How to Enroll In a Physical Therapist Program near Somerton 85350
Earning a physical therapy degree near Somerton AZ is an essential first step to launching a rewarding career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled as a result of injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the appropriate training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate the ones you are considering to make certain they will furnish a superior education and meet your state’s licensing standards. 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 most affordable tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be evaluated along with location and cost. But before we discuss 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 is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in diverse settings, including Somerton AZ hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they develop a course of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Somerton AZ medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone considering going into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degree Options
There are three physical therapist degrees available for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the single degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short explanations of degree levels that are offered in the Somerton AZ area:
- Associate Degrees train students to practice as 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 qualify for enrollment. The programs are typically provided by community colleges, and require two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a portion of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist training 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 preliminary step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to complete and often incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required in order 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 finish, making the total commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an intregal element along with the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in several 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 eliminated and is no longer offered in the United States. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Online Schools
Although not as prevalent as the more traditional options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist programs available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college 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 Somerton AZ residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition might be significantly lower than similar on campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
By now you probably have come to decision regarding some of your preliminary queries, including the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT colleges within the Somerton AZ area and throughout Arizona, you’ll need to look into additional qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of school choices. Moreover, you need to be sure that you enroll in the college that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Ask if the programs you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. 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 select an online school, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist school and program you choose are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT college’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 also. Call several Somerton AZ physical therapist centers or other health care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your program options. It may also be prudent 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 useful statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapy programs you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might suggest that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Somerton AZ area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or perhaps outstanding. It also confirms that the program has a wide network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you select furnishes both superior training and a course of study that supports 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 therapist school. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the physical therapy schools you are reviewing have associations with Somerton AZ hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to get hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist students and graduates develop professional connections in the Somerton health care community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Somerton AZ home. Students who have chosen to attend classes online 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 keep in mind is that if you decide 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 generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Support Offered? Most DPT colleges offer some type of financial support to their potential students. Ask if the schools you are considering have a financial assistance office and see what type of aid is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial assistance might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapist program you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Somerton AZ area, verify that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Somerton Arizona?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Somerton AZ area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
As of the census of 2000, there were 7,266 people, 1,818 households, and 1,652 families residing in the city. The population density was 5,483.2 people per square mile (2,109.3/km²). There were 1,967 housing units at an average density of 1,484.4 per square mile (571.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 44.52% White, 0.37% Black or African American, 0.65% Native American, 0.34% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 51.11% from other races, and 2.99% from two or more races. 95.17% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 1,818 households out of which 59.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 70.9% were married couples living together, 16.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 9.1% were non-families. 7.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.99 and the average family size was 4.21.
In the city, the population was spread out with 38.9% under the age of 18, 11.2% from 18 to 24, 28.3% from 25 to 44, 14.4% from 45 to 64, and 7.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 25 years. For every 100 females, there were 96.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.3 males.
Choose the Ideal Physical Therapy College near Somerton AZ
Selecting the ideal physical therapist program is a necessary initial decision you must make to launch a fulfilling career in the health care field. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you select should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are additional relevant questions that you should ask concerning your college of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapist college, keep in mind that many variables will guide you to your ultimate decision. You might want to go to different schools to view their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me reach 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 best selection. And with the proper training and education, you can achieve your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Somerton AZ.
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