How to Pick the Right Physical Therapy Training Program near Fountain Hills Arizona
Earning a physical therapy degree near Fountain Hills AZ is a critical first step to launching a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled as a result of illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the proper training and education. A PT must also be licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate the ones you are looking at to make sure they will deliver a quality education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is select 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 considered in addition to 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 locations, such as Fountain Hills AZ private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes 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 often pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they develop a program of treatment to address the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries
- Cardiac arrest
- Sports injuries
- Burn injuries
- Hip Replacement
- Cerebral Palsy
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Fountain Hills AZ health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise one or more 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 profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Available
There are 3 physical therapist degree options offered for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the only degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief summaries of degrees that are offered in the Fountain Hills AZ area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are usually offered by community colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a portion of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist education to ready candidates to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically require 4 years to finish and commonly incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required in order to become a practicing licensed 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 three years to complete, making the overall commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal element along with 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 USA. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Programs
While not as common as the more traditional alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapy programs offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature 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 nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the program can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Fountain Hills AZ residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition may be somewhat lower than similar on-campus options, and expenses 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 option the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
At this point you probably have come to decision concerning several of your preliminary queries, including the kind of physical therapist degree you intend to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are numerous PT colleges within the Fountain Hills AZ area and across Arizona, you’ll have to research additional qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of school options. Moreover, you want to make sure that you choose the school that is right for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are thinking about. Ask all of the competing schools these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Ask if the programs you are looking at have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As earlier mentioned, 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 program, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy program and school you choose are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are several ways you can look into a PT school’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Call several Fountain Hills AZ physical therapist centers or other health care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your college selections. It may also be prudent to check with the Arizona Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two relevant statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapist programs you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might indicate that students left because of 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 Fountain Hills AZ area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care field is good or even outstanding. It also confirms that the college has a large network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you select provides both excellent training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements 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 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 and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Provided? Find out if the physical therapist programs you are assessing have partnerships with Fountain Hills AZ hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Fountain Hills health care community and assist with job placement once licensed.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Fountain Hills AZ home. Students who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern 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 decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Most DPT schools supply some type of financial support to their prospective students. Find out if the colleges you are examining have a financial assistance office and see what kind of assistance is offered. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. Some physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapist college you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Fountain Hills AZ area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Fountain Hills Arizona?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Fountain Hills AZ area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Fountain Hills, Arizona
Fountain Hills is a town in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States. Known for its impressive fountain, once the tallest in the world, it borders on the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, and Scottsdale, Arizona. The population is 22,489, as of the 2010 census. Between the 1990 and 2000 censuses it was the eighth-fastest-growing place among cities and towns in Arizona.
In the early 1900's, the area that became Fountain Hills and the McDowell Mountain Regional Park was part of the Pemberton Ranch, later renamed the P Bar Ranch. Fountain Hills High School is built on the site of one of the P Bar Ranch's buildings, and a plaque stands in the parking lot to commemorate this.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 18.2 square miles (47.1 km2), of which 18.1 square miles (46.9 km2) is land and 0.1 square mile (0.26 km2) (0.55%) is water.
Education To Become A Physical Therapist Fountain Hills AZ
Selecting the right physical therapy program is a necessary first decision you need to make to begin a gratifying career in the medical field. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you enroll in should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. But there are other critical questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice also. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Education To Become A Physical Therapist. However, as you commence your search for a physical therapist college bear in mind that numerous variables will lead you to your ultimate decision. You might decide to go to different schools to view their facilities and talk with 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 adhering to our list of supplemental 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 achieve your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Fountain Hills AZ.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Arizona
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