How to Pick a Physical Therapy Degree Program near Searcy 72143
Earning a physical therapist degree near Searcy AR is an essential first step to beginning a rewarding career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled due to illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the proper training and education. A PT must also be licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to investigate the ones you are considering to make certain they will furnish a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is select a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be considered besides 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 work in diverse locations, including Searcy AR private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they develop a course of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also strive to prevent any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Searcy AR medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone considering entering the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees
There are three physical therapy degrees offered for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the single degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief descriptions of degree levels that are offered in the Searcy AR area:
- Associate Degrees train students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are most often offered by community colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually part of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy training to ready candidates to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral preliminary step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take 4 years to finish and commonly include an internship program of a minimum of 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to complete, making the overall investment of time 7 years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential component along with the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, 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 available in the USA. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Programs Online
While not as prevalent as the more traditional options, there are some accredited online physical therapist programs available, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online segment of the program can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Searcy AR residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition may be somewhat less than comparable on campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
By now you most likely have come to decision concerning some of your initial questions, including the type of physical therapy degree you would like to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are so many PT schools within the Searcy AR area and throughout Arkansas, you’ll need to research additional qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of school choices. Furthermore, you need to make certain that you pick the school that is ideal for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. Ask all of the competing schools these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Find out if the programs you are reviewing have received 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 college, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist program and school you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist community. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT school’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Call some Searcy AR physical therapist centers or other medical care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your program selections. It may also be a good idea to contact the Arkansas Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of useful statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might mean that students left because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Searcy AR area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care community is good or perhaps outstanding. It also affirms that the college has a broad network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you enroll in provides both excellent training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapy colleges you are assessing have partnerships with Searcy AR hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to receive practical experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist graduates and students form professional relationships in the Searcy healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist college they select will need to be within driving distance of their Searcy AR residence. Individuals who have opted 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 concern. Something to keep 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 need 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 Assistance Offered? The majority of DPT colleges offer some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Ask if the colleges you are examining have a financial aid department and find out what type of help is offered. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. Some physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial aid might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapy program you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Searcy AR area, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Searcy Arkansas?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Searcy AR area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Searcy (/ˈsɜːrsi/ SUR-see) is the largest city and county seat of White County, Arkansas, United States. According to 2014 Census Bureau estimates, the population of the city is 23,768. It is the principal city of the Searcy, AR Micropolitan Statistical Area which encompasses all of White County. The city takes its name from Richard Searcy, a judge for the Superior Court of the Arkansas Territory. A college town, Searcy is the home of Harding University and ASU-Searcy.
Israel Moore, who had traveled west from Philadelphia, was in charge of laying out Searcy's original streets, and "he proceeded to name the major streets of Searcy for those of downtown Old Philadelphia near Independence Hall; Race, Arch, Market, Vine, Spring, and the tree-honoring streets of Cherry, Spruce, Locust and Pine." In 1957, Searcy named Moore Street after the 19th-century founder.
Spring Street also has a namesake in Old City Philadelphia, but along with downtown Searcy's Spring Park, this refers to the early history of the Searcy area, when the community was known as White Sulphur Springs. As early as 1834, local springs with purported therapeutic properties initially drew visitors to the area, similar to the popular attraction to Hot Springs.
Select the Best Physical Therapy School near Searcy AR
Picking the ideal physical therapist program is a necessary initial decision you have to make to start a gratifying career in the medical field. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you enroll in should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are other relevant questions that you need to ask concerning your school of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapist program, bear in mind that numerous factors will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You may want to visit different campuses to see their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me realize my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the best choice. And with the proper education and training, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Searcy AR.
A Few More Interesting Locations in Arkansas
Business Results 1 - 10 of 4