How to Enroll In the Right Physical Therapy College near Marana Arizona
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near Marana AZ is a critical first step to beginning a rewarding career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been disabled due to injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the appropriate training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate the ones you are thinking about to make sure they will deliver a quality education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is choose a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the most affordable 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 cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of settings, such as Marana AZ private practices, hospitals, 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 patients that are struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they develop a course of treatment to address the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Cardiac arrest
- Sports injuries
- Fire injuries
- Hip Replacement
- Multiple Sclerosis
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Marana AZ medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Offered
There are three physical therapist degrees offered for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short explanations of degree levels that are offered in the Marana AZ area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are usually provided by community colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically part of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy education to prep candidates to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take four years to finish 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 also must 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 training is an important component in addition to the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion 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 USA. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Online Colleges
Although not as prevalent as the more traditional alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapist programs available, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online segment of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Marana AZ home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition can be somewhat lower than comparable on campus options, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
At this point you most likely have come to decision concerning some of your initial queries, including the type of physical therapist degree you intend to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are so many PT colleges within the Marana AZ area and throughout Arizona, you’ll have to research other qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of college choices. Moreover, you want to make sure that you select the school that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapy programs you are considering. Ask each of the potential schools these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Ask if the programs you are looking at have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. 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 program, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist program and school you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Get in touch with a few Marana AZ physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your school options. It might also be a good idea to check with the Arizona Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two useful statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may suggest that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, 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 Marana AZ area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or perhaps excellent. It also verifies that the program has a broad network of contacts to help students obtain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you choose 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 needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapist schools you are assessing have relationships with Marana AZ hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent means to get practical experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist students and graduates develop professional connections in the Marana healthcare community and assist with job placement after licensing.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools 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 decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Marana AZ residence. Students who have chosen 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 importance. Something to bear 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 have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Support Offered? Most DPT schools provide some form of financial aid to their prospective students. Inquire if the colleges you are examining have a financial aid department and see what type of assistance is offered. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. Some physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial aid may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapist college you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Marana AZ area, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Marana Arizona?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Marana AZ area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Marana is a town in Pima County, Arizona, located northwest of Tucson, with a small portion in Pinal County. According to the 2010 census, the population of the town is 34,961. From 1990 to 2000, Marana was the fourth fastest-growing place among all cities and towns in Arizona of any size.
Archaeologists have found evidence of about 4,200 years of continuous human settlement in the vicinity of Marana and the middle Santa Cruz Valley. Many important archaeological sites have been found near Marana.
Spanish colonists began to inhabit this area in the 17th and 18th centuries. Over time they intermarried with Native American and a class of mestizo settlers also developed. From the early years, mining and ranching were the chief economic activities. The area became part of the independent Mexican Empire established in 1821 (soon replaced by the Republic of Mexico).
Degree To Be A Physical Therapist Marana AZ
Selecting the ideal physical therapy college is a necessary initial decision you need to make to launch a rewarding career in the healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you select should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. However there are additional critical questions that you need to ask regarding your school of choice also. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Degree To Be A Physical Therapist. However, as you start your search for a physical therapy school bear in mind that numerous factors will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You may decide to visit different colleges to see their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the ideal choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can fulfill your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Marana AZ.
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