How to Pick the Right Physical Therapy College near Palo Verde Arizona
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near Palo Verde AZ is an important first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated due to injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the proper education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate those you are thinking about to make sure they will supply a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is select a school just because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be considered along with location and cost. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists work in a variety of settings, such as Palo Verde AZ private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help patients that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by 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 strive to stop any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries
- Heart attacks
- Sports injuries
- Burn injuries
- Hip Replacement
- Multiple Sclerosis
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Palo Verde AZ medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, 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. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degree Options
There are 3 physical therapist degrees available for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short explanations of degree levels that are available in the Palo Verde AZ area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are most often provided by community colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally part of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy education to ready students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take 4 years to finish and often incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to complete, making the total commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential component along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in some 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 available in the USA. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Programs Online
Although not as common as the more traditional alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist programs available, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure 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 in proximity of an available internship. However, the online part of the course of study may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Palo Verde AZ home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat less than comparable on campus options, and expenses for commuting are minimized. 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 motivated enough to attend classes at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
By now you most likely have come to decision concerning several of your initial queries, such as the type of physical therapist degree you want to obtain, where you prefer 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 Palo Verde AZ area and across Arizona, you’ll need to research other qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of college options. Also, you want to make sure that you select the college that is right for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are considering. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions before making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Find out if the programs you are considering 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 select an online college, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy school and program you choose are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist community. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT school’s reputation, starting with asking for 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 as well. Get in touch with several Palo Verde AZ physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your college selections. It may also be a good idea to contact the Arizona Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of important statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapist colleges you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might suggest that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Palo Verde AZ area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even excellent. It also confirms that the program has a large network of contacts to assist students get internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the school you choose furnishes both superior 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 required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapy programs you are reviewing have associations with Palo Verde AZ hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to obtain practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may help students and graduates establish professional connections in the Palo Verde medical community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy college they pick will have to be within commuting distance of their Palo Verde AZ home. Students who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide 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 commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Aid Offered? The majority of DPT schools supply some form of financial aid to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have a financial assistance department and see what type of help is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. Some physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial assistance may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapist school you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Palo Verde AZ area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Palo Verde Arizona?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Palo Verde AZ area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station
The Palo Verde Generating Station is a nuclear power plant located near Tonopah, Arizona, in western Arizona. It is located about 45 miles (72 km) due west of downtown Phoenix, Arizona, and it is located near the Gila River, which is dry save for the rainy season in late summer.
The Palo Verde Generating Station is the largest power plant in the United States by net generation. Its average electric power production is about 3.3 gigawatts (GW), and this power serves about four million people. The Arizona Public Service Company (APS) operates and owns 29.1% of the plant. Its other major owners include the Salt River Project (17.5%), the El Paso Electric Company (15.8%), Southern California Edison (15.8%), PNM Resources (10.2%), the Southern California Public Power Authority (5.9%), and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (5.7%).
The Palo Verde Generating Station is located in the Arizona desert, and is the only large nuclear power plant in the world that is not located near a large body of water. The power plant evaporates the water from the treated sewage from several nearby cities and towns to provide the cooling of the steam that it produces.
What Classes To Take For Physical Therapy Palo Verde AZ
Selecting the right physical therapy program is a necessary initial decision you must make to launch a gratifying career in the healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you choose should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. But there are other relevant 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 What Classes To Take For Physical Therapy. However, as you begin your search for a physical therapist college keep in mind that a number of factors will lead you to your ultimate decision. You might want to visit different schools to see their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the proper education and training, you can fulfill your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Palo Verde AZ.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Arizona
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