top 100 Best Physical Therapy Schools in the U.S. (2022) Posted by Rohit Mittal. You are planning to major in physical therapy and you want to study in the United States. You might have heard that the US has the best physical therapy schools worldwide, so of course, the US crossed your mind when deciding to choose your PT school.
Best Physical Therapy/Therapist colleges in California ...
University of Southern California offers 4 Physical Therapy/Therapist degree programs. It's a very large, private not-for-profit, four-year university in a large city. In 2019, 108 Physical Therapy/Therapist students graduated with students earning 104 Doctoral degrees, and 4 Master's degrees.
Best Physical Therapy Programs - Top Health Schools - US ...
Ranked in 2020, part of Best Health Schools. To become a physical therapist, students must first master areas of science such as biomechanics, neuroscience, exercise physiology and anatomy.
APTA - Homepage
The Physical Therapist Centralized Application Service (PTCAS) is a service of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). PTCAS allows applicants to use a single application and one set of materials to apply to multiple DPT programs. Visit the PTCAS Applicant Help Center and directory pages before you apply. The 2018-2019 application is ...
Top Physical Therapy Degree Programs 2021+
It’s important to check physical therapy graduate programs to see the support they offer online students and if it matches your learning style. Physical Therapy Schools. For those who prefer hands on learning and in person interactions, physical therapy schools with on campus physical therapy graduate programs may be a great option. These ...
Physical Therapy Schools & Career | How to Become a ...
Online Physical Therapy Schools. Finding a list of online physical therapy schools is just the beginning when it comes to choosing the right distance degree program. Students should thoroughly investigate each school to ensure it offers the coursework and training they need to achieve their career goals.
Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree - ATSU
The residential Doctor of Physical Therapy program at A.T. Still University of Health Sciences is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE), 3030 Potomac Ave., Suite 100, Alexandria, Virginia 22305-3085; telephone: 703.706.3245; email: [email protected]; website: www.capteonline.org. If needing to contact the program/institution directly, please ...