How to Choose a Physical Therapist School near Star City 71667
Receiving a physical therapist degree near Star City AR is an essential first step to launching a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated due to illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the appropriate education and training. A PT must also be licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s important to research those you are considering to make sure they will furnish a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is enroll in a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be evaluated along with location and cost. But before we discuss 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 is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of locations, such as Star City AR private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help people that are struggling with a lack of mobility and often pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they develop a course of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Star City AR medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also manage several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, 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 students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short descriptions of degrees that are offered in the Star City AR area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are usually offered by community or junior colleges, and require 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically part of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy training to prepare students to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they generally require four years to finish and usually incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required 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 three years to finish, making the overall investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential component along with the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not just 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 offered 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 existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Colleges
While not as common as the more traditional options, there are many 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 integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the curriculum can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Star City AR residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition may be significantly less than comparable on-campus options, and costs for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
At this point you most likely have made a decision concerning some of your preliminary queries, such as the kind 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 considering there are numerous PT schools within the Star City AR area and throughout Arkansas, you’ll need to look into other qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of college choices. Furthermore, you need to be sure that you select the school that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. Ask all of the potential schools these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Find out if the programs you are reviewing have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. 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 receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy program and school you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Ranking? 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 college’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Contact some Star City AR physical therapy centers or other medical care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your program selections. It may also be a good idea 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 School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of significant statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might mean that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Star City AR area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care field is good or even exceptional. It also affirms that the program has a wide network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the school you select provides both superior 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount 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 evaluating have relationships with Star City AR hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to get hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help students and graduates establish professional connections in the Star City medical community and assist with job placement after licensing.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the back of class 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 researching what the average 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 decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist college they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their Star City AR residence. Those who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required 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 Assistance Offered? Most DPT colleges provide some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Ask if the schools you are considering have a financial assistance office and see what kind of help is obtainable. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. Some physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial aid may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapy college you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Star City 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 credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Star City Arkansas?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Star City AR area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Star City, Arkansas
Star City is a city in, and the county seat of, Lincoln County, Arkansas, United States,. Incorporated in 1876, the city is located between the Arkansas Delta and Arkansas Timberlands. With an economy historically based on agriculture, today Star City has developed a diverse economy based on both industry and agriculture. As of the 2010 census, the population was 2,274. Star City is located within the Pine Bluff metropolitan area.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,471 people, 875 households, and 603 families residing in the city. The population density was 587.5 people per square mile (226.6/km²). There were 972 housing units at an average density of 231.1 per square mile (89.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 76.93% White, 21.08% Black or African American, 0.61% Native American, 0.04% from other races, and 0.77% from two or more races. 1.21% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 875 households out of which 37.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.5% were married couples living together, 18.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.0% were non-families. 28.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.52 and the average family size was 3.10.
Choose the Ideal Physical Therapist Degree Program near Star City AR
Choosing the ideal physical therapy program is an important first decision you need to make to start a fulfilling career in the medical profession. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you select should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are additional relevant questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapist school, bear in mind that numerous variables will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You may want to visit each of the campuses to view their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me achieve 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 right selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can achieve your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Star City AR.
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