How to Choose a Physical Therapy Program near Hattieville 72063
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near Hattieville AR is an important first step to beginning a rewarding career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated as a result of injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the necessary education and training. A PT must also become licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research the ones you are looking at to ensure they will deliver a quality education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is enroll in a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be considered in addition to location and cost. But before we talk about 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 is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists work in varying locations, including Hattieville AR hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they design a course of treatment to address the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent any progression of the disability. While 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.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Hattieville AR health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also manage 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 going into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Offered
There are three physical therapy degrees available for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is offered 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. Following are brief explanations of degree levels that are offered in the Hattieville 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 typically provided by junior or community colleges, and require 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a component of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy education to ready students to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally require four years to finish and commonly incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to finish, making the overall commitment 7 years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential component in addition to the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in some states for licensing as well.
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 offered in the USA. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Degrees Online
Although not as prevalent as the on-campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the school campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online part of the curriculum may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Hattieville AR home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat less than similar on-campus options, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
By now you most likely have made a decision concerning some of your initial questions, like the type of physical therapist degree you intend to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are so many PT colleges within the Hattieville AR area and across Arkansas, you’ll have to look into additional qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of college choices. Also, you need to be sure that you enroll in the college that is ideal for you. That’s why we have put together a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing schools these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are considering have earned accreditation from a national or a regional 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 enroll in an online college, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy school and program you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT school’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 some Hattieville AR physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your school options. It may 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 colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two useful statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapist programs you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might indicate that students left due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, 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 Hattieville AR area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also affirms that the college has a large network of contacts to help students gain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you select provides both exceptional training and a curriculum that supports 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) as well as 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 performed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapy schools you are interested in have relationships with Hattieville AR hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to obtain 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 develop professional relationships in the Hattieville health care community and assist with job placement after licensing.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Small classes enable 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 classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
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 Hattieville AR residence. Those who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Help Provided? The majority of DPT schools provide some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance department and find out what type of aid is available. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial aid may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapist program you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Hattieville AR area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Hattieville Arkansas?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Hattieville AR area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Arkansas Highway 247
The route begins at AR 7 in south Russellville. AR 247 runs east until forming a concurrency with US 64 to Atkins. The route turns north in a short concurrency with AR 105. AR 247 next enters Conway County and terminates at AR 213 west of Hattieville.
Choose the Right Physical Therapy Degree Program near Hattieville AR
Choosing the ideal physical therapist school is an important first decision you have to make to launch a rewarding career in the medical field. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you choose should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. However there are other critical questions that you should ask concerning your college of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapist college, keep in mind that a number of factors will lead you to your ultimate decision. You might want to visit different colleges to see their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me accomplish my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the proper training and education, you can achieve your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Hattieville AR.
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