How to Enroll In the Right Physical Therapy Program near Litchfield Park Arizona
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near Litchfield Park AZ is an essential first step to starting a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated due to injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the proper education and training. A PT must also become licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate those you are considering to make certain they will furnish a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is choose a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be evaluated along with cost and location. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in diverse locations, including Litchfield Park 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 earlier touched on, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they design a program of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries
- Heart attacks
- Sports injuries
- Burn injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Cerebral Palsy
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Litchfield Park AZ medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees
There are three physical therapy degrees available for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief descriptions of degree levels that are available in the Litchfield Park AZ area:
- Associate Degrees train 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 equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are typically provided by community or junior colleges, and take about two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a portion of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist training to prepare candidates to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they typically require four years to complete and usually incorporate 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). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to complete, making the overall investment of time 7 years in the majority of 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 several states for licensing as well.
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 United States. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Schools
Although not as common as the on-campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapist programs offered, more so 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 necessitates that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the curriculum may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Litchfield Park AZ home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition might be somewhat less than similar on-campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
By now you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding several of your preliminary queries, such as the type of physical therapist degree you want to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT schools within the Litchfield Park AZ area and throughout Arizona, you’ll need to explore other qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of school choices. Furthermore, you need to make certain that you enroll in the college that is best for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Ask if the programs you are looking at have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. 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 select an online college, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are several ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, beginning with requesting 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 as well. Get in touch with some Litchfield Park AZ physical therapist centers or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your school options. It may 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 Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two important statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might indicate 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 assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Litchfield Park 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 perhaps excellent. It also confirms that the college has a broad network of contacts to help students gain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you choose provides both excellent 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 needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the physical therapy schools you are interested in have relationships with Litchfield Park AZ hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to receive hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Litchfield Park medical community and help with job placement once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy 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 ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapy school they decide on will need to be within driving distance of their Litchfield Park AZ home. Those who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry 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 college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Help Offered? The majority of DPT schools provide some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial aid office and see what kind of aid is available. They at least should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. Some physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial aid may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapy program you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Litchfield Park AZ area, verify that they are available. 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 protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Litchfield Park Arizona?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Litchfield Park AZ area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Litchfield Park, Arizona
Litchfield Park is a city in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States. It is twenty miles northwest of Phoenix. According to the U.S. Census, the population of the city was estimated to be 6,009 as of 2017.
The town of Litchfield Park is a historically affluent community outside of Phoenix named after its founder, Paul Weeks Litchfield (1875–1959). He was an executive of the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company who came to the Phoenix area in 1916 in search of suitable land to farm a long-staple cotton that had previously been available only from the Sea Islands off the coast of Georgia and from Egypt. This cotton was needed to strengthen the rubber in the pneumatic tire, of which Goodyear was the world's largest producer. The east coast cotton supply had been devastated by the boll weevil and the African supply had been greatly reduced by World War I attacks from German U-boats. Litchfield went to the Phoenix area at the suggestion of the United States Department of Agriculture, but he was not successful in motivating local farmers to grow his cotton. Instead he got Goodyear to form the Southwest Cotton Company in Phoenix, with Litchfield as its president, eventually purchasing some 36,000 acres in the general Salt River Valley area including 5,000 acres around the present site of Litchfield Park, then known as Litchfield Ranch. Much of the land was bought for as little as $25 per acre. The cotton was cultivated with a workforce of mostly Mexican and Native American men. The U.S. Postal Service agreed to the name "Litchfield Park" in 1926. In 1929, the Wigwam Resort was opened to the public. In 1926, Litchfield went on to become the president of the Goodyear-Zeppelin Corporation, and then Chairman of the Board in 1930. He retired from the company in 1958, and spent the final months of his life as a resident of Litchfield Park at his home on Fairway Drive.
In 1964, Goodyear created Litchfield Park Land and Development Co. to expand Litchfield Park into a 90,000 resident community.Arden E. Goodyear was the head of the company, Patrick Cusick was vice president and general manager, and Victor Gruen was hired to design some of the buildings. Emanuel Cartsonis, who had worked with Cusick became city planner. The plan called for 25,000 homes, a college, a junior college, eighteen elementary schools, ten junior high schools, and six high schools, as well as improvements to the town's golf course and harness track at an expense of at least 750 million dollars. Goodyear made many mistakes during development, including selling properties right up to the curb line, which means that the city must get permission from property owners before they can put in a sidewalk. They abandoned their plans for expanding Litchfield Park before they were completed and sold whatever land they could.
PTA Accredited Programs Litchfield Park AZ
Deciding on the best physical therapist school is a necessary first decision you must make to begin a rewarding career in the health care profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you select should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are other relevant 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 PTA Accredited Programs. However, as you start your search for a physical therapy school bear in mind that a number of variables will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You might want to visit each of the schools to see their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me realize 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 field so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can fulfill your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Litchfield Park AZ.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Arizona
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