How to Choose a Physical Therapy Degree Program near Quitman 72131
Earning a physical therapy degree near Quitman AR is an essential first step to starting a rewarding career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated as a result of injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the necessary training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate the ones you are looking at to ensure they will deliver a superior education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is choose a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be considered in addition to 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 what the educational options are.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists practice in diverse settings, including Quitman AR hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers 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 mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they design a course of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Quitman AR health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Available
There are three physical therapist degrees available for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the one 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 advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief explanations of degrees that are available in the Quitman 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 GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are usually provided by community or junior colleges, and require two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally part of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist training to prepare students to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally require 4 years to complete and often include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement if you want to become a practicing licensed physical therapist. The degree program also must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to complete, making the total investment of time seven years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an important component along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in several 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 eliminated and is no longer attainable in the USA. A number of practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Schools Online
While not as prevalent as the on campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist degrees available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online segment of the program can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Quitman AR home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition can be significantly less than comparable on-campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
At this point you probably have come to decision regarding a few of your initial queries, including the kind of physical therapist degree you want to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are so many PT schools within the Quitman AR area and throughout Arkansas, you’ll have to explore other qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of college choices. Also, you want to make sure that you enroll in the program that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapist programs you are thinking about. Ask all of the competing schools these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Ask if the programs you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As previously 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 may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy program and school you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist community. There are several ways you can look into a PT program’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 agencies for their reviews as well. Get in touch with a few Quitman AR physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your school options. It may also be a good idea to contact the Arkansas Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two important statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might indicate that students left because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Quitman AR area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care field is good or perhaps excellent. It also affirms that the college has a wide network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you enroll in furnishes both superior training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria 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) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the physical therapy schools you are assessing have relationships with Quitman AR clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to obtain practical training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can help students and graduates form professional relationships in the Quitman health care community and help with job placement once licensed.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapy school they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Quitman AR home. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes naturally 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 college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Support Offered? The majority of DPT colleges supply some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Inquire if the schools you are considering have a financial aid department and see what kind of help is available. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial aid might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapist college you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Quitman AR area, confirm that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Quitman Arkansas?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Quitman AR area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Quitman is a city in Cleburne and Faulkner counties in the U.S. state of Arkansas. Its population was 762 at the 2010 census. The portion of the city in Faulkner County is part of the Little Rock–North Little Rock–Conway Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Quitman is located in southwestern Cleburne County at 35°22′52″N 92°13′5″W / 35.38111°N 92.21806°W / 35.38111; -92.21806 (35.381231, -92.218190). It extends southwest along Arkansas Highway 25 into Faulkner County. Highway 25 leads 15 miles (24 km) northeast to Heber Springs, the Cleburne County seat, and southwest 14 miles (23 km) to U.S. Route 65 north of Greenbrier.
As of the census of 2000, there were 714 people, 316 households, and 204 families residing in the city. The population density was 378.2 people per square mile (145.9/km²). There were 358 housing units at an average density of 189.6/sq mi (73.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 98.88% White, 1.04% Native American, 0.14% Asian, and 0.84% from two or more races. 0.42% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Enroll in the Right Physical Therapist College near Quitman AR
Deciding on the right physical therapy college is an important first decision you have to make to start a fulfilling career in the healthcare profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you choose should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. But there are other critical questions that you should ask pertaining to your college of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapy program, bear in mind that a number of variables will lead you to your ultimate decision. You may want to go to different schools to view their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me achieve 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 options so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Quitman AR.
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