How to Pick a Physical Therapist School near Harrison 72601
Earning a physical therapy degree near Harrison AR is an essential first step to launching a rewarding career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated due to injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the necessary education and training. A PT must also be licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s important to research those you are looking at to ensure 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 residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be considered in addition to location and cost. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists work in diverse locations, such as Harrison AR private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help patients that are struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they develop a course of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also strive to stop any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Harrison AR medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degree Options
There are 3 physical therapist degrees offered for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on 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 offered in the Harrison AR area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are most often provided by community colleges, and require 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a portion of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist training to ready candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take four years to complete and usually include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated in order to become a practicing licensed physical therapist. The degree program also must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to finish, making the overall commitment 7 years in most cases. Clinical training is an important component in addition to the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in a number of 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 attainable in the USA. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Schools
While not as common as the on-campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist degrees available, more so 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 requires that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the program may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Harrison AR home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition might be significantly less than similar on campus options, and costs for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
At this point you probably have come to decision concerning several of your initial questions, including the type of physical therapy degree you would like to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are so many PT schools within the Harrison AR area and across Arkansas, you’ll have to look into additional qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of college options. Also, you want to make certain that you pick the school that is ideal for you. That’s why we have put together a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are thinking about. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Ask if the schools you are looking at have earned accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As earlier mentioned, 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 can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist school and program you select are accredited, not simply the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Get in touch with some Harrison AR physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your school options. It may also be a good idea to contact the Arkansas Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two important statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may suggest that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Harrison AR area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care field is good or even outstanding. It also affirms that the program has a broad network of contacts to help students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you select furnishes both exceptional training and a course of study that supports the licensing criteria for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internships Offered? Ask if the physical therapy schools you are reviewing have relationships with Harrison AR clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent manner to receive practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist students and graduates form professional connections in the Harrison medical community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Harrison AR home. Those who have opted to attend classes online 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 bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Support Provided? The majority of DPT colleges offer some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial assistance office and see what kind of assistance is available. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. Some physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial assistance may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapy college you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Harrison AR area, check that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, 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 emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Harrison Arkansas?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Harrison AR area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Harrison is a city in Boone County, Arkansas, United States. It is the county seat of Boone County. It is named after General Marcus LaRue Harrison, a surveyor that laid out the city along Crooked Creek at Stifler Springs. According to 2012 Census Bureau estimates, the population of the city was 13,163, up from 12,943 at the 2010 census. Harrison is the principal city of the Harrison Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Boone and Newton counties.
Race riots by whites in 1905 and 1909 drove away black residents, establishing Harrison as a sundown town. Today it is known as a center of white supremacist activity, including the national headquarters of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.
Native Americans were the first inhabitants of the area, the first probably being cliff dwellers who lived in caves in the bluffs along the rivers. In later times, the Osage, a branch of the Sioux, was the main tribe in the Ozarks, and one of their larger villages is thought to have been to the east of the present site of Harrison. The Shawnee, Quapaw, and Caddo people were also familiar to the area.
Pick the Ideal Physical Therapist Degree Program near Harrison AR
Choosing the ideal physical therapist school is a necessary first decision you need to make to start a rewarding career in the medical profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you enroll in should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are additional relevant questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapy school, keep in mind that a number of factors will lead you to your final decision. You might decide to go to different campuses to view their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school 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 field so you can make the ideal selection. And with the proper education and training, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Harrison AR.
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