Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – Parks AZ

How to Find the Right Physical Therapist Training Program near Parks 86018

Parks AZ physical therapy school student with volunteerReceiving a physical therapy degree near Parks AZ is a critical first step to beginning a rewarding career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated due to illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the proper training and education. A PT must also be licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research the ones you are thinking about to ensure they will furnish a superior education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is enroll in a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be evaluated besides cost and location. But before we cover 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’s Job Description?

Parks AZ physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in diverse locations, including Parks AZ private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they design a course of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Parks AZ health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degrees Offered

Parks AZ physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapist degrees offered for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, 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 readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief summaries of degrees that are offered in the Parks AZ area:

  • Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are usually 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 therapy education to prep candidates to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they generally require 4 years to complete and commonly incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are required in order 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 three years to complete, making the total commitment 7 years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an important element in addition to the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in some states for licensing also.

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 United States. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapy Online Schools

woman attending physical therapy school online in Parks AZAlthough not as prevalent as the on-campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapist degrees available, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the program can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Parks AZ residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition can be significantly less than comparable on-campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.

Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Programs

At this point you probably have come to decision regarding several of your initial queries, such as the type of physical therapy degree you want to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are so many PT colleges within the Parks AZ area and across Arizona, you’ll need to explore other qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of school options. Moreover, you need to be sure that you pick the school that is right for you. That’s why we have put together a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing schools these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.

Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited?  Ask if the schools you are looking at have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. 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 choose an online program, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist school and program you select are accredited, not just the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be mandated 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 important that the school and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are several ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Call several Parks AZ physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your school selections. 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 College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of useful statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapy programs you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might mean that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Parks AZ area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even outstanding. It also confirms that the program has a broad network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment after graduation.

Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you choose provides both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies 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) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental exams.

Are Internships Offered? Inquire if the physical therapist schools you are interested in have relationships with Parks AZ hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific way to receive practical experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Parks healthcare community and assist with job placement after licensing.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.

Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist college they decide on will have to be within driving distance of their Parks AZ residence. Those who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Most DPT schools offer some type of financial support to their potential students. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at have a financial aid office and see what type of aid is offered. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. Some physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial assistance may be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapist college you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Parks AZ area, confirm 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 enroll in. Also, ask 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 Parks Arizona?

If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Parks AZ area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.

Parks, Arizona

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 172.4 square miles (446.4 km2), of which 172.3 square miles (446.3 km2) is land and 0.02 square miles (0.06 km2), or 0.01%, is water.[6]

As of the census[8] of 2000, there were 1,137 people, 462 households, and 342 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 6.6 people per square mile (2.5/km²). There were 918 housing units at an average density of 5.3/sq mi (2.1/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 93.67% White, 0.35% Black or African American, 0.70% Native American, 0.35% Asian, 0.53% Pacific Islander, 1.76% from other races, and 2.64% from two or more races. 5.19% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 462 households out of which 29.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 63.6% were married couples living together, 5.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.8% were non-families. 18.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 2.78.

Select the Ideal Physical Therapist Training Program near Parks AZ

Choosing the ideal physical therapy program is a necessary first decision you need to make to launch a fulfilling career in the medical profession. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you choose should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. But there are other critical questions that you should ask concerning your school of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapy school, bear in mind that a number of factors will guide you to your ultimate decision. You may want to visit each of the colleges to see their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school 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 right choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can achieve your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Parks AZ.

A Few More Interesting Locations in Arizona

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