How to Select a Physical Therapy College near Maynard 72444
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near Maynard AR is an essential first step to starting a rewarding career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated as a result of illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the appropriate education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research the ones you are considering to ensure they will furnish a quality education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is enroll in a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be evaluated besides cost and location. But before we talk about 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 is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists practice in varying settings, including Maynard AR hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they develop a course of treatment to address the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Maynard AR medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, 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 take note of for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Available
There are 3 physical therapy degree options offered for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief explanations of degree levels that are offered in the Maynard 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 degrees are typically offered by community or junior colleges, and require two 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 created as pre-physical therapy training to prepare students to progress 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. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they normally take four years to complete and usually incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required in order 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 most cases. Practical or clinical training is an important component along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not solely 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 phased out and is no longer offered in the USA. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Degrees
Although not as common as the on campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist programs available, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online part of the curriculum can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Maynard AR residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition may be significantly lower than similar on-campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
By now you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning several of your initial questions, such as the kind 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 since there are so many PT schools within the Maynard AR area and throughout Arkansas, you’ll need to research additional qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of school choices. Furthermore, you need to make sure that you choose the school that is best for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapy colleges you are thinking about. Ask all of the potential schools these questions before making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Ask if the schools you are considering have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As previously stated, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you choose an online school, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapy community. There are several ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Call a few Maynard AR physical therapist centers or other medical care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your program selections. 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 submitted against the colleges.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of important statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapist schools you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might indicate that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Maynard AR area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even outstanding. It also verifies that the college has a large network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you select furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the physical therapist programs you are reviewing have associations with Maynard AR clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to get hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist graduates and students form professional relationships in the Maynard medical community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Maynard AR home. Individuals who have decided 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 importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Aid Offered? The majority of DPT schools supply some type of financial assistance to their potential students. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid office and see what type of assistance is available. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. Some physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial aid might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapy school you ultimately select 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 night or weekend classes in the Maynard AR area, make certain 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 enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Maynard Arkansas?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Maynard AR area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Maynard is home to the Maynard Pioneer Museum and Park. A jail built in 1936 has a door made of wagon wheel rims. The last time it was used was in 1988, when it temporarily housed a man charged with public intoxication. The jail is beside Maynard Community Center.
Abbott Institute — later known as Maynard Baptist Academy and Ouachita Baptist Academy — was a boarding school established in 1894. Abbott Institute joined a school network associated with a college now known as Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia.
In 1928, Maynard Baptist Academy was sold to the Maynard School District. Its facilities were then used by the public school. All that remains of the academy today is an arch built by Maynard Baptist Academy's class of 1927, its last class. In 2008, Maynard School Alumni Association restored the arch on the school grounds as a memorial to the academy.
Pick the Right Physical Therapy School near Maynard AR
Deciding on the ideal physical therapy program is an important first decision you must make to start a gratifying career in the health care profession. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you enroll in should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. But there are other important questions that you should ask pertaining to your college of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapist school, keep in mind that a number of variables will guide you toward your final decision. You might decide to go to each of the campuses to see their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me achieve my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the best selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Maynard AR.
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