How to Choose a Physical Therapist Program near Bald Knob 72010
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Bald Knob AR is a critical first step to starting a rewarding career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated due to illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the appropriate education and training. A PT must also be licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate those you are looking at to make sure they will provide a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is select a college just because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be evaluated besides cost and location. But before we talk about 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’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in diverse settings, including Bald Knob AR private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a course of treatment to address the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also strive to prevent any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Bald Knob AR medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degree Options
There are three physical therapy degree options offered for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short explanations of degrees that are available in the Bald Knob AR area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are most often made available by community colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually part of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy education to ready candidates to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they generally require four years to finish and usually include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required if you want to become a licensed practicing 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 most cases. Clinical or practical training is an important element in addition to the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not only 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 attainable in the USA. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Online Colleges
While not as common as the on campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapist programs available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online part of the course of study may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Bald Knob AR residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition can be somewhat less than similar on-campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
At this point you undoubtedly have come to decision regarding some of your initial questions, including the kind of physical therapist degree you would like to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the Bald Knob AR area and throughout Arkansas, you’ll need to look into additional qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of college choices. Furthermore, you want to make certain that you choose the college that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are thinking about. Ask all of the competing schools these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Ask if the programs you are looking at have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As previously 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 college, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist school and program you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Contact a few Bald Knob AR physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your program options. It may also be prudent to check with the Arkansas Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of useful statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may indicate that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Bald Knob AR area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even exceptional. It also affirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you choose provides both superior training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the physical therapy colleges you are assessing have associations with Bald Knob AR clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to obtain hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist students and graduates develop professional connections in the Bald Knob health care community and assist with job placement once licensed.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they choose will have to be within driving distance of their Bald Knob AR residence. Students who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Most DPT colleges offer some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Inquire if the colleges you are examining have a financial aid department and see what type of help is available. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. A number of physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial assistance may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapist school you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Bald Knob AR 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 have to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Bald Knob Arkansas?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Bald Knob AR area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Bald Knob, Arkansas
Bald Knob is a city in White County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 2,897 at the 2010 census. Located at the intersection of two of the state's natural regions, Bald Knob is often promoted as "where the Ozarks meet the Delta". Bald Knob is also a leading strawberry producer in the state, known for its yearly Strawberry Fest held during Mother's Day weekend. It was once known as the leading strawberry producer in the world. Bald Knob was established in 1881.
One point of interest in Bald Knob is Arkansas Traveler Hobbies, which is housed in the old Missouri Pacific Railroad depot at 400 E. Market Street. Antique passenger cars and an antique caboose are housed on the grounds and currently being restored. The hobby shop also houses a museum, which chronicles the history of Bald Knob, the Missouri Pacific Railroad, and White County. Another attraction is the historic Knob Field, just east of the Big Bald Knob Park.
As of the census of 2000, there were 3,210 people, 1,257 households, and 878 families residing in the city. The population density was 715.5 people per square mile (276.0/km²). There were 1,395 housing units at an average density of 311.0 per square mile (120.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 89.91% White, 6.07% Black or African American, 0.62% Native American, 0.59% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.21% from other races, and 1.56% from two or more races. 3.18% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Enroll in the Best Physical Therapist Degree Program near Bald Knob AR
Picking the best physical therapy program is a necessary initial decision you have to make to begin a rewarding career in the medical field. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you select should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. However there are other critical questions that you need to ask regarding your school of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapy program, bear in mind that numerous variables will guide you to your final decision. You might want to visit different schools to see their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the proper training and education, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Bald Knob AR.
A Few More Interesting Locations in Arkansas