How to Choose a Physical Therapist College near Gentry 72734
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Gentry AR is a critical first step to launching a fulfilling career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated as a result of injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the proper training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate the ones you are thinking about to make certain they will provide a quality education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is choose 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 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 what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in varying locations, including Gentry AR private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help individuals that are struggling with a lack of mobility and often pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they develop a program of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Gentry AR health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Available
There are three physical therapy degree options available for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the only degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief summaries of degrees that are available in the Gentry AR area:
- Associate Degrees train students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are usually made available by junior or community colleges, and require 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually part of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist training to ready candidates to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to complete and commonly include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required if you want to become a practicing licensed physical therapist. The degree program must also 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 complete, making the overall commitment 7 years in most cases. Clinical training is an essential component along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in several states for licensing also.
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. A number of 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 instituted.
Physical Therapist Schools Online
While not as prevalent as the on campus 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, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online portion of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Gentry AR residence. Online programs are not only to some extent 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, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
At this point you probably have made a decision regarding several of your preliminary questions, such as the kind of physical therapy degree you want to attain, 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 Gentry AR area and throughout Arkansas, you’ll have to explore other qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of school options. Moreover, you need to make certain that you choose the program that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapist programs you are thinking about. Ask each of the potential schools these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As previously 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 enroll in an online school, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy school and program you select are accredited, not simply the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Get in touch with several Gentry AR physical therapist centers or other medical care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insight 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 Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of significant statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapist colleges you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might indicate that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Gentry AR area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care field is good or perhaps exceptional. It also affirms that the school has a large network of contacts to help students get internships or employment after graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you choose provides both superior training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapist schools you are interested in have associations with Gentry AR hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to get hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Gentry health care community and assist with job placement after licensing.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they choose will have to be within driving distance of their Gentry AR residence. Students who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Most DPT schools offer some form of financial support to their prospective students. Ask if the schools you are considering have a financial assistance office and see what kind of help is available. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. Some physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapist program you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Gentry AR area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Gentry Arkansas?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Gentry AR area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Gentry is a city in Benton County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 3,158 at the 2010 census. The city was founded in the Ozark Mountains in 1894 along what would become the Kansas City Southern Railroad. The city's prior prosperity in the orchard industry, especially apples, was further strengthened by the rail connection. Following the decline of the apple industry in the 1930s, Gentry shifted its economy towards poultry along with many other areas of northwest Arkansas. Today, Gentry is located within the Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers Metropolitan Area. Gentry is known for the Wild Wilderness Drive-Through Safari, located 2 miles (3 km) north of the city limits.
Gentry began as a rural Ozark agricultural community named Orchard City. Located in western Benton County, it was known for its apple orchards and other produce. The town began to grow when the Kansas City Southern Railroad was constructed through the town. In 1894, residents of the community petitioned the county to officially incorporate, and the city's name was changed to Gentry, after an official in charge of the construction of the railroad.
The railroad company built a new depot in Gentry in 1926-1927. It was known as one of the nicest depots on the railway line. A banquet was held for the grand opening, and railway officials arrived on a special train to commemorate the event. Four to six passenger trains a week came through Gentry until passenger service was discontinued in 1964.
Select the Right Physical Therapist College near Gentry AR
Picking the best physical therapist school is a necessary initial decision you have to make to begin a rewarding career in the health care profession. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you decide on should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. But there are other important questions that you should ask pertaining to your school of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapy program, bear in mind that a number of factors will guide you to your final decision. You may decide to visit each of the colleges to see their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me reach 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 field so you can make the right choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Gentry AR.
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