How to Enroll In a Physical Therapy College near Magnolia 71753
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Magnolia AR is an important first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated as a result of injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the necessary training and education. A PT must also become licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate the ones you are thinking about to make sure they will deliver a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is enroll in a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be considered besides cost and location. 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 practice in a variety of settings, including Magnolia AR hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help individuals that are struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Magnolia AR health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone considering going into 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 prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees
There are 3 physical therapist degrees offered for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the only degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief descriptions of degree levels that are available in the Magnolia AR area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are typically made available by community colleges, and take about two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually part of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy training to prep students to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an integral preliminary step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally require four years to finish and usually include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated if you want to become a licensed practicing 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 complete, making the total commitment seven years in most cases. Clinical training is an essential element in addition to the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in some states for licensing as well.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer available in the United States. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Colleges Online
Although not as common as the on campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapist programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college 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 Magnolia AR residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition may be somewhat less than similar 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 can make the online option the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
By now you most likely have come to decision regarding several of your preliminary questions, such as the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are so many PT schools within the Magnolia AR area and across Arkansas, you’ll have to research additional qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of school options. Also, you want to make certain that you enroll in the program that is best for you. That’s why we have put together a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are considering have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As earlier 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 select an online program, it can also earn 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. Also, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Call some Magnolia AR physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide 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 submitted against the schools.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of important statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapy schools you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may mean that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Magnolia AR area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care community is good or even outstanding. It also confirms that the school has a wide network of contacts to assist students get internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you enroll in provides both exceptional training and a curriculum that satisfies 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 therapist college. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the physical therapy programs you are evaluating have partnerships with Magnolia AR clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to get hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can assist graduates and students form professional connections in the Magnolia healthcare community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are researching what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they decide on will need to be within travelling distance of their Magnolia AR home. Individuals who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to keep 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 normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Most DPT colleges offer some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance office and find out what type of help is obtainable. They at least should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. A number of physical therapy schools offer 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 School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapist college you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Magnolia AR area, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Magnolia Arkansas?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Magnolia AR area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
The city was founded in 1853. At the time of its incorporation in 1858, the city had a population of about 1,950. The city grew slowly as an agricultural and regional cotton market until the discovery of oil just east of the city in March 1938, with the Barnett #1 drilled by the Kerr-Lynn Company. The Magnolia Oil Field was an important discovery for the city as well as for the nation, as it was the largest producing field (in volume) during the early years of World War II, helping to sustain the American war effort.
Magnolia is located in southwest Arkansas, north of the center of Columbia County at 33°16′27″N 93°14′1″W / 33.27417°N 93.23361°W / 33.27417; -93.23361 (33.274052, -93.233477). The average altitude is 336 ft (102 m) above sea level according to NOAA. The surrounding region is a mix of dense forest, farm prairies, and low rolling hills.
The average temperature is 64 °F (18 °C), and the average annual rainfall is 50.3 inches (1,280 mm). The winters are mild but can dip into the teens at night and have highs in the 30s and even some 20s but average out around 50. The springs are warm and can be stormy with strong to severe storms and average highs in the mid 70s. Summers are often hot, humid and dry but with occasional isolated afternoon storms, highs in the mid to upper 90s and even 100s. In the fall the temps cool from the 90s and 100s to 80s and 70s. Early fall temps are usually in the 80s but can reach 90s and at times has reached 100. Late fall temps fall to 70s and 60s. It is not uncommon to see snow and ice during the winter. It has been known to snow a few times as late as April and as early as November in Magnolia.
Choose the Ideal Physical Therapist Training Program near Magnolia AR
Picking the best physical therapist program is an important initial decision you must make to launch a gratifying career in the health care field. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you choose should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. But there are additional critical questions that you should ask pertaining to your college of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapy school, bear in mind that many variables will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You may decide to visit each of the campuses to see their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me accomplish my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the ideal selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Magnolia AR.
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