How to Choose a Physical Therapy School near Calico Rock 72519
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near Calico Rock AR is an important first step to starting a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated as a result of illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the appropriate training and education. A PT must also be licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate the ones you are considering to make certain they will furnish a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is select a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be evaluated besides cost and location. 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 Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of settings, including Calico Rock AR private practices, hospitals, 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 patients that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also strive to prevent any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Calico Rock 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 diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Offered
There are three physical therapist degree options available for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief explanations of degree levels that are offered in the Calico Rock AR area:
- Associate Degrees train students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are typically offered by junior or community colleges, and require two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally part of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist training to ready candidates to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically take 4 years to complete and usually include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to finish, making the overall commitment 7 years in most cases. Clinical training is an intregal component in addition to the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in several 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 United States. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Degrees Online
While not as prevalent as the on campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapy degrees available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online segment of the program can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Calico Rock AR home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition might be somewhat lower than comparable on campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
At this point you most likely have made a decision concerning several of your initial queries, such as the type of physical therapist degree you intend to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are so many PT schools within the Calico Rock AR area and across Arkansas, you’ll need to look into other qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of school choices. Moreover, you need to make sure that you pick the college that is best for you. That’s why we have put together a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. Ask all of the potential schools these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are looking at have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. 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 program, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy program and school you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are several ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Get in touch with a few Calico Rock AR physical therapist centers or other medical care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your program selections. It might 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 Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two significant statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapist programs you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Calico Rock AR area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or perhaps excellent. It also verifies that the school has a broad network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you choose furnishes both exceptional 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. 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 as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapy colleges you are evaluating have relationships with Calico Rock AR hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to receive practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may help students and graduates develop professional connections in the Calico Rock health care community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they pick will have to be within commuting distance of their Calico Rock AR residence. Individuals who have decided 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 might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Support Offered? Most DPT colleges offer 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 aid is available. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. Some physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial assistance may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapist program you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Calico Rock AR area, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. 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 Calico Rock Arkansas?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Calico Rock AR area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Calico Rock, Arkansas
Calico Rock is located in northwestern Izard County at 36°7′21″N 92°8′1″W / 36.12250°N 92.13361°W / 36.12250; -92.13361 (36.122612, -92.133481), on the north bank of the White River. It is bordered to the north by the town of Pineville.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.84 square miles (12.53 km2), of which 4.78 square miles (12.37 km2) are land and 0.06 square miles (0.16 km2), or 1.26%, are water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 991 people, 428 households, and 264 families residing in the city. The population density was 277.0 people per square mile (106.9/km²). There were 526 housing units at an average density of 147.0 per square mile (56.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 97.07% White, 0.20% Black or African American, 0.71% Native American, 0.20% Asian, 0.10% Pacific Islander, 0.40% from other races, and 1.31% from two or more races. 2.22% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Pick the Best Physical Therapy College near Calico Rock AR
Deciding on the ideal physical therapist school is a necessary initial decision you must make to launch a fulfilling career in the medical profession. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you enroll in should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. But there are other critical questions that you need to ask concerning your college of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapist school, bear in mind that many variables will lead you to your final decision. You may decide to go to each of the schools to view their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the ideal choice. And with the proper education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Calico Rock AR.
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