How to Enroll In a Physical Therapy Program near Mountainburg 72946
Receiving a physical therapist degree near Mountainburg AR is a critical first step to launching a rewarding career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled as a result of illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the necessary training and education. A PT must also become licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate the ones you are thinking about to make sure they will provide a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is choose a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be evaluated along with location and cost. But before we cover 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 diverse locations, such as Mountainburg 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 previously mentioned, physical therapists help people that are struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Mountainburg AR health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees
There are three physical therapy degrees available for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the single degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short descriptions of degree levels that are available in the Mountainburg AR area:
- Associate Degrees train students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are usually offered by junior or community colleges, and take about two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a portion of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist training to prepare students to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential initial step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they normally take four years to complete and often include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required in order to become a practicing licensed physical therapist. The degree program also must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to finish, making the overall commitment seven years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an important element along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in some states for licensing also.
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 attainable in the United States. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Online Programs
Although not as prevalent as the more traditional options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to 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 college campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the curriculum may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Mountainburg AR home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat lower than comparable on campus options, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
By now you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding some of your preliminary questions, such as the type of physical therapist degree you intend to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are so many PT colleges within the Mountainburg AR area and throughout Arkansas, you’ll have to look into additional qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of college options. Also, you want to make sure that you select the program that is right for you. That’s why we have collected a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapist programs you are considering. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are looking at have received accreditation from a national or a regional 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 choose an online school, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist program and school you choose are accredited, not just the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized 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 select have excellent reputations within the physical therapist community. There are a number of ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Get in touch with several Mountainburg AR physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your school options. It might also be a good idea 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 College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two useful statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapist schools you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might suggest that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, 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 Mountainburg AR area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also verifies that the program has a wide network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the school you select provides both superior training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working. 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 vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the physical therapy colleges you are assessing have relationships with Mountainburg AR hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great way to get practical experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist students and graduates develop professional connections in the Mountainburg medical community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy school they select will have to be within driving distance of their Mountainburg AR residence. Individuals 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 bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally 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 Provided? Most DPT schools supply some type of financial aid to their prospective students. Ask if the schools you are considering have a financial assistance department and see what kind of aid is obtainable. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. Some physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial aid might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapy program you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Mountainburg 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 protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Mountainburg Arkansas?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Mountainburg AR area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Mountainburg is located at 35°38′18″N 94°10′2″W / 35.63833°N 94.16722°W / 35.63833; -94.16722 (35.638432, -94.167219), along U.S. Route 71, and thrived when this road was the main route in northwest Arkansas. Since the construction of Interstate 540 (now Interstate 49) to the west, it has been a more sleepy community. The city park in downtown Mountainburg has since 1980 hosted two large dinosaur models.
As of the census of 2000, there were 682 people, 271 households, and 179 families residing in the city. The population density was 478.1 people per square mile (184.1/km²). There were 298 housing units at an average density of 208.9 per square mile (80.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 95.45% White, 0.15% Black or African American, 3.08% Native American, 0.15% Pacific Islander, 0.59% from other races, and 0.59% from two or more races. 0.59% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 271 households out of which 35.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.0% were married couples living together, 10.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.6% were non-families. 30.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.52 and the average family size was 3.15.
Enroll in the Right Physical Therapy College near Mountainburg AR
Deciding on the best physical therapy school is an important first decision you must make to begin a rewarding career in the healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you choose should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. But there are additional important questions that you need to ask concerning your college of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapy college, bear in mind that numerous variables will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You might decide to go to different campuses to see their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me achieve my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the best choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Mountainburg AR.
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