How to Select a Physical Therapy School near Bigelow 72016
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Bigelow AR is a critical first step to launching a rewarding career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated 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 additionally be licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate the ones you are looking at to make certain they will supply a quality education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is enroll in a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be evaluated along with location and cost. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists work in varying settings, including Bigelow AR private practices, hospitals, 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 earlier touched on, physical therapists help people that are struggling with a lack of mobility and often pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they design a program 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 abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Bigelow AR medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees
There are 3 physical therapy degrees available for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the single degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief descriptions of degrees that are offered in the Bigelow AR area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to be 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 qualify for enrollment. The programs are typically provided by community or junior colleges, and require two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually a component of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist education to prepare candidates to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically require four years to complete and often incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated if you want to become a practicing licensed 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 complete, making the total investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an essential component along with the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not just 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 eliminated and is no longer offered in the United States. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Programs Online
While not as prevalent as the more traditional options, there are many accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the school campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online part of the course of study may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Bigelow AR home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat lower than similar on campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
At this point you probably have made a decision concerning a few of your preliminary questions, like the kind of physical therapist degree you want 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 colleges within the Bigelow AR area and throughout Arkansas, you’ll have to research other qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of college options. Furthermore, you need to make sure that you enroll in the program that is right for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. Ask all of the competing schools these questions before making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Ask if the schools you are looking at have received 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 choose an online school, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist school and program you select are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist community. There are a number of 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 search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Call some Bigelow AR physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your program selections. It may also be a good idea to contact the Arkansas Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapy schools you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might indicate that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Bigelow AR area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even outstanding. It also confirms that the college has a large network of contacts to assist students get internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the school you enroll in provides both excellent training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements 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) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the physical therapist colleges you are assessing have partnerships with Bigelow AR hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to obtain practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may help graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Bigelow medical community and assist with job placement once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapy college they choose will need to be within travelling distance of their Bigelow AR residence. Students who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local 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 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 to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Most DPT schools offer some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Find out if the schools you are examining have a financial aid office and see what kind of help is offered. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. Some physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial aid might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapist college you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Bigelow AR area, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Bigelow Arkansas?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Bigelow AR area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Bigelow is a town in Perry County, Arkansas, United States. Located in Central Arkansas near the confluence of the Fourche La Fave River and Arkansas River, the community was incorporated in 1905 as Esau. Based largely on the timber industry, the town grew until the lumber mills were closed in 1920. The population was 329 at the 2000 census.
Bigelow did not exist by its current name until 1911, as it was formerly known as "Esau"—a community a few miles southwest of the present Bridge that grew to border the edge of the small town of Fourche. In 1911, Fourche River Mill owner, N.P. Bigelow, built an elaborate white house of the best lumber on a hill above the town. He was elected mayor, and then gained permission from the state's General Assembly to change the name of Esau to Bigelow. It was at one time the biggest town in the county; a vote was taken to move the county seat from Perryville to Bigelow, Bigelow won the vote, but the move was never made.
As of the census of 2000, there were 329 people, 127 households, and 91 families residing in the town. The population density was 391.5 inhabitants per square mile (151.2/km²). There were 144 housing units at an average density of 171.3 per square mile (66.2/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 97.57% White, 0.61% Black or African American, 0.91% Native American, 0.61% Asian, and 0.30% from two or more races. 2.43% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Pick the Best Physical Therapist College near Bigelow AR
Choosing the best physical therapist college is a necessary first decision you must make to launch a gratifying career in the health care profession. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you pick should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are additional important questions that you should ask concerning your college of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapy program, bear in mind that a number of variables will guide you to your ultimate decision. You might decide to visit each of the campuses to view their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me accomplish my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the proper training and education, you can accomplish your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Bigelow AR.
A Few More Interesting Locations in Arkansas
Business Results 1 - 10 of 14