How to Pick a Physical Therapist School near Tuba City 86045
Receiving a physical therapist degree near Tuba City AZ is a critical first step to starting a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated as a result of illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the appropriate education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate the ones you are considering to ensure they will provide a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is enroll in a school just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be evaluated besides cost and location. But before we discuss 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 Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists practice in diverse settings, including Tuba City AZ private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also strive to stop any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Tuba City AZ medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degree Options
There are 3 physical therapist degree options offered 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 target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short summaries of degree levels that are available in the Tuba City AZ area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are most often provided by community colleges, and require 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a component of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist education to ready candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they generally require four years to complete and often include 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). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to complete, making the overall commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal component along with the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not just 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 attainable in the United States. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Programs Online
While not as prevalent as the on-campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapist programs available, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the course of study may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Tuba City AZ home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition might be significantly less than similar on-campus options, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
By now you probably have come to decision regarding several of your preliminary questions, such as the kind of physical therapist degree you want to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT colleges within the Tuba City AZ area and across Arizona, you’ll have to explore other qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of college choices. Moreover, you need to be sure that you choose the school that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions prior to making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As earlier stated, 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 school, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important 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. Along with guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Call several Tuba City AZ physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insight 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 filed against the colleges.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of significant statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapist colleges you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might suggest that students left due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Tuba City AZ area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also verifies that the program has a wide network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you select provides both superior training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria 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 therapy school. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internships Offered? Ask if the physical therapy colleges you are interested in have partnerships with Tuba City AZ clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great means to obtain hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can help students and graduates establish professional connections in the Tuba City medical community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they choose will have to be within travelling distance of their Tuba City AZ home. Students 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 decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? The majority of DPT colleges offer some form of financial support to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial aid office and see what kind of assistance is offered. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. A number of physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapist program you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Tuba City AZ area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Tuba City Arizona?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Tuba City AZ area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Tuba City, Arizona
Tuba City (Navajo: Tó Naneesdizí) is an unincorporated town in Coconino County, Arizona, on Navajo lands, in the United States. It is the second-largest community in Coconino County. The population of the census-designated place (CDP) was 8,611 at the 2010 census. It is the Navajo Nation's largest community, slightly larger than Shiprock, New Mexico, and the headquarters of the Western Navajo Agency. The Hopi town of Moenkopi lies directly to its southeast.
The name of the town honors Tuuvi, a Hopi headman from Oraibi who converted to Mormonism. The Navajo name for Tuba City, Tó Naneesdizí translates as "tangled waters", which probably refers to the many below-ground springs that are the source of several reservoirs.
Tuba City is located within the Painted Desert near the western edge of the Navajo Nation. The town is situated on U.S. Route 160, near the junction with Arizona State Route 264. Tuba City is located about 50 miles (80 km) from the eastern entrance to Grand Canyon National Park. Most of Tuba City's residents are Navajo, with a small Hopi minority. It is located within Arizona's 1st Congressional District, currently represented by Tom O'Halleran.
Pick the Right Physical Therapist Training Program near Tuba City AZ
Choosing the best physical therapy college is a necessary first decision you have to make to start a rewarding career in the healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you decide on should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. However there are additional important questions that you should ask regarding your college of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapy program, keep in mind that numerous factors will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You might want to go to each of the schools to view their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical 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 options so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can fulfill your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Tuba City AZ.
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