How to Enroll In a Physical Therapy Degree Program near Marshall 72650
Earning a physical therapy degree near Marshall AR is an essential first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated as a result of injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the proper education and training. A PT must also be licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to research the ones you are looking at to ensure they will supply a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. 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 need to be considered along with cost and location. But before we cover 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 Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists work in a variety of settings, including Marshall AR private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers 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 previously touched on, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also strive to prevent any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, 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 association with other Marshall AR health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone considering entering 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 Available
There are three physical therapist degree options available for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the single degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short explanations of degrees that are offered in the Marshall AR area:
- Associate Degrees train students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are typically offered by junior or community colleges, and take about two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally part of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy education to ready students to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be qualified 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 usually include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required if you want to become a licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program must also 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 investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an important component in addition to the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in some states for licensing also.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer attainable in the USA. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Degrees Online
Although not as common as the more traditional alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online part of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Marshall AR home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition can be somewhat less than comparable on-campus options, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
By now you most likely have made a decision regarding several of your initial queries, 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 since there are so many PT schools within the Marshall AR area and throughout Arkansas, you’ll have to explore additional qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of college options. Moreover, you want to be sure that you select the school that is right for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. Ask each of the competing schools these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Find out if the programs you are looking at have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As earlier 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 program, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy program and school you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to 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 School’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Get in touch with some Marshall AR physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your school options. It might also be a good idea to contact the Arkansas Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two relevant statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapist programs you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may mean that students dropped out 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 Marshall AR area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care field is good or even outstanding. It also confirms that the program has a large network of contacts to assist students get internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you choose provides both superior training and a curriculum that supports 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internships Offered? Inquire if the physical therapist colleges you are evaluating have partnerships with Marshall AR hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to get practical training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may assist graduates and students develop professional connections in the Marshall healthcare community and assist with job placement after licensing.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Marshall AR residence. Individuals who have opted 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 keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Support Offered? Most DPT colleges supply some form of financial support to their potential students. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance department and find out what type of assistance is available. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. Some physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial assistance might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapist school you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Marshall AR area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Marshall Arkansas?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Marshall AR area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Marshall is a city in Searcy County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 1,355 at the 2010 census. The city is the county seat of Searcy County. Marshall was incorporated in 1884. Prior to the American Civil War, Marshall was known as Burrowsville.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,313 people, 594 households, and 355 families residing in the city. The population density was 506.1 people per square mile (195.7/km²). There were 712 housing units at an average density of 274.4 per square mile (106.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 98.32% White, 0.08% Black or African American, 1.30% Native American, 0.30% from other races, and 0.99% from two or more races. 0.99% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 594 households out of which 24.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.0% were married couples living together, 11.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.2% were non-families. 39.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 23.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.12 and the average family size was 2.81.
Enroll in the Right Physical Therapy College near Marshall AR
Deciding on the best physical therapy program is an important first decision you have to make to launch a fulfilling career in the health care field. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you enroll in should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. However there are other important questions that you need to ask regarding your school of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapist school, bear in mind that numerous factors will guide you toward your final decision. You might decide to go to different schools to see their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me reach my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the proper education and training, you can fulfill your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Marshall AR.
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