How to Choose a Physical Therapist Degree Program near Brinkley 72021
Earning a physical therapist degree near Brinkley AR is an essential first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people 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 must get the proper education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee receive 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 sure they will supply a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. 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 cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be evaluated in addition to location and cost. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists work in varying locations, such as Brinkley AR private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help people that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they design a course of treatment to address the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Brinkley AR medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degree Options
There are three physical therapy degree options available for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief summaries of degree levels that are available in the Brinkley AR area:
- Associate Degrees train students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are most often provided by community colleges, and take about two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a portion of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist training to prep students to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an integral preliminary step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally require 4 years to complete and often include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated if you want to become a licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program also must 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 overall commitment 7 years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal element in addition to the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not just 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 United States. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Degrees
While not as prevalent as the more traditional alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapist degrees available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online segment of the curriculum can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Brinkley AR residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition can be significantly less than similar on-campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
At this point you probably have come to decision concerning several of your initial questions, such as the kind of physical therapist degree you want to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are so many PT colleges within the Brinkley AR area and throughout Arkansas, you’ll have to explore other qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of college choices. Moreover, you want to make sure that you choose the college that is right for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. Ask all of the potential schools these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Ask if the schools you are considering have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As earlier mentioned, 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 college, it can 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 simply the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist community. There are multiple ways you can research a PT program’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Call some Brinkley AR physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insight 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 Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two useful statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may indicate that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, 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 Brinkley AR area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even exceptional. It also affirms that the school has a wide network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you select furnishes both superior training and a curriculum that satisfies 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 therapist school. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing have associations with Brinkley AR hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to obtain practical experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist students and graduates establish professional connections in the Brinkley health care community and help with job placement after licensing.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they decide on will have to be within travelling distance of their Brinkley AR home. Those who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Support Provided? Most DPT colleges offer some form of financial support to their potential students. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial assistance office and see what type of assistance is available. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial assistance may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapy college you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Brinkley AR area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Brinkley Arkansas?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Brinkley AR area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Brinkley is the most populous city in Monroe County, Arkansas, United States. Located within the Arkansas Delta, Brinkley was founded as a railroad town in 1872. The city has historically been a transportation and agricultural center in the region, more recently developing a reputation for outdoors recreation and the ivory-billed woodpecker. Birding has become important to the city and region following the discovery of the ivory-billed woodpecker in 2004, a species thought to be extinct 60 years earlier. Located halfway between Little Rock and Memphis, Tennessee, the city has used the slogan "We'll Meet You Half-Way" in some of its advertising campaigns. The population was 3,188 at the 2010 census.
In 1852, a land grant for the construction of rail lines was given to the Little Rock and Memphis Railroad Company, led by Robert Campbell Brinkley as its president. Robert C. Brinkley, born in North Carolina, lived in Memphis where he served a public career of "noble deeds and generous conduct" and for many years served as president of Planters Bank of Memphis.
Between 1852 and 1869, the settlement was called "Lick Skillet." When the day's work was completed, the railroad construction crew, mostly all immigrants from neighboring towns, cooked their supper over an open fire and returned to their homes when the last "skillet was licked."
Choose the Ideal Physical Therapy Training Program near Brinkley AR
Deciding on the best physical therapy college is an important first decision you need to make to launch a gratifying career in the medical profession. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you select should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. However there are additional important questions that you need to ask concerning your college of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapy college, bear in mind that many variables will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You may decide to go to different campuses to see their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the right selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can fulfill your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Brinkley AR.
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