How to Find the Right Physical Therapist School near London 72847
Getting a physical therapy degree near London AR is an important first step to starting a rewarding career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated due to illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the necessary training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate those you are thinking about to make certain they will provide a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is choose a school just because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be considered along with 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 the options for education.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists work in varying settings, including London AR hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help people that are struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a program of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also try to stop any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other London AR medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone considering entering the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Offered
There are three physical therapist degrees offered for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief summaries of degrees that are available in the London AR area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are usually offered by community or junior colleges, and require 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a portion of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy education to prep students to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally take 4 years to finish and usually include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated in order to become a practicing licensed physical therapist. The degree program must also 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 total commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an important component along with the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in several 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 available in the USA. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Colleges
Although not as prevalent as the more traditional alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapy programs available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online segment of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s London AR residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition may be somewhat less than similar on-campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
At this point you undoubtedly have come to decision concerning several of your initial questions, like the type of physical therapy degree you want to attain, where you want 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 London AR area and across Arkansas, you’ll have to look into additional qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of school choices. Also, you need to make certain that you enroll in the school 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 therapy colleges you are reviewing. Ask all of the potential schools these questions before making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Find out if the schools you are looking at have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As previously mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctoral degree the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you choose an online program, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy community. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT college’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Get in touch with several London AR physical therapy clinics or other medical care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your college options. It may also be a good idea to check with the Arkansas Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two significant statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may suggest that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After 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 London AR area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or perhaps excellent. It also verifies that the school has a wide network of contacts to help students gain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential 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 working. In each state a passing score is needed 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 PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapist schools you are evaluating have associations with London AR hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to receive practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist students and graduates form professional connections in the London health care community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are considering what the average 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 decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist college they select will have to be within driving distance of their London AR home. Those who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Most DPT colleges supply some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Inquire if the schools you are considering have a financial aid office and see what kind of aid is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. Some physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial assistance might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapist school you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the London AR area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near London Arkansas?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the London AR area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.4 square miles (6.2 km2), of which 2.4 square miles (6.2 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) (1.64%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 925 people, 359 households, and 268 families residing in the city. The population density was 385.5 people per square mile (148.8/km²). There were 413 housing units at an average density of 172.1 per square mile (66.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 96.6% White, 0.3% Black or African American, 1.41% Native American, 0.22% Asian, and 1.41% from two or more races. 1.0% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 359 households out of which 10.0% had children under the age of 1 living with them, 59.9% were married couples living together, 11.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.1% were non-families. 20.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.58 and the average family size was 2.97.
Enroll in the Right Physical Therapist College near London AR
Selecting the best physical therapy school is an important initial decision you need to make to launch a gratifying career in the medical field. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you pick should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. But there are additional relevant questions that you need to ask concerning your school of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapist program, bear in mind that a number of factors will guide you to your ultimate decision. You may want to go to different colleges to view their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me reach my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the ideal selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can achieve your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in London AR.
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