How to Find the Right Physical Therapist College near Benson Arizona
Getting a physical therapy degree near Benson AZ is a critical first step to starting a fulfilling career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated due to illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the proper training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research the ones you are thinking about to ensure they will deliver a quality education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. 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 in addition to location and cost. But before we discuss 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’s Job Description?
Physical therapists practice in varying locations, including Benson AZ hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often 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 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:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Cardiac arrest
- Sports injuries
- Burn injuries
- Hip Replacement
- Multiple Sclerosis
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Benson AZ medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone considering entering the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Available
There are 3 physical therapy degree options available for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief summaries of degrees that are available in the Benson AZ area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to be 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 GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are usually provided by community colleges, and require two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically part of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist training to prep candidates to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an essential initial step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they typically take four years to complete and often include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to finish, making the overall investment of time 7 years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal element in addition to the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in some 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 attainable in the USA. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Schools
Although not as prevalent as the more traditional alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist programs available, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the program can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Benson AZ residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat lower than similar on-campus options, and costs for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
By now you most likely have come to decision concerning some of your preliminary questions, such as the type of physical therapy degree you intend to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are so many PT schools within the Benson AZ area and throughout Arizona, you’ll have to explore other qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of college choices. Also, you need to make certain that you select the program that is ideal 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 selection.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are looking at have earned accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As earlier mentioned, 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 school, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist program and school you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated 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 school and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist community. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Contact several Benson AZ physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your college options. It may also be prudent to check with the Arizona Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of useful statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapy colleges you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may suggest that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Benson AZ area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also affirms that the program has a large network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important 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 practicing. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. While licensing requirements fluctuate 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 additional exams.
Are Internships Offered? Inquire if the physical therapy colleges you are assessing have partnerships with Benson AZ hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to get practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can help students and graduates form professional relationships in the Benson health care community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. 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 some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Benson AZ home. Students 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. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Help Offered? The majority of DPT schools offer some form of financial aid to their prospective students. Ask if the schools you are considering have a financial aid department and find out what type of aid is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. Some physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial assistance may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapy school you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Benson AZ area, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Benson Arizona?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Benson AZ area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Benson is a city in Cochise County, Arizona, United States, 45 miles (72 km) east-southeast of Tucson. It was founded as a rail terminal for the area, and still serves as such. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city was 5,105.
The city was founded in 1880 when the Southern Pacific Railroad came through. It was named after Judge William S. Benson, a friend of Charles Crocker, president of the Southern Pacific. The railroad, coming overland from California, chose the Benson site to cross the San Pedro River. Benson then served as a rail junction point to obtain ore and refined metal by wagon, in turn shipping rail freight back to the mines at Tombstone, Fairbank, Contention City and Bisbee. For example, the railhead in Benson was about 25 miles (40 km) from Tombstone, and was the closest rail connection to it until 1882, when a feeder line was laid from Benson to Contention City.
The railhead in Benson was founded about a mile from a traditional crossing of the upper San Pedro River (known also as the Middle Crossing), used by the Southern Emigrant Trail and San Antonio-San Diego Mail Line. It was the site of the San Pedro Station of the Butterfield Overland Mail and a wagon depot, the San Pedro River Station, run since 1871 by William Ohnesorgen. In 1878 he had erected a toll bridge over which mining supplies were transported to the new mining camps such as Fairbank and Tombstone. Two years later this bridge marked the location of the railroad bridge that became the terminal site of Benson.
DPT PhD Programs Benson AZ
Picking the right physical therapist school is a necessary initial decision you must make to launch a gratifying career in the health care field. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you decide on should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. But there are other critical questions that you should ask regarding your school of choice as well. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on DPT PhD Programs. However, as you commence your search for a physical therapist school bear in mind that many variables will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You might decide to go to different campuses to see their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me achieve my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the best selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Benson AZ.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Arizona