How to Select the Right Physical Therapist Training Program near Douglas Arizona
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Douglas AZ is an essential first step to starting a rewarding career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated as a result of injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the necessary education and training. A PT must also be licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to research those you are looking at to ensure they will provide a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is choose a college just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be considered in addition to location and cost. 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 is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of locations, such as Douglas AZ private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes 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 frequently pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they develop a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also strive to stop any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries
- Heart attacks
- Sports injuries
- Burn injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Multiple Sclerosis
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Douglas AZ health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone considering entering the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees
There are three physical therapist degree options available for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short summaries of degree levels that are offered in the Douglas AZ area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are usually provided by junior or community colleges, and require 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically part of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist education to ready students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take 4 years to complete and often 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 also must 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 investment of time 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 required, not only for graduation but in some states for licensing also.
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. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Colleges Online
While not as common as the on-campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online portion of the course of study can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Douglas AZ home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition might be significantly less than similar on-campus alternatives, and expenditures 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 motivated enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
At this point you probably have made a decision regarding a few of your preliminary questions, such as the type of physical therapist degree you intend to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are so many PT colleges within the Douglas AZ area and throughout Arizona, you’ll have to look into additional qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of college options. Moreover, you want to make sure that you pick the college that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. 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 select an online program, 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 just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are several ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Get in touch with a few Douglas AZ physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your school options. It might also be a good idea 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 Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of useful statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may mean that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Douglas AZ area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even outstanding. It also verifies that the school has a broad network of contacts to assist students get internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the school you enroll in provides both exceptional training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internships Offered? Find out if the physical therapy colleges you are assessing have associations with Douglas AZ clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to receive practical training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist students and graduates establish professional connections in the Douglas healthcare community and help with job placement after licensing.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy college they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Douglas AZ residence. Students who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Support Offered? The majority of DPT schools provide some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are looking at have a financial assistance office and see what kind of help is available. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial assistance might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapist school you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Douglas AZ area, make sure 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 need to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Douglas Arizona?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Douglas AZ area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Cochise County, Arizona
In 1528 Spanish Explorers: Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca, Estevanico, and Fray Marcos de Niza survived a shipwreck off Texas coast. Captured by Native Americans they spent 8 years finding way back to Mexico City, via the San Pedro Valley. Their journals, maps, and stories lead to the Cibola, seven cities of gold myth. The Expedition of Francisco Vásquez de Coronado in 1539 using it as his route north through what they called the Guachuca Mountains of Pima (Tohono O'odham) lands and later part of the mission routes north, but was actually occupied by the Sobaipuri descendants of the Hohokam. They found a large Pueblo (described as a small city) between Benson and Whetstone, and several smaller satellite villages and smaller pueblos including ones on Fort Huachuca, Huachuca City and North Eastern Fry. About 1657 Father Kino visited the Sobaipuris just before the Apache forced most from the valley, as they were struggling to survive due to increasing Chiricahua Apache attacks as they moved into the area of Texas Canyon in the Dragoon Mountains. In 1776 The Presidio Santa Cruz de Terrante was founded on the West bank of the San Pedro River, to protect the natives as well as the Spanish settlers who supplied the mission stations, but it was chronically short on provisions from raids, and lack of personnel to adequately patrol the eastern route due to wars with France and England, so the main route north shifted west to the Santa Cruz valley, farther from the Chiricahua Apache's ranges who almost exclusively controlled the area by 1821.
Cochise County was created on February 1, 1881, out of the eastern portion of Pima County. It took its name from the legendary Chiricahua Apache war chief Cochise. The county seat was Tombstone until 1929 when it moved to Bisbee. Notable men who once held the position of County Sheriff were Johnny Behan, who served as the first sheriff of the new county, and who was one of the main characters during the events leading to and following the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. Later, in 1886, Texas John Slaughter became sheriff. Lawman Jeff Milton and lawman/outlaw Burt Alvord both served as deputies under Slaughter.
A syndicated television series which aired from 1956 to 1958, Sheriff of Cochise starring John Bromfield, was filmed in Bisbee. The Jimmy Stewart movie Broken Arrow and subsequent television show of the same name starring John Lupton, which also aired from 1956 to 1958, took place (but was not filmed) in Cochise County.
Education Needed For A Physical Therapist Douglas AZ
Picking the ideal physical therapy college is a necessary initial decision you have to make to launch a gratifying career in the medical profession. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you decide on should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are additional relevant questions that you need to ask pertaining to your school of choice also. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Education Needed For A Physical Therapist. However, as you begin your search for a physical therapy program keep in mind that a number of factors will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You may decide to visit different schools to see their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me achieve my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Douglas AZ.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Arizona
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