How to Select a Physical Therapist Training Program near Bauxite 72011
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Bauxite AR is an essential first step to beginning a rewarding career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients 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 need to obtain the proper education and training. A PT must also become licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to research those you are thinking about to make certain they will furnish a superior education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is select a college just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be considered besides cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists practice in diverse locations, including Bauxite AR private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help people that are struggling with a lack of mobility and often pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Bauxite AR health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Available
There are three physical therapist degrees offered for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief summaries of degrees that are offered in the Bauxite AR area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to practice as 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 GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are most often offered by community or junior colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually part of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy training to prep students to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally require four years to complete and commonly incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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 complete, making the overall investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an important component in addition to the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in some 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 phased out and is no longer available in the United States. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Degrees Online
Although not as common as the on campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist programs available, even more 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 close to the college campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online portion of the program may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Bauxite AR residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition can be significantly lower than comparable on-campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
By now you undoubtedly have come to decision concerning some of your initial questions, including the kind of physical therapist degree you would like to earn, 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 Bauxite AR area and throughout Arkansas, you’ll have to look into other qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of college options. Furthermore, you need to make certain that you choose the college that is best for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Ask if the schools 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 select an online school, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy school and program you select are accredited, not just the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Contact a few Bauxite AR physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your program selections. It might also be prudent to check with the Arkansas Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two relevant statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might indicate that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Bauxite AR area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or perhaps excellent. It also affirms that the college has a large network of contacts to help students gain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the school you select furnishes both excellent training and a course of study that supports the licensing criteria for Arkansas or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapy programs you are reviewing have partnerships with Bauxite AR hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to get practical experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may help students and graduates form professional connections in the Bauxite health care community and assist with job placement once licensed.
How Large are the Classes ? 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 small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapy college they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Bauxite AR home. Individuals who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally 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 Aid Offered? Most DPT colleges supply some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Ask if the schools you are examining have a financial aid office and see what type of assistance is obtainable. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. Some physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapy college you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Bauxite AR area, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Bauxite Arkansas?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Bauxite AR area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Bauxite is a town in Saline County, Arkansas, United States. Located within Central Arkansas, the town is named for bauxite, the source ore for aluminium, which was found in abundant quantities in the area and became a source of aluminium refining. The town's population boomed during expanded aluminium production during World War II and shrank rapidly with output of the ore. Bauxite was incorporated as a town in 1973. The population was 487 at the 2010 census.
The ore for which the town is named was discovered in the area in the early 1890s and mined by the General Bauxite Company until 1905, when the Pittsburgh Reduction Company, a northeastern aluminium refining company, purchased vast tracts of land in Saline County after learning of the high-quality ore that was being shipped from the area. The company bought out the local producers of the ore, including the General Bauxite Company. Pittsburgh Reduction would go on to incorporate as the Aluminum Company of America, or ALCOA.
Production of the ore rose rapidly, growing from 200,000 short tons (180,000 t) in 1914 during World War I, to 560,000 short tons (510,000 t) by war’s end in 1918. With decreased demand and an expanded source base in South America, Arkansas production levels fluctuated with demand, dropping as low as 60,000 short tons (54,000 t) per annum in the mid-1930s.
Select the Ideal Physical Therapist School near Bauxite AR
Choosing the best physical therapy program is a necessary initial decision you need to make to begin a gratifying career in the medical field. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you enroll in should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. However there are additional critical questions that you need to ask regarding your school of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapist college, keep in mind that a number of factors will guide you to your final decision. You may decide to go to different schools to see their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me reach my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the best selection. And with the proper training and education, you can fulfill your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Bauxite AR.
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