How to Find the Right Physical Therapist Program near Lake Havasu City Arizona
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Lake Havasu City AZ is an important first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled as a result of illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the appropriate training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate those you are considering to make sure they will supply a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is choose a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be considered in addition to location and cost. But before we discuss 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 is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists practice in varying settings, including Lake Havasu City AZ hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help individuals that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they design a course of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also strive to prevent any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, 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 Lake Havasu City AZ health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees
There are three physical therapy degrees offered for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the single degree that is available to become 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 brief descriptions of degrees that are offered in the Lake Havasu City AZ area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are typically provided by community colleges, and require 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a component of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to prepare students to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an essential initial step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally take four years to complete and commonly include an internship program of at least 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 finish, making the total commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal element in addition to the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in several states for licensing as well.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has taken the place of the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer offered in the USA. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Online Programs
While not as common as the more traditional alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapy degrees available, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online segment of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Lake Havasu City AZ home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition may be significantly less than similar on campus options, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning some of your preliminary queries, like the kind of physical therapy degree you want to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are so many PT colleges within the Lake Havasu City AZ area and across Arizona, you’ll need to look into other qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of college choices. Furthermore, you want to make sure that you choose the program that is best for you. That’s why we have put together a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapy colleges you are thinking about. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Find out if the programs you are looking at have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. 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 enroll in an online program, it may 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. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Call several Lake Havasu City AZ physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your school selections. It might also be a good idea to contact 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 two important statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapy colleges you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may mean that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Lake Havasu City AZ area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or perhaps excellent. It also confirms that the program has a broad network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you select provides both exceptional training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the physical therapy programs you are interested in have partnerships with Lake Havasu City AZ hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great way to obtain practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can help students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Lake Havasu City healthcare community and assist with job placement once licensed.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing 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 determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they pick will have to be within commuting distance of their Lake Havasu City AZ residence. Those who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Aid Offered? The majority of DPT colleges offer some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Find out if the colleges you are examining have a financial assistance department and find out what kind of help is offered. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. Some physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial assistance might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapy program you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Lake Havasu City AZ area, make sure that they are offered. 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 have to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Lake Havasu City Arizona?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Lake Havasu City AZ area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Lake Havasu City, Arizona
Lake Havasu City is a city in Mohave County, Arizona, United States. According to 2010 census, the population of the city was 52,527 people. It is served by Lake Havasu City Airport. Lake Havasu City is geographically isolated from the other cities in Mohave County and is the southernmost community of the Las Vegas–Henderson, NV–AZ combined statistical area.
The community first started as an Army Air Corps rest camp, called "Site Six". during World War II on the shores of Lake Havasu. In 1958, American businessman Robert P. McCulloch purchased 3,353 acres (13.57 km2) of property on the east side of the lake along Pittsburgh Point, the peninsula that eventually would be transformed into "the Island".
After four years of planning, McCulloch Properties acquired another 13,000 acres of federal land in the surrounding area. Lake Havasu City was established on September 30, 1963, by a resolution of the Mohave County Board of Supervisors as the Lake Havasu Irrigation and Drainage District, making it a legal entity. (The act is referenced in resolution #63-12-1.) The city was incorporated in 1978.
How To Get A Physical Therapy Degree Lake Havasu City AZ
Selecting the best physical therapy school is an important first decision you have to make to launch a fulfilling career in the healthcare profession. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you decide on should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. But there are additional important questions that you need to ask concerning your school of choice as well. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on How To Get A Physical Therapy Degree. However, as you start your search for a physical therapy school bear in mind that a number of variables will guide you toward your final decision. You may want to visit different campuses to view their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me accomplish 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 options so you can make the right selection. And with the proper training and education, you can achieve your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Lake Havasu City AZ.
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