How to Enroll In a Physical Therapy Program near Maumelle 72113
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Maumelle AR is an essential first step to launching a rewarding career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated due to illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the necessary education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate those you are looking at to make certain they will furnish a superior education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is select a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be considered in addition to 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, such as Maumelle AR private practices, hospitals, 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 caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they create a program of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also strive to prevent any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Maumelle AR health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone considering entering the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly 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 therapy degrees available for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is available to practice as 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 explanations of degrees that are offered in the Maumelle AR area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are most often offered by junior or community colleges, and take about two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually a portion of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to prep candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically require 4 years to complete and often incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement if you want 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 complete, making the total commitment seven years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential element along with the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in a number of states for licensing as well.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has taken the place of the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer offered in the USA. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Online Programs
While not as prevalent as the more traditional options, there are many accredited online physical therapy degrees available, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the course of study may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Maumelle AR home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition may be significantly lower than similar on-campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
At this point you undoubtedly have come to decision regarding several of your initial queries, like the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are numerous PT colleges within the Maumelle AR area and throughout Arkansas, you’ll need to look into additional qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of college options. Moreover, you need to make sure that you enroll in the program that is right for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions before making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Find out if the programs you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As earlier stated, 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 can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist school and program you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT college’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Contact some Maumelle AR physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your school selections. It might also be prudent to contact the Arkansas Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two useful statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapy colleges you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might suggest that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Maumelle AR area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care field is good or perhaps outstanding. It also affirms that the school has a large network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you select furnishes both superior 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 needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Provided? Find out if the physical therapy schools you are evaluating have relationships with Maumelle AR hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great means to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist graduates and students establish professional connections in the Maumelle medical community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.
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 probably prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges 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 several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist school they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Maumelle AR residence. Students who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually 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 Aid Provided? The majority of DPT schools supply some type of financial aid to their potential students. Ask if the schools you are considering have a financial assistance office and see what kind of assistance is available. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. Some physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapist college you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Maumelle AR area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Maumelle Arkansas?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Maumelle AR area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Maumelle is a city in Pulaski County, Arkansas, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 17,163. The city is located northwest of Little Rock, bordering the opposite shore of the Arkansas River and is part of the Little Rock metropolitan area.
Maumelle was founded by Jess Odom with federal assistance from the Urban Growth and New Community Development Act. Maumelle was the location of the second oldest Target Corporation distribution center. The center closed in 2009
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 12.05 square miles (31.2 km2), of which 8.8 square miles (23 km2) is land and 0.5 square miles (1.3 km2) (5.07%) is water.
Select the Best Physical Therapist School near Maumelle AR
Choosing the right physical therapy school is an important initial decision you need to make to launch a rewarding career in the healthcare profession. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you select should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are additional critical questions that you should ask concerning your college of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapy school, bear in mind that a number of factors will guide you to your final decision. You may want to go to different schools to view their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me realize my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the best choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Maumelle AR.
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