How to Select a Physical Therapy College near Harrisburg 72432
Earning a physical therapist degree near Harrisburg AR is an important first step to beginning a rewarding career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people 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 get the necessary training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research the ones you are thinking about to make certain they will supply a quality education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is choose a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be evaluated besides location and cost. But before we discuss 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 Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists practice in diverse locations, including Harrisburg AR hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they create a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement 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.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Harrisburg AR medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone considering entering the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Offered
There are three physical therapist degrees available for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the single degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short summaries of degrees that are available in the Harrisburg AR area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are usually offered by junior or community colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually a component of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy education to prepare candidates to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to finish and commonly incorporate an internship program of at least 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 finish, making the total investment of time 7 years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an essential component in addition to the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not just for graduation but in some 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 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 before the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Online Schools
Although not as prevalent as the more traditional alternatives, there are many 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 incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online part of the course of study may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Harrisburg AR home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition can be significantly less than comparable on-campus options, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
By now you probably have made a decision regarding several of your initial questions, like the type of physical therapist degree you want to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the Harrisburg AR area and throughout Arkansas, you’ll have to explore additional qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of college choices. Furthermore, you need to be sure that you pick the school that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are thinking about. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions before making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Find out if the schools you are looking at have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As previously stated, if you are pursuing a doctoral degree the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you select an online school, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist program and school you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapy community. There are several ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Get in touch with a few Harrisburg AR physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your college selections. It might also be a good idea to check with the Arkansas Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two important statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapy schools you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might mean that students dropped out due to 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 Harrisburg AR area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or perhaps outstanding. It also verifies that the school has a broad network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you select provides both excellent training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing criteria for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapist schools you are reviewing have partnerships with Harrisburg AR hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to receive practical experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can help students and graduates form professional connections in the Harrisburg health care community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they decide on will need to be within travelling distance of their Harrisburg AR residence. Those who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even 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 usually charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? The majority of DPT schools supply some form of financial support to their prospective students. Ask if the schools you are looking at have a financial assistance department and see what type of assistance is offered. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. Some physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial assistance might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapist program you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Harrisburg AR area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Harrisburg Arkansas?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Harrisburg AR area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Harrisburg is a city in Poinsett County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 2,288 at the 2010 census. It is included in the Jonesboro, Arkansas Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city is the county seat of Poinsett County.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,192 people, 855 households, and 582 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,050.4 people per square mile (404.9/km²). There were 928 housing units at an average density of 444.7/sq mi (171.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 96.66% White, 1.24% Black or African American, 0.09% Native American, 0.27% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.87% from other races, and 0.82% from two or more races. 1.51% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race and 00.01% Other.
There were 855 households out of which 29.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.8% were married couples living together, 15.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.9% were non-families. 29.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.33 and the average family size was 2.84.
Enroll in the Best Physical Therapist College near Harrisburg AR
Selecting the right physical therapy college is an important first decision you have to make to begin a fulfilling career in the medical profession. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you pick should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. But there are other relevant questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapist college, bear in mind that many factors will lead you toward your final decision. You may decide to go to different campuses to see their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me achieve 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 best choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Harrisburg AR.
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