How to Enroll In a Physical Therapist College near Plainview 72857
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Plainview AR is an important first step to starting a rewarding career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated as a result of injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the proper education and training. A PT must additionally become 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 necessary to investigate the ones you are considering to ensure they will furnish a quality education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is choose a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be considered in addition to cost and location. But before we cover what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of locations, such as Plainview AR private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also strive to stop any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Plainview AR health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone considering going into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees
There are three physical therapist degree options offered for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief explanations of degrees that are offered in the Plainview AR area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are most often offered by community colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a portion of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist training to prep candidates to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take 4 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 must also be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to finish, making the total investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an essential component along with the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in some 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 attainable in the USA. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Schools Online
Although not as prevalent as the on campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the curriculum may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Plainview AR residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition might be somewhat less than comparable on campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
At this point you probably have come to decision concerning a few of your preliminary queries, like the type of physical therapy degree you intend to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the Plainview AR area and throughout Arkansas, you’ll have to explore other qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of school choices. Also, you need to make certain that you select the college that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapist programs you are thinking about. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are considering have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As previously mentioned, 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 program, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy 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 recognized accrediting organization. Besides ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple 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 agencies for their reviews also. Contact some Plainview AR physical therapy centers or other medical care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your program options. It may also be prudent to check with 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 Rate? There are a two relevant statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapist programs you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may mean that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Plainview AR area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even outstanding. It also confirms that the program has a broad network of contacts to assist students get internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the school you choose provides both excellent training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing criteria 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the physical therapy programs you are assessing have associations with Plainview AR hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to receive hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist students and graduates form professional relationships in the Plainview medical community and assist with job placement after licensing.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the instructors and students 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 travelling distance of their Plainview AR residence. Students who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. 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 be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically 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 Assistance Offered? Most DPT colleges supply some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Ask if the schools you are looking at have a financial assistance office and find out what type of assistance is obtainable. They at least should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. Some physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapist school you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Plainview AR area, make certain that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, find out what the protocol 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 Plainview Arkansas?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Plainview AR area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
As of the census of 2000, there were 755 people, 287 households, and 212 families residing in the city. The population density was 522.7 people per square mile (202.4/km²). There were 347 housing units at an average density of 240.3/sq mi (93.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 92.85% White, 0.13% Black or African American, 0.53% Native American, 6.36% from other races, and 0.13% from two or more races. 6.36% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 287 households out of which 34.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.8% were married couples living together, 10.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.1% were non-families. 24.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.63 and the average family size was 3.06.
In the city, the population was spread out with 28.2% under the age of 18, 10.3% from 18 to 24, 26.4% from 25 to 44, 17.1% from 45 to 64, and 18.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 97.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.8 males.
Select the Best Physical Therapy College near Plainview AR
Choosing the ideal physical therapist program is an important initial decision you must make to start a fulfilling career in the medical field. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you pick should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. But there are other important questions that you should ask pertaining to your school of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapist school, keep in mind that numerous variables will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You might decide to go to each of the schools to view their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me realize 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 training and education, you can achieve your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Plainview AR.
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