How to Select a Physical Therapist School near Paris 72855
Receiving a physical therapist degree near Paris AR is an essential first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated as a result of illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the appropriate training and education. A PT must also be licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate the ones you are considering to make certain they will deliver a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is enroll in a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be evaluated besides location and cost. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists practice in varying settings, such as Paris 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 diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also strive to prevent any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Paris AR medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone considering entering the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Offered
There are three physical therapist degrees available for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short descriptions of degree levels that are available in the Paris AR area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are typically offered by junior or community 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 designed as pre-physical therapist education to prep students to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally take four years to complete and commonly include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated in order to become a licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program must also 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 complete, making the total commitment 7 years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an important component in addition to the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Consequently 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 replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer attainable in the United States. A number of practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Online Programs
Although not as common as the on campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Paris AR home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition may be significantly lower than similar on campus options, and costs for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
By now you most likely have made a decision regarding several of your preliminary questions, such as the type of physical therapy degree you want to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are numerous PT colleges within the Paris AR area and across Arkansas, you’ll have to research additional qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of college options. Furthermore, you need to make sure that you pick the college that is right for you. That’s why we have collected a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Ask if the programs you are looking at have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As earlier 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 program, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist program and school you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist community. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Contact some Paris AR physical therapy clinics or other medical care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your college options. It may also be prudent to check with the Arkansas Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two relevant statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapy programs you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may suggest that students left because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Paris AR area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even excellent. It also affirms that the college has a large network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you select provides both exceptional training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the physical therapy schools you are evaluating have relationships with Paris AR hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to get practical training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can help graduates and students establish professional connections in the Paris healthcare community and assist with job placement after licensing.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they select will have to be within travelling distance of their Paris AR residence. Individuals who have decided to attend classes online naturally 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 choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Support Provided? The majority of DPT schools offer some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial assistance office and find out what kind of assistance is available. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate 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 must confirm that the physical therapist college you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Paris AR area, confirm that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Paris Arkansas?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Paris AR area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Paris is a city in Logan County, Arkansas, United States, and serves as the county seat for the northern district of Logan County; its southern district counterpart is Booneville. The population was 3,532 at the 2010 United States Census.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.8 square miles (12.4 km2), of which 4.5 square miles (11.7 km2) is land and 0.3 square miles (0.8 km2) (5.43%) is water.
As of the census of 2010, there were 3,532 people, 1,553 households, and 984 families residing in the city. The population density was 818.1 people per square mile (316.0/km²). There were 1,713 housing units at an average density of 780 per square mile (146.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 92.5% White, 2.4% Black or African American, 0.40% Native American, 0.7% Asian, 1.11% from other races, and 1.29% from two or more races. 2.16% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Select the Right Physical Therapist College near Paris AR
Choosing the ideal physical therapy college is an important first decision you must make to launch a rewarding career in the medical field. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you decide on should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. However there are additional critical questions that you need to ask regarding your school of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapist school, bear in mind that a number of variables will lead you to your final decision. You might decide to visit different colleges to view their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me realize my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the right selection. And with the proper training and education, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Paris AR.
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