How to Select a Physical Therapy College near Berryville 72616
Getting a physical therapy degree near Berryville AR is an essential first step to launching a rewarding career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated due to illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the proper training and education. A PT must also be licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research those you are considering to ensure they will deliver a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is select a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be considered in addition to 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 is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of locations, including Berryville AR hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help people that are struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they design a course of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Berryville AR medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Offered
There are 3 physical therapist degrees available for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short descriptions of degrees that are offered in the Berryville AR area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to become physical therapy assistants, or can 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 programs are most often provided by junior or community colleges, and require two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a portion of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist education to prep 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 preliminary step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally require 4 years to complete and commonly include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required if you want 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 3 years to complete, making the total investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an essential element along with the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in some states for licensing as well.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer available in the USA. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Online Colleges
While not as prevalent as the on-campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy 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 close to the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Berryville AR residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition may be significantly lower than comparable on campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
By now you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning a few of your preliminary questions, such as the type of physical therapist degree you intend to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT schools within the Berryville AR area and throughout Arkansas, you’ll have to explore additional qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of college choices. Furthermore, you need to be sure that you enroll in the program that is right for you. That’s why we have put together a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. Ask all of the competing schools these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapy 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 doctoral degree the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you enroll in an online school, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy school and program you select are accredited, not simply the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are several ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Get in touch with several Berryville AR physical therapist centers or other health care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your program selections. It may also be a good idea to contact the Arkansas Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two important statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might indicate that students left due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Berryville AR area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps outstanding. It also affirms that the program has a large network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you choose furnishes both superior training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements 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) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing have associations with Berryville AR clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to get practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may assist graduates and students establish professional connections in the Berryville medical community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are researching what the average teacher to student 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 a chance to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapy college they choose will need to be within travelling distance of their Berryville AR home. Students who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to bear 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 may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Most DPT schools supply some type of financial support to their potential students. Ask if the schools you are considering have a financial assistance department and find out what type of help is available. They at least should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. Some physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial aid might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapist school you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Berryville AR area, check that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check 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 as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Berryville Arkansas?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Berryville AR area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Berryville is a city in Carroll County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 5,356 at the 2010 census, making it the largest city in Carroll County. Along with Eureka Springs, it is one of the two county seats of Carroll County.
Berryville was founded by local settler Blackburn Henderson Berry in 1850; his nephew James Henderson Berry would become the fourteenth governor of Arkansas in 1883. The city was incorporated in 1876.
U.S. Route 62 passes through the center of the city, leading east 30 miles (48 km) to Harrison and west 46 miles (74 km) to Rogers. Eureka Springs is 12 miles (19 km) to the west on US 62. Arkansas Highway 21 leads north from Berryville 16 miles (26 km) to the Missouri line.
Select the Right Physical Therapy Training Program near Berryville AR
Selecting the best physical therapist school is a necessary first decision you have to make to launch a fulfilling career in the health care field. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you decide on should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. However there are additional critical questions that you need to ask pertaining to your school of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapy program, bear in mind that a number of variables will lead you toward your final decision. You may want to visit each of the colleges to view their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me realize my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the best choice. And with the proper education and training, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Berryville AR.
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