How to Select a Physical Therapist College near Mountain Home 72653
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Mountain Home AR is an essential first step to starting a fulfilling career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated due to injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the appropriate training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate the ones you are looking at to make certain they will furnish a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is enroll in a school just 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 considered besides location and cost. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists work in a variety of settings, including Mountain Home AR hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. 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 patients that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to address the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Mountain Home AR health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy profession, it is rather 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 3 physical therapist degrees offered for individuals 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 emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief summaries of degrees that are offered in the Mountain Home 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 earned a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are typically provided by community colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically part of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy training to prepare candidates to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they normally take 4 years to finish and usually incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement in order 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 finish, making the overall investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an intregal component along with the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, 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 eliminated and is no longer available in the USA. A number of practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Online Schools
Although not as prevalent as the on campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapist 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 necessitates that the student live near the school campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online segment of the program may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Mountain Home AR residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition might be somewhat less than similar on campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
By now you probably have made a decision regarding several of your preliminary queries, such as the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are so many PT colleges within the Mountain Home AR area and throughout Arkansas, you’ll have to research additional qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of college choices. Moreover, you need to make certain that you enroll in the school that is best for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapist colleges you are thinking about. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Find out if the schools you are considering have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As previously 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 program, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist program and school you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT school’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Contact a few Mountain Home AR physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your college options. 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 Percentage? There are a two important statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapy programs you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may mean that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Mountain Home AR area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even outstanding. It also confirms that the college has a broad network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you enroll in furnishes both superior training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapy schools you are evaluating have associations with Mountain Home AR clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to receive practical experience 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 form professional connections in the Mountain Home health care community and assist with job placement once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy college they choose will need to be within commuting distance of their Mountain Home AR home. Those who have decided 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 consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically 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 Assistance Offered? Most DPT colleges provide some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid office and see what kind of help is offered. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others offer 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 must verify that the physical therapist program you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Mountain Home AR area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Mountain Home Arkansas?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Mountain Home AR area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Mountain Home, Arkansas
Mountain Home is a city in, and the county seat of, Baxter County, Arkansas, United States, in the southern Ozark Mountains near the northern state border with Missouri. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 12,448. A total of 41,307 persons lived within the city and micropolitan area combined, which encompasses the majority of Baxter County.
Mountain Home is located in northern Arkansas at 36°20′10″N 92°22′56″W / 36.33611°N 92.38222°W / 36.33611; -92.38222 (36.336248, -92.382279). It is the center of the Twin Lakes area, with Norfork Lake 15 minutes to the east and Bull Shoals Lake 20 minutes to the northwest. It is located within the Ozarks mountain range, in the Salem Plateau region.
The city is located within 15 to 20 minutes of three rivers: the Buffalo National River, the White River and the North Fork River, which features the world-renowned Norfork Tailwater. These make the Mountain Home area one of the nation's top freshwater fishing destinations. Some creeks in the area with fishing access are Fall Creek, Dodd Creek, and Hicks Creek, with Fall Creek being the largest.
Choose the Best Physical Therapist Training Program near Mountain Home AR
Selecting the best physical therapist school is an important first decision you have to make to begin a rewarding career in the medical profession. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you select should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. However there are other important questions that you need to ask regarding your school of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapy college, bear in mind that many variables will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You might want to go to different schools to see their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me accomplish 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 ideal selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can fulfill your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Mountain Home AR.
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