How to Choose a Physical Therapy Degree Program near Marion 72364
Getting a physical therapist degree near Marion AR is a critical first step to launching a fulfilling career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated as a result of illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the proper training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate those you are thinking about to ensure they will furnish a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is select a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be considered in addition to cost and location. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists work in a variety of settings, including Marion 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 diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help individuals that are struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they create a course of treatment to address the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Marion AR health specialists, 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 bear in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees
There are three physical therapist degrees available for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is available to practice as 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 short summaries of degree levels that are available in the Marion AR area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are usually provided 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 component of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy training to ready students to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally take four years to finish and usually include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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 3 years to complete, making the total commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal component along with the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in a number of 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 attainable in the United States. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Programs
Although not as prevalent as the more traditional alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, 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 school campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the curriculum may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Marion AR home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition can be somewhat less than comparable on-campus options, and costs 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 right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
At this point you most likely have made a decision concerning several of your initial queries, such as the type of physical therapist degree you want to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are numerous PT colleges within the Marion AR area and throughout Arkansas, you’ll have to research additional qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of college choices. Moreover, you want to make certain that you enroll in the school that is ideal for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. Ask all of the potential schools these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Find out if the programs you are considering have received accreditation from a regional or a national 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 select an online college, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist program and school you select are accredited, not just the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapy community. There are a number of ways you can research a PT program’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 as well. Call several Marion AR physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any advice about your college selections. It might 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 Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of important statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. 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, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Marion AR area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even outstanding. It also affirms that the program has a broad network of contacts to help students gain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you select provides both exceptional training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the physical therapist programs you are interested in have relationships with Marion AR clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means 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 can help graduates and students form professional relationships in the Marion medical community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are considering 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 ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapy college they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Marion AR residence. Those who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble 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 even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Most DPT schools provide some type of financial aid to their potential students. Inquire if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid office and find out what kind of assistance is available. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. Some physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial assistance may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapist program you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Marion AR area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need 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 Marion Arkansas?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Marion AR area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Marion is a city in and the county seat of Crittenden County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 12,345 at the 2010 census, a 38.7% increase since 2000. The city is part of the Memphis metropolitan area. It is the second largest city in Crittenden County, behind West Memphis.
Although Marion was incorporated in 1896, the community predates that significantly. The site of Marion was part of Louisiana (New Spain) from 1764 to 1803, when it became Louisiana (New France). Some of the oldest land titles in the area are from Spanish land grants from a time prior to the Louisiana Purchase. After the Louisiana Purchase the area was part of the Arkansas Territory. During the 1830s the Trail of Tears, the forced removal of Native Americans from Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi, passed through the area. Its location is close to where the Sultana Steamboat exploded and sunk. A memorial is placed on the city hall square to remember those lost in the accident
Marion, AR was named after Marion Tolbert. In 1837 two commissioners had been appointed by the county court to select a site for a new county seat. Tolbert and his wife Temperance gave a deed to the commissioners "for the county of Crittenden for county purposes" on June 25, 1837. A town was laid out, named Marion in honor of Marion Tolbert and was made the county seat of Crittenden County, AR. Marion has been incorporated on multiple occasions, first in 1851. The current incorporation dates from 1896.
Pick the Ideal Physical Therapy College near Marion AR
Selecting the ideal physical therapy college is a necessary initial decision you have to make to start a gratifying career in the health care profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you pick should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. However there are other critical questions that you should ask concerning your school of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapist college, bear in mind that a number of factors will lead you to your final decision. You may decide to visit each of the campuses to see their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important 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 field so you can make the best selection. And with the proper training and education, you can fulfill your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Marion AR.
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