How to Enroll In a Physical Therapist School near Wickenburg 85358
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Wickenburg AZ is an essential first step to starting a rewarding career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated due to injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the necessary training and education. A PT must also become licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate those you are considering to make sure they will deliver a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is enroll in a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be considered besides 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 Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists work in a variety of settings, including Wickenburg AZ private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share 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 injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they develop a course of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Wickenburg AZ medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Offered
There are 3 physical therapy degrees offered for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the only degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief descriptions of degrees that are offered in the Wickenburg AZ area:
- Associate Degrees train 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 degrees are usually provided by community or junior colleges, and take about two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually part of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy training to ready students to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to finish and often incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to finish, making the total investment of time 7 years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential element along with the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in a number of 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 available in the United States. Some practicing 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 instituted.
Physical Therapy Colleges Online
Although not as common as the on campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy programs offered, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online part of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Wickenburg AZ home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition might be significantly lower than comparable on campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
At this point you most likely have come to decision concerning several of your preliminary queries, including the type of physical therapy degree you intend to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are numerous PT colleges within the Wickenburg AZ area and across Arizona, you’ll need to look into other qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of college choices. Furthermore, you need to make certain that you enroll in the school that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapy programs you are considering. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions before making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Find out if the schools you are considering have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. 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 college, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist school and program you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist community. There are several ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Contact several Wickenburg AZ physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your program selections. It might also be prudent to contact the Arizona Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of important statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapist programs you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may indicate that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Wickenburg AZ area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even excellent. It also affirms that the school has a wide network of contacts to help students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you select furnishes both superior training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements 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 school. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Offered? Find out if the physical therapist schools you are assessing have associations with Wickenburg AZ clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to receive hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can help students and graduates form professional relationships in the Wickenburg health care community and help with job placement once licensed.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy 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 commuting distance of their Wickenburg AZ residence. Students who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Aid Provided? The majority of DPT colleges supply some form of financial aid to their potential students. Ask if the schools you are looking at have a financial assistance office and see what type of aid is available. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial assistance may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapist program you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Wickenburg AZ area, verify that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours 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 illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Wickenburg Arizona?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Wickenburg AZ area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
The Wickenburg area with much of the Southwest became part of the United States by the 1848 treaty that ended the Mexican–American War. The first extensive survey was conducted by Gila Rangers who were pursuing hostile Indians who had raided the Butterfield Overland Mail route and attacked miners at Gila City.
In 1862, a gold strike on the Colorado River near present-day Yuma brought American prospectors, who searched for minerals throughout central Arizona. Many of the geographic landmarks now bear the names of these pioneers, including the Weaver Mountains, named after mountain man Pauline Weaver, and Peeples Valley, named after a settler.
Ranchers and farmers soon built homes along the fertile plain of the Hassayampa River. Together with the miners, they founded the town of Wickenburg in 1863. Wickenburg was also the home of Jack Swilling, who prospected in the Salt River Valley in 1867. Swilling conducted irrigation efforts in that area and helped ground the city of Phoenix, Arizona.
Select the Ideal Physical Therapy Degree Program near Wickenburg AZ
Deciding on the right physical therapy program is a necessary first decision you need to make to begin a gratifying career in the medical field. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you enroll in should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. However there are additional relevant questions that you should ask regarding your college of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapist program, keep in mind that a number of variables will lead you to your ultimate decision. You may decide to go to different campuses to see their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the ideal selection. And with the proper education and training, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Wickenburg AZ.
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