How to Select the Right Physical Therapist School near Cortaro Arizona
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Cortaro AZ is an essential first step to starting a rewarding career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled as a result of illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they can 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 all states, many mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate the ones you are looking at to ensure they will deliver a superior education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is enroll in a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be considered besides location and cost. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists work in a variety of locations, such as Cortaro AZ hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they design a course of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also strive to stop 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
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Burn injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Multiple Sclerosis
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Cortaro AZ health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone considering entering the physical therapy profession, 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 Therapist Degrees
There are 3 physical therapist degrees offered for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short descriptions of degrees that are available in the Cortaro AZ area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as 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 qualify for enrollment. The programs are most often offered by community colleges, and take about two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually a component of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy education to ready candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally take 4 years to complete and often incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement in order 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 three years to finish, making the overall commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an essential component in addition to the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in several states for licensing as well.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer available in the USA. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Programs
Although not as common as the more traditional options, there are some accredited online physical therapist programs offered, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships 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 portion of the course of study can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Cortaro AZ home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition might be somewhat lower than similar on-campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring 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.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
At this point you most likely have come to decision concerning a few of your initial queries, such as the type of physical therapy degree you intend to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are so many PT schools within the Cortaro AZ area and across Arizona, you’ll have to explore other qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of school choices. Furthermore, 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 essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering. Ask each of the potential schools these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are reviewing 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 enroll in an online college, it can 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 through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist community. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT college’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 agencies for their reviews also. Get in touch with some Cortaro AZ physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your college options. It might also be prudent to check with the Arizona Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of useful statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A low 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 hired with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Cortaro AZ area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care community is good or perhaps excellent. It also confirms that the college has a large network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you select provides both superior training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria for Arizona or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is required 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, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the physical therapy programs you are interested in have associations with Cortaro AZ hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent means to get hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Cortaro health care community and assist with job placement after licensing.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are looking at 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 determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their Cortaro AZ home. Those who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you choose 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 commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? The majority of DPT schools provide some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Find out if the colleges you are examining have a financial aid department and see what type of help is available. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. Some physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapy college you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Cortaro AZ area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure 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 Cortaro Arizona?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Cortaro AZ area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Cortaro is a neighborhood of Marana, Arizona in Pima County, Arizona, United States. Cortaro is located along Interstate 10 13 miles (21 km) northwest of Tucson. Cortaro has a post office with ZIP code 85652.
How Much Schooling To Become A Physical Therapist Cortaro AZ
Selecting the right physical therapist school is an important initial decision you have to make to launch a gratifying career in the medical field. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you decide on should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. However there are additional important questions that you should ask pertaining to your school of choice as well. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on How Much Schooling To Become A Physical Therapist. However, as you commence your search for a physical therapy school bear in mind that a number of variables will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You may decide to go to different campuses to view their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me accomplish my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the proper training and education, you can achieve your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Cortaro AZ.
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