How to Select a Physical Therapist Degree Program near Glenwood 71943
Earning a physical therapist degree near Glenwood AR is a critical first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled due to illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the proper training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate those you are looking at to make sure they will provide a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is choose a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be evaluated along with cost and location. But before we cover what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists practice in varying locations, including Glenwood AR hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they develop 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. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Glenwood AR health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degree Options
There are three physical therapy degree options available for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short descriptions of degree levels that are available in the Glenwood 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. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are most often made available by community colleges, and require 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually part of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy education to prep students to progress 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 take 4 years to complete and often incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement in order 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 finish, making the total investment of time 7 years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal element along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion 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 USA. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing requirement 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 programs available, even more 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 nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the course of study can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Glenwood AR residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat 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 advantages may make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
By now you most likely have made a decision concerning a few of your initial queries, such as the type of physical therapy degree you intend to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are so many PT colleges within the Glenwood AR area and throughout Arkansas, you’ll need to research other qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of college choices. Furthermore, you want to make sure that you pick the college that is right for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapy schools you are considering. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Ask if the schools you are considering have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. 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 enroll in an online program, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy school and program you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are several ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, beginning with asking for 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 also. Call a few Glenwood AR physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your college options. 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 submitted against the schools.
What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Glenwood AR area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even outstanding. It also verifies that the program has a wide network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you enroll in provides both superior training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements 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 therapy school. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapist schools you are assessing have associations with Glenwood AR hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to get practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist students and graduates form professional connections in the Glenwood health care community and help with job placement once licensed.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they pick will need to be within travelling distance of their Glenwood AR home. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes naturally 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 choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps 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 normally charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Aid Provided? The majority of DPT schools offer some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial aid department and find out what type of aid is offered. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. A number of physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapist college you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Glenwood AR area, make certain that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need 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 Glenwood Arkansas?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Glenwood AR area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Glenwood is a city in Pike and Montgomery counties in Arkansas. The community is located along the Caddo River in the Ouachita Mountains. Glenwood was formed as a boomtown following the development of the Gurdon and Fort Smith Railroad and timber interests in the area. After the establishment of a lumber mill, the community received a post office and incorporated in April 1909. Although the community saw its major employer leave during the Great Depression, the city has again seen rapid growth in recent decades. The city also sees significant tourism related to its scenic position in the Ouachitas and among several recreational lakes.
At the 2000 census, there were 1,751 people, 696 households and 446 families residing in the city. The population density was 630.5 per square mile (243.2/km²). There were 772 housing units at an average density of 278.0/sq mi (107.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 88.18% White, 1.03% Black or African American, 1.03% Native American, 0.17% Asian, 8.79% from other races, and 0.80% from two or more races. 11.31% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 696 households of which 29.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.0% were married couples living together, 12.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.9% were non-families. 32.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 2.97.
Choose the Right Physical Therapist School near Glenwood AR
Selecting the right physical therapist school is a necessary first decision you need to make to begin a gratifying career in the healthcare 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. But there are other critical questions that you need to ask pertaining to your school of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapy school, keep in mind that numerous variables will lead you to your final decision. You might want to visit each of the colleges to view their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program 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 options so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Glenwood AR.
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