How to Pick a Physical Therapy Degree Program near Blytheville 72315
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Blytheville AR is a critical first step to launching a rewarding career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated as a result of illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the proper education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research those you are considering to make certain they will furnish a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is enroll in a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be considered along with location and cost. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists practice in varying locations, including Blytheville AR hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help people that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they develop a course of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Blytheville AR medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy profession, it is rather 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
There are 3 physical therapy degrees offered for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the only degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short descriptions of degree levels that are offered in the Blytheville AR area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are usually offered by community colleges, and take about two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a component of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist 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 essential first step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take four years to finish and often incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement in order 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 finish, making the total commitment seven years in most cases. Clinical training is an important element along with the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in a number of 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 available in the USA. Some licensed 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 Therapy Schools Online
Although not as common as the on-campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapist degrees available, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Blytheville AR home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many 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, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding several of your initial queries, including the kind of physical therapy degree you want to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the Blytheville AR area and throughout Arkansas, you’ll have to explore additional qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of college options. Moreover, you need to be sure that you select the school that is right for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As previously mentioned, 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 college, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist school and program you choose are accredited, not just the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Get in touch with several Blytheville AR physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your college options. 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 filed against the colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of important statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapy programs you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might mean that students left because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Blytheville AR area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also confirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to help students get internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the school you select furnishes both exceptional 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 needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the physical therapist colleges you are evaluating have associations with Blytheville AR clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific way to receive hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist students and graduates form professional connections in the Blytheville medical community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.
What Size are the Classes ? 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 probably want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one 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 decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their Blytheville AR residence. Students who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Most DPT schools offer some form of financial aid to their potential students. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid office and see what type of aid is offered. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. Some physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapy school you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Blytheville AR area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Blytheville Arkansas?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Blytheville AR area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Blytheville was founded by Methodist clergyman Henry T. Blythe in 1879. It received a post office in 1879, was incorporated in 1889, and became the county seat for the northern half of Mississippi County (Chickasawba District) in 1901. Blytheville received telephone service and electricity in 1903, and natural gas service in 1950.
Forestry was an early industry, spurred by the massive harvesting of lumber needed to rebuild Chicago following the Great Fire of 1871. The lumber industry brought sawmills and a rowdy crowd, and the area was known for its disreputable saloon culture during the 1880s and 1890s.
The cleared forests enabled cotton farming to take hold, encouraged by ongoing levee building and waterway management; the population grew significantly after 1900. On Blytheville’s western edge lies one of the largest cotton gins in North America, and soybeans and rice have also become important crops.
Enroll in the Ideal Physical Therapist Training Program near Blytheville AR
Deciding on the best physical therapy college is a necessary first decision you need to make to launch a fulfilling career in the healthcare profession. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you select should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. However there are additional relevant questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapy college, keep in mind that many variables will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You might decide to go to each of the colleges to view their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the best selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can fulfill your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Blytheville AR.
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