How to Select the Right Physical Therapist Course near Goodyear Arizona
Receiving a physical therapist degree near Goodyear AZ is an essential first step to launching a fulfilling career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled due to illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the appropriate training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate those you are considering to ensure they will deliver a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is choose a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be evaluated besides location and cost. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists work in a variety of locations, such as Goodyear AZ hospitals, health clinics, 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 stated, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they create a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent 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
- Cerebral Palsy
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Goodyear AZ health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Offered
There are 3 physical therapy degree options available for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the only degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief summaries of degrees that are offered in the Goodyear AZ area:
- Associate Degrees train students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are most often provided by junior or community colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually a component of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy education to prepare candidates to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally require four years to complete and commonly incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement if you want to become a practicing licensed 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 finish, making the overall investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an important element in addition to the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in a number of 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 attainable in the USA. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Programs Online
Although not as common as the on campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist programs offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online segment of the curriculum may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Goodyear AZ residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition might be significantly less than similar on-campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
By now you most likely have come to decision concerning several of your preliminary questions, like the kind of physical therapy degree you want to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are so many PT schools within the Goodyear AZ area and across Arizona, you’ll have to explore additional qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of school choices. Furthermore, you want to make certain that you pick the school that is best for you. That’s why we have collected a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapist programs you are considering. Ask each of the competing schools these questions prior to making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are considering have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As earlier stated, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you choose an online school, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist program and school you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist community. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Get in touch with several Goodyear AZ physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your school selections. It may also be a good idea to check with 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 Rate? There are a couple of useful statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Goodyear AZ area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also confirms that the program has a broad network of contacts to help students obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you select furnishes 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 required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the physical therapist programs you are assessing have associations with Goodyear AZ clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to obtain hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist graduates and students establish professional connections in the Goodyear medical community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.
What Size 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 likely prefer a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist college they choose will need to be within commuting distance of their Goodyear AZ residence. Students who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Support Offered? Most DPT colleges provide some type of financial aid to their prospective students. Ask if the colleges you are examining have a financial assistance office and see what kind of assistance is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. Some physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial assistance might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapy program you ultimately choose can furnish 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 Goodyear AZ area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Goodyear Arizona?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Goodyear AZ area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Goodyear (O'odham: Valin Thak) is a city in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States. It is a suburb of Phoenix and at the 2010 census had a population of 65,275, the third fastest-growing city in Arizona between 1990 and 2000. The 2015 population estimate was 79,003.
In 2008, Goodyear won the All-America City Award, sponsored by the National Civic League. The city is named after the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company. The company cultivated extensive farmland here to grow cotton for use in their tires.
Goodyear was established in 1917 with the purchase of 16,000 acres (65 km2) of land by the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company to cultivate cotton for vehicle tire cords. World War II was important to Goodyear in the 1940s as the current Phoenix Goodyear Airport was built, but after the war, the economy suffered. Goodyear became a town on November 19, 1946. At the time, it had 151 homes and 250 apartments, a grocery store, a barber shop, beauty shop and a gas station.
PT Education Requirements Goodyear AZ
Choosing the best physical therapist college is a necessary first decision you need to make to start a fulfilling career in the health care field. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you select should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. However there are other important 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 PT Education Requirements. However, as you start your search for a physical therapy school keep in mind that a number of factors will lead you toward your final decision. You might want to go to each of the campuses to see their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college 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 appropriate selection. And with the proper training and education, you can achieve your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Goodyear AZ.
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