How to Enroll In a Physical Therapy School near Mesa 85201
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Mesa AZ is an important first step to starting a fulfilling career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated due to illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the proper training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate the ones you are considering to ensure they will furnish a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to 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 evaluated in addition to location and cost. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists practice in varying locations, such as Mesa AZ hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they design a program of treatment to address the mobility issues 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 numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Mesa AZ health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees
There are three physical therapist degree options available for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the single degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short summaries of degrees that are available in the Mesa AZ area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are usually provided by community colleges, and require two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a component of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist training to ready candidates to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral preliminary step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require 4 years to finish and commonly incorporate 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 must also be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to complete, making the total investment of time seven years in most cases. Clinical training is an essential component in addition to the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in a number of states for licensing also.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer offered in the United States. A number of practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Degrees Online
Although not as common as the more traditional alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapy programs available, even more 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 necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Mesa AZ home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition might be somewhat less than similar on-campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
By now you probably have made a decision regarding some of your preliminary questions, including the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are numerous PT colleges within the Mesa AZ area and across Arizona, you’ll need to explore other qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of college choices. Furthermore, you need to be sure that you enroll in the school that is right for you. That’s why we have collected a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are considering. Ask each of the potential schools these questions before making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Ask if the schools you are considering have earned accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As previously mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctoral degree the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you select an online school, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy program and school you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT college’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Contact a few Mesa AZ physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any advice about your college selections. It might also be prudent to check with the Arizona Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of significant statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapy colleges you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may mean that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Mesa AZ area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also confirms that the college has a large network of contacts to help students get internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you enroll in 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 every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the physical therapist programs you are evaluating have relationships with Mesa AZ clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great means to receive practical training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist graduates and students develop professional connections in the Mesa health care community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide 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 schools you are researching what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy college they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Mesa AZ home. Students who have decided to attend classes online 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 choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally 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 Assistance Provided? Most DPT schools offer some type of financial support to their prospective students. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial aid office and see what kind of assistance is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial aid may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapy program you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Mesa AZ area, check 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 have to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Mesa Arizona?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Mesa AZ area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Mesa (/ˈmeɪsə/ MAY-sə) is a city in Maricopa County, in the U.S. state of Arizona. It is a suburb located about 20 miles (32 km) east of Phoenix in the East Valley section of the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. It is bordered by Tempe on the west, the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community on the north, Chandler and Gilbert on the south along with Queen Creek, and Apache Junction on the east.
Mesa is the largest suburban city by population in the United States, the third-largest city in Arizona after Phoenix and Tucson, and the 35th-largest city overall in the US. The city is home to 508,958 people as of 2018 according to the Census Bureau, which makes it more populous than major cities such as Minneapolis, St. Louis, or Miami. Mesa is home to numerous higher education facilities including the Polytechnic campus of Arizona State University. It is also home to the largest relief airport in the Phoenix area, Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, which is located in the southeastern corner of the city.
The history of Mesa dates back at least 2,000 years to the arrival of the Hohokam people. The Hohokam, whose name means "All Used Up" or "The Departed Ones", built the original canal system. The canals were the largest and most sophisticated in the prehistoric New World. Some were up to 90 feet (27 m) wide and 10 feet (3.0 m) deep at their head gates, extending for as far as 16 miles (26 km) across the desert. By A.D. 1100 water could be delivered to an area over 110,000 acres (450 km2), transforming the Sonoran Desert into an agricultural oasis. By A.D. 1450, the Hohokam had constructed hundreds of miles of canals many of which are still in use today.
Choose the Right Physical Therapist School near Mesa AZ
Selecting the right physical therapist college is an important first decision you must make to begin a rewarding career in the medical field. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you decide on should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are other important questions that you need to ask regarding your school of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapist school, bear in mind that many variables will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You might decide to go to each of the campuses to view their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me realize my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the right selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can achieve your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Mesa AZ.
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