How to Pick a Physical Therapy Program near Des Arc 72040
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Des Arc AR is an essential first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled as a result of illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the necessary education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to investigate the ones you are considering to ensure they will furnish a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you should not 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 need to be considered 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 what the educational options are.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of locations, such as Des Arc AR hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate 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
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Des Arc AR medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also manage several physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone considering entering the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Offered
There are three physical therapy degrees available for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief explanations of degrees that are available in the Des Arc AR area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are typically made available by community colleges, and require 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a portion of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy education to prepare students to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential initial step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically require four years to finish and usually include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required 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). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to finish, making the total commitment seven years in most cases. Clinical training is an essential element in addition to the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in a number of states for licensing also.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has taken the place of the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer offered in the USA. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Schools Online
Although not as common as the more traditional options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online portion of the curriculum may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Des Arc AR home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition may be significantly less than similar on campus options, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
At this point you probably have come to decision regarding a few of your preliminary queries, including the type of physical therapist degree you would like to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are so many PT schools within the Des Arc AR area and throughout Arkansas, you’ll need to explore other qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of school options. Also, you want to be sure that you enroll in the program that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapist programs you are thinking about. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Ask if the programs you are reviewing have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As previously stated, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you choose an online school, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist program and school you choose are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist community. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Call some Des Arc AR physical therapist clinics or other medical care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your college 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 filed against the schools.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of significant statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might mean that students left because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Des Arc AR area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or perhaps excellent. It also verifies that the program has a wide network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you choose furnishes both exceptional training and a course of study that supports 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) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the physical therapy programs you are evaluating have partnerships with Des Arc AR clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to obtain practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Des Arc medical community and help with job placement once licensed.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are looking at what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on 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 as well.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy school they choose will have to be within driving distance of their Des Arc AR home. Students who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? The majority of DPT schools supply some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance office and find out what type of help is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. Some physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial aid might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapy college you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Des Arc AR area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Des Arc Arkansas?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Des Arc AR area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Des Arc, Arkansas
Des Arc is a city on the White River in the Arkansas Delta, United States. It is the largest city in Prairie County, and the county seat for the county's northern district. Incorporated in 1854, Des Arc's position on the river has shaped its culture, history, and economy, beginning as a major lumber shipping port but leaving the city vulnerable to major floods in 1927 and 1937. As river shipping declined, Des Arc was bypassed by railroads, Interstate highways, and much of the post-industrial society. Des Arc's history is preserved by seven listings on the National Register of Historic Places, and the region's history is interpreted at Lower White River State Park. The city's population stopped growing in the 1980s and has been declining since, with a population of 1,717 at the 2010 Census.
White settlement in the area began in the Lower White River Valley while the area was within French Louisiana, which lasted from 1686-1763. French from Canada and South Louisiana passed through the area while hunting and trapping bears and other animals. They shipped furs and bear oil downriver to Arkansas Post, which was the only established settlement in the region, then likely onto New Orleans. During this period, several places were named by the French, including Des Arc and other places in Prairie County such as La Grue.
Des Arc was founded in 1854. A map shows the original town included 80 residential blocks, and two blocks for a commercial district. The gridded street pattern has never been fully developed, though most of the streets and blocks match the 1854 plan. The gridded east-west street pattern began with a street named McNulty Street in the north, near where present-day Highway 38 is located along the northern edge of the city. The southernmost east-west street was Barrier Street. The town ran from Foster Street (present-day First Street) on the eastern side, to present-day Eighth Street.
Select the Ideal Physical Therapist School near Des Arc AR
Deciding on the ideal physical therapy college is a necessary first decision you need to make to begin a gratifying career in the medical profession. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you enroll in should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are other important questions that you need to ask concerning your school of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapy college, bear in mind that numerous variables will lead you to your ultimate decision. You may decide to go to different colleges to view their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the best choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can fulfill your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Des Arc AR.
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