How to Choose the Right Physical Therapist Training Program near Higley Arizona
Getting a physical therapist degree near Higley AZ is an essential first step to starting a rewarding career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been disabled due to injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the necessary 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 college. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate those you are considering to ensure they will supply a quality education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is enroll in a school just because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be considered besides cost and location. But before we cover what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists work in a variety of locations, including Higley AZ hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a program of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries
- Cardiac arrest
- Sports injuries
- Fire injuries
- Hip Replacement
- Cerebral Palsy
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Higley AZ medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of 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
There are 3 physical therapist degrees offered for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short descriptions of degree levels that are offered in the Higley AZ area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are most often made available by community colleges, and take about two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a portion of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy training to prep students to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they typically require 4 years to complete and usually incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to finish, making the overall commitment 7 years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an important component along with the extensive 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 eliminated and is no longer offered in the United States. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Online Degrees
While not as prevalent as the more traditional options, there are many accredited online physical therapy programs available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online segment of the course of study may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Higley AZ residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition might be somewhat lower than comparable on campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
At this point you most likely have come to decision regarding some of your preliminary questions, like the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are so many PT colleges within the Higley AZ area and across Arizona, you’ll need to look into other qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of college choices. Moreover, you need to make sure that you choose 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 considering. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions prior to making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As previously stated, if you are pursuing a doctoral degree the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you choose an online program, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy program and school you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapy community. There are several ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Call several Higley AZ physical therapist clinics or other medical care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any advice about your college selections. 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 schools.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of useful statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapy schools you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might indicate that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Higley AZ area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care field is good or even exceptional. It also affirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to help students obtain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you choose furnishes both exceptional training and a curriculum 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) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Offered? Inquire if the physical therapist schools you are evaluating have partnerships with Higley AZ clinics or hospitals 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 the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can assist graduates and students form professional relationships in the Higley healthcare community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are considering 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 final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy college they choose will have to be within driving distance of their Higley AZ residence. Those who have chosen to attend classes online naturally 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 may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Help Offered? Most DPT schools provide some type of financial support to their potential students. Find out if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid department and find out what kind of assistance is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. Some physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial assistance may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapy program you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Higley AZ area, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, learn what the procedure 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 Higley Arizona?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Higley AZ area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Higley Unified School District
The Higley Unified School District #60, abbreviated HUSD #60 is a school district in Gilbert, Arizona. The school district serves portions of Gilbert and Queen Creek. It is one of Arizona's fastest growing school districts, with modest continued growth despite the downturn in the economy at the end of the 2000s (decade). The District owns eight elementary schools and two high schools. In August 2013, the district opened two new middle schools and all other elementary schools that hosted grades K-8 went down to K-6.
The Higley district was incorporated in 1909 with a territory far larger than its current size, but most of the land was transferred to other Valley school districts over the years. For instance, the Queen Creek Unified School District was carved out of the Higley district in 1947.Higley Elementary School was the only school in the district for the next 53 years. The district's high school students went to Gilbert Public Schools' high schools. As the Valley expanded, Larry Likes, then-superintendent of the district, brought it through an era of suburbia swallowing the local farmland. It was not long before the growth of the 1990s and 2000s caught up to the district's 24-square-mile (62 km2) service area. In 1999, the district legally unified; in 2000, it opened Coronado Elementary School, its first new school in decades; in 2001, Higley High School opened its doors; four years later, it opened up Gateway Pointe Elementary School, then a year later, it opened Cortina Elementary School; another year later, further growth induced the opening of Williams Field High School. In the spring of 2008, Higley became the first district in Arizona to receive K-12 accreditation by the AdvancED/North Central Accreditation Team. Graduating Higley seniors were offered $2.7 million in academic and athletic scholarships.
The district opened two middle schools (Cooley Middle School and Sossaman Middle School) to better prepare 7th and 8th grade students for high school and to alleviate projected capacity issues at its elementary schools.
Schooling To Be A Physical Therapist Higley AZ
Choosing the right physical therapist program is an important first decision you must make to launch a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you pick should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. However there are additional important 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 Schooling To Be A Physical Therapist. However, as you commence your search for a physical therapist college bear in mind that numerous factors will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You may want to visit each of the colleges to see their facilities and speak with 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 additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the best choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Higley AZ.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Arizona
Business Results 1 - 10 of 554