How to Choose a Physical Therapist College near Peoria 85345
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Peoria AZ is a critical first step to starting a rewarding career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled due to illness or injury gain back mobility and function. 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 requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to research those you are looking at to make sure they will furnish a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is select a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be considered besides cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in diverse settings, such as Peoria AZ private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help people that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to address the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to prevent any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Peoria AZ health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone considering entering the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Available
There are 3 physical therapist degrees offered for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, 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. Below are brief summaries of degrees that are available in the Peoria AZ area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or may 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 programs are usually offered by community or junior colleges, and require 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually a component of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy training to ready students to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential initial step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to complete and usually incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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 investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an important element along with the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in several states for licensing also.
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. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Degrees Online
While not as common as the on campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapy programs available, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the program may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Peoria AZ home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition can be significantly less than similar on campus options, and costs for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
At this point you probably have made a decision concerning a few of your initial questions, such as the kind 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 because there are numerous PT colleges within the Peoria AZ area and throughout Arizona, you’ll need to explore additional qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of college choices. Moreover, you want to be sure that you enroll in the program that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. Ask all of the competing schools these questions prior to making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Ask if the programs you are considering have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As earlier 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 enroll in an online school, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapy community. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT school’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Get in touch with some Peoria AZ physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any advice about your school options. It might also be prudent to contact the Arizona Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two useful statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapist schools you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might indicate that students dropped out because of displeasure 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 Peoria AZ area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or perhaps outstanding. It also confirms that the college has a broad network of contacts to help students gain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you enroll in furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapist programs you are assessing have partnerships with Peoria AZ clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to obtain practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist students and graduates form professional relationships in the Peoria healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Peoria AZ home. Individuals who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally 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 Support Provided? The majority of DPT schools supply some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have a financial aid office and find out what kind of aid is offered. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. Some physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial aid may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapist program you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Peoria AZ area, make certain 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 need 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 Peoria Arizona?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Peoria AZ area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Peoria /piˈɔːriə/ is a city in Maricopa and Yavapai counties in the State of Arizona. Most of the city is located in Maricopa County, while a tiny portion in the north is in Yavapai County. It is a major suburb of Phoenix. According to 2010 Census Bureau releases, the population of the city is 154,065. Peoria is currently the sixth largest city in Arizona for land area, and the ninth largest for population. It was named after Peoria, Illinois. The word "peoria" is a corruption of the Illini word for "prairie fire." It is the spring training home of the San Diego Padres and Seattle Mariners who share the Peoria Sports Complex. In July 2008, Money magazine listed Peoria in its Top 100 Places to Live.
Peoria sits in the Salt River Valley, and extends into the foothills of the mountains to the north. William John Murphy, who had worked on the Arizona Canal, recruited settlers to begin a community in Arizona, many of them from Peoria, Illinois. Albert J. and Elizabeth Straw were the first to establish residency in November 1886. They were followed by William T. and Sylvia Hanna, James M. and Clara Copes, and James and Ella McMillan, all from Peoria, Illinois relocate to what is now Peoria, Arizona. An old desert road connecting Phoenix to the Hassayampa River near present-day Wickenburg was the only major transportation route in the area until 1887, when a new road was laid out. Named Grand Avenue, this road angled through the newly designed town sites of Alhambra, Glendale, and Peoria and became the main route from Phoenix to Vulture Mine. The settlers filed Peoria's plot map with the Maricopa County recorder on May 24, 1897, naming the settlement after their hometown.
The original plot map of Peoria included east and west streets (from south to north) Monroe, Madison, Jefferson, Washington, Jackson, Lincoln, Grant, and Van Buren. Streets going north and south were (from west to east) Almond (present-day 85th Avenue), Peach (present-day 84th Avenue), Orange (present-day 83rd Avenue), Vine (present-day 82nd Avenue), Walnut (present-day 81st Avenue), the plot was roughly from present-day Peoria and 85th avenues to Monroe Street and 85th Avenue to Monroe Street and 81st Avenue to 81st Avenue and south of the Desert Cove alignment. On August 4, 1888, the Territory of Peoria, Arizona was granted a post office in its name and served a population of 27. Maricopa County supervisors defined the boundaries for School District Eleven, comprising forty-nine square miles, and the first class took place in an unoccupied brick store that faced north on Washington Street until Peoria's first school building, a one-room structure completed in 1891.
Pick the Best Physical Therapy School near Peoria AZ
Deciding on the ideal physical therapist school is an important initial decision you must make to start a gratifying career in the healthcare profession. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you choose should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. However there are other critical questions that you should ask concerning your college of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapy college, bear in mind that numerous factors will guide you toward your final decision. You may want to go to each of the schools to see their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me achieve 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 field so you can make the right choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can accomplish your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Peoria AZ.
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