How to Choose a Physical Therapy Program near Arkadelphia 71923
Earning a physical therapy degree near Arkadelphia AR is an important first step to launching a rewarding career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been disabled as a result of illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the necessary education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate the ones you are thinking about to make sure they will supply a quality education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is select a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be evaluated besides cost and location. But before we discuss 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?
Physical therapists practice in varying locations, such as Arkadelphia AR hospitals, health clinics, 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 patients that are struggling with a lack of mobility and often pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a program of treatment to address the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Arkadelphia AR health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone considering going into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Available
There are three physical therapist degrees offered for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short explanations of degree levels that are offered in the Arkadelphia AR area:
- Associate Degrees train students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can 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 most often offered by community or junior colleges, and require 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a portion of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy education to prepare candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take four years to finish and often include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required in order to become a practicing licensed physical therapist. The degree program must also be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to finish, making the overall commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an intregal element along with the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in some 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. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Programs Online
Although not as prevalent as the on campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapist degrees 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 school campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the curriculum may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Arkadelphia AR residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition can be somewhat less than similar on campus options, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
At this point you undoubtedly have come to decision concerning some of your initial questions, such as the type of physical therapy degree you intend to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are numerous PT colleges within the Arkadelphia AR area and throughout Arkansas, you’ll need to research other qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of school options. Furthermore, you want to be sure that you enroll in the school that is ideal for you. That’s why we have collected a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Find out if the programs you are considering have received 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 choose an online school, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist school and program you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are several ways you can look into a PT college’s reputation, starting with asking for 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 also. Get in touch with some Arkadelphia AR physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your school selections. It might also be prudent to contact the Arkansas Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two important statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapy programs you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might mean that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Arkadelphia AR area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps excellent. It also affirms that the college has a large network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you choose provides both exceptional training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapy colleges you are evaluating have associations with Arkadelphia AR hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist graduates and students form professional connections in the Arkadelphia health care community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapy college they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Arkadelphia AR residence. Those who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern 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 perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Aid Offered? The majority of DPT schools supply some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial aid office and find out what kind of aid is available. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. Some physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial aid might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapy program you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Arkadelphia AR 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 enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Arkadelphia Arkansas?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Arkadelphia AR area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Arkadelphia is a city in Clark County, Arkansas, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 10,714. The city is the county seat of Clark County. It is situated at the foothills of the Ouachita Mountains. Two universities, Henderson State University and Ouachita Baptist University, are located there. Arkadelphia was incorporated in 1857.
The site was settled in about 1809 by John Hemphill, operator of a nearby salt works, Arkansas's first industry. It was known as Blakelytown until 1839, when the settlement adopted the name Arkadelphia. Origin of the name "Arkadelphia" is uncertain. One possibility is that it was formed by combining Ark- from the state's name Arkansas and adelphia from the Greek meaning "brother/place".
Another explanation of the name is a combination of "adelphia" for place and "arc." Arkadelphia was once known as the "City of Rainbows", perhaps because the humid climate often resulted in rain.
Pick the Ideal Physical Therapist College near Arkadelphia AR
Deciding on the best physical therapy school is a necessary first decision you must make to begin a rewarding career in the health care profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you choose should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. However there are other critical questions that you need to ask regarding your college of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapist program, bear in mind that numerous variables will lead you to your final decision. You may want to visit different colleges to view their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me accomplish my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the best choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Arkadelphia AR.
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