How to Enroll In a Physical Therapy Program near Huntsville 72740
Earning a physical therapy degree near Huntsville AR is an essential first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled as a result of illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the proper training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research those you are looking at to make sure they will supply a superior education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is enroll in a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be evaluated 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’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in diverse settings, such as Huntsville AR private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they develop a program of treatment to address the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also try to stop any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Huntsville AR health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone considering going into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees
There are 3 physical therapist degrees offered for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief explanations of degrees that are available in the Huntsville AR area:
- Associate Degrees train students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are typically provided by junior or community colleges, and take about two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally part of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist training to prepare students to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they typically require four years to complete and often 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 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 complete, making the total investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal component in addition to the considerable lab and classroom 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 phased out and is no longer offered 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 requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Degrees
While not as prevalent as the on campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapist degrees available, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the school 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 Huntsville AR home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition may be somewhat less than comparable on campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
By now you probably have come to decision concerning some of your preliminary queries, such as the type of physical therapy degree you intend to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are so many PT colleges within the Huntsville AR area and throughout Arkansas, you’ll have to research other qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of school choices. Moreover, you need to make sure that you enroll in the program that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering. Ask each of the potential schools these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As previously stated, 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 program, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist program and school you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Call a few Huntsville AR physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you may have an interest 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 find out if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two relevant statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapy programs you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Huntsville AR area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care field is good or even excellent. It also affirms that the college has a large network of contacts to help students gain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you enroll in provides both superior training and a course of study that supports the licensing criteria 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapist programs you are assessing have associations with Huntsville AR hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to receive hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can help students and graduates develop professional connections in the Huntsville healthcare community and assist with job placement once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy school they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Huntsville AR home. Those who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry 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 decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Support Provided? Most DPT colleges provide some form of financial aid to their potential students. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at have a financial aid office and find out what kind of assistance is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. Some physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial assistance may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapist college you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Huntsville AR area, check that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Huntsville Arkansas?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Huntsville AR area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Huntsville is a city in Madison County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 2,346 at the 2010 census. The city is the county seat of Madison County, located in the northwest corner of the state. During the American Civil War in 1862, it was the site of what became known as the Huntsville Massacre.
Huntsville was named for John Hunt, considered the founder of the settlement. Huntsville incorporated as a town after the Civil War in 1877. The community was incorporated as a city on July 16, 1925.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,931 people, 761 households, and 493 families residing in the city. The population density was 640.0 people per square mile (246.9/km²). There were 853 housing units at an average density of 282.7/sq mi (109.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 90.21% White, 0.10% Black or African American, 2.12% Native American, 0.21% Pacific Islander, 6.53% from other races, and 0.83% from two or more races. 12.79% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Enroll in the Right Physical Therapy College near Huntsville AR
Choosing the ideal physical therapy college is an important first decision you need to make to launch a gratifying career in the medical field. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you decide on should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. However there are other critical questions that you need to ask regarding your college of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapy college, bear in mind that many factors will guide you to your ultimate decision. You may decide to visit each of the campuses to view their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me accomplish my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the right selection. And with the proper education and training, you can achieve your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Huntsville AR.
A Few More Interesting Locations in Arkansas