How to Select a Physical Therapist Degree Program near Greenbrier 72058
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Greenbrier AR is an important first step to starting a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated due to injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the proper education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to investigate the ones you are thinking about to make sure they will furnish a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is enroll in a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be considered in addition to cost and location. 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 diverse settings, including Greenbrier AR hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they design a course of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also strive to stop any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Greenbrier AR health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely 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 3 physical therapy degree options available for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the single 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 preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short explanations of degrees that are available in the Greenbrier AR area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are most often offered by community or junior colleges, and take about two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a component of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist training to prepare students to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require 4 years to complete and usually incorporate 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 also must 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 finish, making the total investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an intregal component along with the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in some 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 attainable in the USA. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Schools Online
Although not as common as the on campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapy programs available, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the program can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Greenbrier AR residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition can be somewhat lower than comparable on campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding several of your initial queries, like the type of physical therapist degree you want to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are numerous PT schools within the Greenbrier AR area and across Arkansas, you’ll need to research additional qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of college options. Furthermore, you want 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 schools you are reviewing. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Ask if the programs you are reviewing 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 choose an online college, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapist community. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Call several Greenbrier AR physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your college selections. It might also be prudent 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 Rate? There are a couple of useful statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may mean that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Greenbrier 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 even exceptional. It also affirms that the school has a large network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you enroll in furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the physical therapist colleges you are interested in have relationships with Greenbrier AR clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to obtain hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may help graduates and students develop professional connections in the Greenbrier health care community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are researching what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Greenbrier AR residence. Students who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide 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 normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Aid Offered? The majority of DPT schools provide some type of financial support to their potential students. Find out if the schools you are considering have a financial aid department and find out what type of help is available. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. A number of physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapy program you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Greenbrier AR area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Greenbrier Arkansas?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Greenbrier AR area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Since 1778, visitors have traveled to this part of the state to "take the waters" of the area. Today, The Greenbrier is situated on 11,000 acres (4,500 ha) of land with 710 guest rooms, 20 restaurants and lounges, more than 55 indoor and outdoor activities and sports, and 36 retail shops.
The current Greenbrier was built in 1913 by the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway and was owned for much of its history by that company and its successors, including the CSX Corporation. Following years of heavy losses, CSX placed the hotel into bankruptcy in 2009. Justice Family Group, LLC, a company owned by local entrepreneur Jim Justice, subsequently bought the property and guaranteed all debts, resulting in dismissal of the bankruptcy. Justice promised to return the hotel to its former status as a five-star resort and to introduce "tasteful" gambling for guests to increase profit. The Greenbrier Hotel Corp. today operates as a subsidiary of Justice's company.
The Greenbrier is also the site of a massive underground bunker that was meant to serve as an emergency shelter for the United States Congress during the Cold War. The bunker was code named "Project Greek Island," and Fritz Bugas was the former onsite superintendent.
Enroll in the Best Physical Therapist Degree Program near Greenbrier AR
Picking the ideal physical therapist school is an important first decision you must make to launch a fulfilling career in the medical profession. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you pick should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. However there are other critical questions that you should ask pertaining to your college of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapy program, keep in mind that numerous variables will guide you toward your final decision. You might decide to visit different colleges to see their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me reach my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the ideal choice. And with the proper education and training, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Greenbrier AR.
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