How to Select the Right Physical Therapy Program near Colorado City Arizona
Earning a physical therapy degree near Colorado City AZ is an essential first step to launching a fulfilling career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated as a result of injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the necessary 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 school. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research the ones you are thinking about to make sure they will provide a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is select a college just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be evaluated in addition to location and cost. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, 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 a variety of settings, including Colorado City AZ private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they create a course of treatment to address the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also strive to prevent any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries
- Cardiac arrest
- Sports injuries
- Fire injuries
- Hip Replacement
- Multiple Sclerosis
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Colorado City AZ medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Available
There are 3 physical therapist degree options available for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the single degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief explanations of degree levels that are available in the Colorado City AZ area:
- Associate Degrees educate 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 qualify for enrollment. The programs are typically provided by junior or community colleges, and take about two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a portion of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy training to ready 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. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally take four years to complete and usually incorporate 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 3 years to complete, making the total commitment 7 years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal element along with the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in a number of 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 USA. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Online Colleges
Although not as common as the on-campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapist programs available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online part of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Colorado City AZ residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition might be significantly less than comparable on-campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
By now you undoubtedly have come to decision regarding some of your initial questions, including the type of physical therapy degree you want to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are so many PT colleges within the Colorado City AZ area and throughout Arizona, you’ll have to explore other qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of school choices. Furthermore, you need to make sure that you choose the college that is right for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering. Ask each of the competing schools these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As previously mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you choose an online program, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist program and school you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are several ways you can look into a PT school’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 as well. Call a few Colorado City AZ physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any advice about your college selections. 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 School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of important statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapy programs you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may mean that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Colorado City AZ area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even exceptional. It also verifies that the school has a large network of contacts to assist students get internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you select provides both superior training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria for Arizona or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing have relationships with Colorado City AZ hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help students and graduates form professional connections in the Colorado City healthcare community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist college they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Colorado City AZ home. Those who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing 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 might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Most DPT schools supply some type of financial aid to their potential students. Ask if the schools you are considering have a financial aid department and see what kind of help is obtainable. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships 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 too expensive, learn what financial assistance may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapy school you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Colorado City AZ area, make certain that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Colorado City Arizona?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Colorado City AZ area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Colorado City, Arizona
Colorado City is a town in Mohave County, Arizona, United States, and is located in a region known as the Arizona Strip. According to the 2010 census, the population of the town was 4,821. At least three Mormon fundamentalist sects are said to have been based there.
Colorado City, formerly known as Short Creek (or the Short Creek Community), was founded in 1913 by members of the Council of Friends, a breakaway group from the Salt Lake City-based The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). The Council of Friends membership desired a remote location where they could practice plural marriage, which had been publicly abandoned by the LDS Church in 1890. On July 26, 1953, Arizona Governor John Howard Pyle sent troops into the settlement to stop polygamy in what became known as the Short Creek raid. The two-year legal battle that followed became a public relations disaster that damaged Pyle's political career and set a hands-off tone toward the town in Arizona for the next 50 years.
After the death of Joseph W. Musser, the community split into two groups: the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints stayed in Short Creek, while the Apostolic United Brethren relocated to Bluffdale, Utah. The FLDS changed the name of the community to Colorado City (on the Arizona side of the border) and Hildale (on the Utah side) to eliminate any ties to the Short Creek raids.
Universities With Physical Therapy Programs Colorado City AZ
Choosing the ideal physical therapist school is a necessary initial decision you have to make to launch a fulfilling career in the healthcare profession. As we have covered 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 important questions that you need to ask pertaining to your school of choice as well. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Universities With Physical Therapy Programs. However, as you commence your search for a physical therapist college bear in mind that many factors will guide you to your final decision. You might decide to go to each of the campuses to see their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me realize my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the proper education and training, you can achieve your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Colorado City AZ.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Arizona