How to Select a Physical Therapy School near Dumas 71639
Earning a physical therapist degree near Dumas AR is an essential first step to beginning a rewarding career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals 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 acquire the appropriate education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate those you are thinking about to ensure they will supply a superior education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is enroll in a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be evaluated in addition to cost and location. But before we cover 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 a variety of locations, including Dumas AR private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Dumas AR medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone considering getting into 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 long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Available
There are 3 physical therapy degrees available for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the single degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief summaries of degree levels that are offered in the Dumas AR area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are most often offered by community or junior colleges, and require two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a portion of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy training to prep candidates to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally require four years to finish and often include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated if you want to become a licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program must also 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 total commitment 7 years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal element along with the substantial 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 taken the place of the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer offered in the USA. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Programs Online
While not as common as the on-campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy degrees available, 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 requires that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online portion of the course of study may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Dumas AR home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition might be significantly less than comparable on campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning some of your preliminary questions, including the type of physical therapist degree you want to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are so many PT colleges within the Dumas AR area and throughout Arkansas, you’ll need to explore other qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of school options. Furthermore, you need to be sure that you choose the program that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. Ask each of the potential schools these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Ask if the schools you are reviewing have received accreditation from a national or a regional 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 enroll in an online college, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist school and program you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy community. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT school’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 organizations for their reviews as well. Get in touch with several Dumas AR physical therapy centers or other medical care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your program selections. It may also be a good idea to check with the Arkansas Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of important statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapy colleges you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may mean that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After 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 Dumas AR area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care field is good or perhaps outstanding. It also verifies that the program has a broad network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you choose provides both superior training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing criteria for Arkansas or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapy schools you are assessing have relationships with Dumas AR hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great way to receive practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can help graduates and students form professional connections in the Dumas health care community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
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 undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they decide on will have to be within travelling distance of their Dumas AR residence. Those who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually 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 Provided? The majority of DPT colleges offer some form of financial aid to their potential students. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid office and find out what type of assistance is offered. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. A number of physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial aid may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapist school you finally pick 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 Dumas AR area, check that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Dumas Arkansas?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Dumas AR area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Dumas is located in northwestern Desha County at 33°53′12″N 91°29′19″W / 33.88667°N 91.48861°W / 33.88667; -91.48861 (33.886626, -91.488544). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.2 square miles (8.4 km2), all land. The city is located in the Delta Lowlands sub-region of the Arkansas Delta, producing a topography which is largely flat.
The climate in the area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Dumas has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.
As of the census of 2000, there were 5,238 people, 1,977 households, and 1,399 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,768.0 people per square mile (683.2/km²). There were 2,177 housing units at an average density of 734.8 per square mile (284.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 26.62% White, 70.02% Black or African American, 0.08% Native American, 0.50% Asian, 2.00% from other races, and 0.78% from two or more races. 3.19% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Choose the Right Physical Therapist Degree Program near Dumas AR
Choosing the best physical therapist school is a necessary initial decision you must make to begin a rewarding career in the medical field. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you pick should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are other critical questions that you need to ask concerning your school of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapist program, bear in mind that numerous factors will lead you toward your final decision. You may want to go to different schools to view their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me accomplish my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the right selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Dumas AR.
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