How to Find the Right Physical Therapist Training Program near Mayer Arizona
Getting a physical therapist degree near Mayer AZ is an important first step to starting a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated due to injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the proper education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate those you are looking at to make certain they will furnish a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is choose a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be considered in addition to cost and location. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists work in diverse locations, such as Mayer AZ private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help patients that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a course of treatment to address the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries
- Cardiac arrest
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Fire injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Cerebral Palsy
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Mayer AZ health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees
There are 3 physical therapy degrees available for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single degree that is attainable 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. Following are short descriptions of degrees that are available in the Mayer AZ area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are usually offered by community colleges, and require two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a component of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist training to prep candidates to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take four years to complete and commonly incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to finish, making the total commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal element along with the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in some states for licensing as well.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer attainable in the United States. A number of practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Schools Online
While not as common as the more traditional options, there are many accredited online physical therapy degrees available, 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 near the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online part of the course of study can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Mayer AZ residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition might be significantly less than comparable on-campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
At this point you undoubtedly have come to decision concerning a few of your preliminary queries, such as the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are numerous PT colleges within the Mayer AZ area and throughout Arizona, you’ll have to look into other qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of college options. Moreover, you need to make certain that you enroll in the college that is best for you. That’s why we have put together a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. Ask each of the competing schools these questions before making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Ask if the programs you are looking at have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As earlier stated, 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 school, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy school and program you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist community. There are several ways you can investigate 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 as well. Call a few Mayer AZ physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your program selections. 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 filed against the schools.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of important statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapist schools you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may mean that students left due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Mayer AZ area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even exceptional. It also verifies that the program has a wide network of contacts to assist students get internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you select furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum 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) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internships Offered? Inquire if the physical therapist schools you are reviewing have relationships with Mayer AZ clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to receive hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist students and graduates form professional connections in the Mayer medical community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they select will have to be within driving distance of their Mayer AZ residence. Individuals who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? The majority of DPT colleges provide some form of financial support to their prospective students. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid department and find out what kind of help is available. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. Some physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial aid might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapist college you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Mayer AZ area, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Mayer Arizona?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Mayer AZ area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Schools Of Physical Therapy Mayer AZ
Selecting the right physical therapy school is an important first decision you need to make to begin a rewarding career in the medical profession. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you choose should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. However there are additional relevant questions that you need to ask concerning your college of choice also. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Schools Of Physical Therapy. However, as you start your search for a physical therapy college bear in mind that a number of variables will lead you toward your final decision. You might want to visit each of the colleges to view their facilities and speak to active 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 adhering to our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the proper education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Mayer AZ.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Arizona
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