How to Find the Right Physical Therapy School near Fredonia Arizona
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Fredonia AZ is an essential first step to launching a rewarding career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals 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 need to get the appropriate training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research those you are considering to make sure they will provide a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is enroll in a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be considered along with cost and location. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists practice in diverse settings, such as Fredonia AZ private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they create a program of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also strive to stop any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Burn injuries
- Hip Replacement
- Multiple Sclerosis
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Fredonia AZ health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Available
There are three physical therapy degree options available for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief summaries of degrees that are offered in the Fredonia AZ area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are typically offered by community colleges, and require 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically part of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist training to prep students to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to complete and commonly incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated if you want 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 3 years to finish, making the total investment of time 7 years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential component along with the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in some 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 attainable in the USA. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Degrees
Although not as common as the on-campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist programs available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated 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 course of study can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Fredonia AZ home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition may be significantly less than similar on campus options, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online option the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding a few of your initial queries, like the type of physical therapy degree you intend to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the Fredonia AZ area and throughout Arizona, you’ll need to research other qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of college options. Also, you want to make sure that you select the college that is best for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapy schools you are considering. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Find out if the schools you are reviewing have received accreditation from a national or a regional 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 enroll in an online program, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist community. There are several ways you can research a PT program’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Call some Fredonia AZ physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your college options. It may also be a good idea to check with the Arizona Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two relevant statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapist schools you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may indicate that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Fredonia AZ area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care field is good or even exceptional. It also verifies that the school has a large network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you select provides both superior training and a curriculum that satisfies 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the physical therapy schools you are reviewing have relationships with Fredonia AZ clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only 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 a secondary benefit, they may help graduates and students develop professional connections in the Fredonia health care community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Fredonia AZ home. Individuals who have chosen 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. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Help Provided? The majority of DPT colleges provide some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at have a financial assistance office and see what type of aid is offered. They at least should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. Some physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial assistance may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapy school you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Fredonia AZ area, verify that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Fredonia Arizona?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Fredonia AZ area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,036 people, 359 households, and 287 families residing in the town. The population density was 139.7 people per square mile (54.0/km²). There were 455 housing units at an average density of 61.4 per square mile (23.7/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 85.71% White, 1.06% Black or African American, 11.39% Native American, 0.39% from other races, and 1.45% from two or more races. 1.45% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 359 households out of which 37.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 65.5% were married couples living together, 10.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 19.8% were non-families. 15.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.89 and the average family size was 3.25.
In the town, the age distribution of the population shows 32.3% under the age of 18, 6.2% from 18 to 24, 27.7% from 25 to 44, 22.7% from 45 to 64, and 11.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 104.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.0 males.
Physical Therapy Doctorate Schools Fredonia AZ
Deciding on the best physical therapist college is an important initial decision you need to make to launch a rewarding career in the health care field. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you pick should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. But there are other critical questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice as well. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Physical Therapy Doctorate Schools. However, as you begin your search for a physical therapy school bear in mind that many factors will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You might want to go to each of the schools to view their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can achieve your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Fredonia AZ.
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