How to Pick the Right Physical Therapy Program near Avondale Arizona
Earning a physical therapist degree near Avondale AZ is an important first step to launching a rewarding career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled as a result of injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the necessary training and education. A PT must also become licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before 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 satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is choose a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be considered besides cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists work in varying locations, such as Avondale AZ hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they create a course of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also strive to stop any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries
- Heart attacks
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Fire injuries
- Hip Replacement
- Multiple Sclerosis
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Avondale AZ health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can 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 entering the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees
There are three physical therapy degree options offered for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short summaries of degrees that are available in the Avondale AZ area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are typically offered by junior or community colleges, and take about two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a component of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist training to ready candidates to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral preliminary step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to finish and usually include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required in order 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 3 years to finish, making the overall commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an important component in addition to the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in several states for licensing also.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer available 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 existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Programs Online
Although not as common as the more traditional alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapist degrees 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 a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the curriculum can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Avondale AZ home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition may be somewhat less than comparable on campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online option the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
By now you probably have come to decision regarding several of your preliminary questions, like the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are so many PT colleges within the Avondale AZ area and across Arizona, you’ll have to research other qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of school choices. Furthermore, you want to make certain that you enroll in the program that is right for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. Ask each of the competing schools these questions before making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are considering have earned accreditation from a national or a regional 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 enroll in an online school, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy program and school you select are accredited, not simply the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapist community. There are a number of ways you can research a PT program’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Contact several Avondale AZ physical therapist centers or other medical care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your school selections. It may also be a good idea to contact the Arizona Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of significant statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might suggest that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After 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 Avondale AZ area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even exceptional. It also verifies that the school has a large network of contacts to assist students get internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you choose furnishes both exceptional training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapist programs you are evaluating have associations with Avondale AZ clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means 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 can assist students and graduates develop professional connections in the Avondale healthcare community and assist with job placement after licensing.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapy college they select will have to be within travelling distance of their Avondale AZ residence. Students who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically 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? The majority of DPT colleges supply some type of financial aid to their potential students. Inquire if the schools you are considering have a financial aid office and see what kind of help is available. They at least should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. A number of physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial assistance might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapist school you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Avondale AZ area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Avondale Arizona?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Avondale AZ area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Avondale, incorporated in 1946, experienced rapid residential and commercial growth in the years since 1980. Once primarily a sparsely populated farming community with many acres of alfalfa and cotton fields, Avondale has transformed into a major bedroom suburb for Phoenix. Several major residential subdivisions and shopping centers have recently been built on former farmland, many adjacent to Interstate 10.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 41.3 square miles (107 km2), of which, 41.3 square miles (107 km2) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) of it (0.15%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 35,883 people, 10,640 households, and 8,724 families residing in the city. The population density was 869.7 people per square mile (335.8/km²). There were 11,419 housing units at an average density of 276.8 per square mile (106.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 63.27% White, 5.20% Black or African American, 1.28% Native American, 1.89% Asian, 0.14% Pacific Islander, 24.32% from other races, and 3.89% from two or more races. 46.23% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Physical Therapist College Major Avondale AZ
Deciding on the right physical therapist college is an important initial decision you have to make to begin a rewarding career in the health care field. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you select should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. But there are other critical questions that you should ask pertaining to your college of choice also. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Physical Therapist College Major. However, as you commence your search for a physical therapist college bear in mind that numerous variables will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You might want to visit each of the schools to view their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me realize my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the ideal selection. And with the proper training and education, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Avondale AZ.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Arizona
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