How to Choose a Physical Therapy Degree Program near Mount Pleasant 72561
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near Mount Pleasant AR is a critical first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated due to injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the necessary education and training. A PT must also be licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate those you are thinking about to make certain they will deliver a superior education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is choose a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be considered along with cost and location. But before we talk about 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 Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists work in varying locations, including Mount Pleasant AR private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have 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 in many cases pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to address the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also strive to prevent any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Mount Pleasant AR medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Offered
There are 3 physical therapy degree options offered for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on 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 available in the Mount Pleasant AR area:
- Associate Degrees educate 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 made available by junior or community colleges, and require two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a component of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to ready candidates to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they normally take 4 years to finish and usually include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated if you want to become a practicing licensed 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 investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential element in addition to 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 replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer available in the United States. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Online Degrees
While not as common as the on campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapist degrees available, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online part of the curriculum may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Mount Pleasant AR residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition might be somewhat lower than comparable on-campus options, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
By now you probably have come to decision regarding several of your initial questions, such as the type of physical therapy degree you want to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are so many PT colleges within the Mount Pleasant AR area and across Arkansas, you’ll have to research other qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of college options. Also, you need to make certain that you enroll in the program that is best for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. Ask each of the potential schools these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are looking at have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As previously 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 school, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy school and program you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are several ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Get in touch with some Mount Pleasant AR physical therapy clinics or other medical care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your college selections. It might also be prudent to check with 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 couple of useful statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapy schools you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may mean that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Mount Pleasant AR area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care field is good or perhaps excellent. It also affirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you enroll in furnishes both exceptional training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements 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) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing have relationships with Mount Pleasant AR clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific way to obtain practical training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help students and graduates establish professional connections in the Mount Pleasant medical community and help with job placement after licensing.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Mount Pleasant AR residence. Those who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to keep 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 generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Support Offered? Most DPT colleges offer some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial aid office and find out what kind of assistance is available. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial assistance may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapy school you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Mount Pleasant AR area, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Mount Pleasant Arkansas?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Mount Pleasant AR area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Mount Pleasant, Arkansas
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 3.34 square miles (8.66 km2), of which 3.33 square miles (8.63 km2) are land and 0.02 square miles (0.04 km2), or 0.43%, are water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 401 people, 166 households, and 113 families residing in the town. The population density was 44.7/km² (115.8/mi²). There were 182 housing units at an average density of 20.3/km² (52.6/mi²). The racial makeup of the town was 99.25% White, 0.25% Asian, and 0.50% from two or more races. 1.50% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 166 households out of which 37.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.4% were married couples living together, 11.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.9% were non-families. 28.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 3.00.
Select the Best Physical Therapy Training Program near Mount Pleasant AR
Picking the best physical therapy school is an important initial decision you must make to launch a rewarding career in the medical profession. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you decide on should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. However there are other relevant questions that you should ask regarding your school of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapy program, bear in mind that many variables will lead you to your final decision. You may decide to go to different colleges to view their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me achieve my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the right choice. And with the proper training and education, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Mount Pleasant AR.
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