How to Pick a Physical Therapy Degree Program near Norfork 72658
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Norfork AR is an essential first step to starting a fulfilling career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated as a result of illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire 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 research those you are thinking about to make certain they will deliver a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is enroll in a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be evaluated along with cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists practice in diverse settings, such as Norfork AR private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes 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 earlier touched on, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they develop a course of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also try to stop 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
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Norfork AR medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degree Options
There are three physical therapy degrees offered for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief summaries of degrees that are available in the Norfork 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 a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are usually provided by junior or community colleges, and require two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a portion of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist education to prepare students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an essential initial step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they typically require 4 years to finish and commonly include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to finish, making the total investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an intregal component in addition to the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in some 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 attainable in the USA. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Schools Online
Although not as common as the on-campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapist programs offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the school campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online portion of the program may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Norfork AR home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition might be somewhat less than similar on campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
By now you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning some of your initial questions, such as the type of physical therapy degree you would like to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT colleges within the Norfork AR area and across Arkansas, you’ll need to look into additional qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of college options. Moreover, you need to make sure that you select the college that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Find out if the schools you are considering have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. 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 school, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist school and program you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are several ways you can look into a PT college’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Get in touch with some Norfork AR physical therapist centers or other health care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your program selections. It may also be prudent to contact the Arkansas Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two useful statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapy schools you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might suggest that students left because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Norfork AR area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care community is good or perhaps outstanding. It also confirms that the school has a wide network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you select provides both excellent training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements 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 therapy college. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapist colleges you are interested in have relationships with Norfork AR hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to get practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can help graduates and students establish professional connections in the Norfork health care community and assist with job placement once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? 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 want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Norfork 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 local internships will be of importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college 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 usually charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Help Provided? The majority of DPT schools offer some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Ask if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid department and see what type of help is available. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial assistance might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapy college you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Norfork AR area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Norfork Arkansas?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Norfork AR area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Norfork is located at 36°12′34″N 92°16′54″W / 36.20944°N 92.28167°W / 36.20944; -92.28167 (36.209506, -92.281702). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.5 square miles (6.5 km2), of which 2.2 square miles (5.7 km2) is land and 0.3 square miles (0.78 km2) (11.74%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, the population density was 221.5 people per square mile (85.7/km²). There were 283 housing units at an average density of 129.5 per square mile (50.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 96.07% White, 0.21% Black or African American, 1.50% Native American, 0.41% Asian, 0.41% from other races, and 1.45% from two or more races. 1.41% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 224 households out of which 17.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.5% were married couples living together, 8.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.7% were non-families. 29.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.16 and the average family size was 2.65.
Choose the Best Physical Therapy Training Program near Norfork AR
Choosing the best physical therapist college is a necessary initial decision you need to make to begin a rewarding career in the healthcare profession. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you pick should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. But there are additional relevant questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapy school, bear in mind that many variables will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You might decide to visit different schools to view their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me reach my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the ideal choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Norfork AR.
A Few More Interesting Locations in Arkansas