How to Select a Physical Therapist College near Tontitown 72770
Earning a physical therapy degree near Tontitown AR is an essential first step to launching a rewarding career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated due to injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the proper 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 before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate those you are considering to ensure they will deliver a superior education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is choose a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be evaluated besides cost and location. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in varying locations, such as Tontitown AR private practices, hospitals, 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 mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a program of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also strive to stop any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Tontitown AR medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone considering going into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Offered
There are three physical therapy degree options available for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the only degree that is available to become 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. Following are brief explanations of degree levels that are available in the Tontitown AR area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as 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 degrees are most often made available by community or junior colleges, and require two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a portion of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist training to prepare students to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take four years to complete and usually incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to finish, making the total investment of time 7 years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an important component along with the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in some states for licensing also.
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. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Online Schools
While not as common as the on-campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online segment of the program may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Tontitown AR home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition can be significantly lower than comparable on-campus options, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
By now you probably have made a decision concerning several of your initial queries, such as the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are numerous PT schools within the Tontitown AR area and throughout Arkansas, you’ll have to look into additional qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of college options. Also, you want to make certain that you select the program that is ideal for you. That’s why we have put together a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapy programs you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Find out if the programs you are looking at have received accreditation from a regional or a national 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 select an online college, it may also earn 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 just the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are several ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, beginning 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. Get in touch with several Tontitown AR physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your program options. It might also be prudent to check with the Arkansas Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of significant statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapy schools you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Tontitown AR area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even outstanding. It also affirms that the program has a large network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you enroll in furnishes both exceptional training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internships Provided? Find out if the physical therapy schools you are evaluating have partnerships with Tontitown AR clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to get hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may help graduates and students develop professional connections in the Tontitown healthcare community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are considering what the average 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 a chance to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy college they pick will need to be within travelling distance of their Tontitown AR residence. Those who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Help Offered? The majority of DPT colleges supply some type of financial aid to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have a financial assistance department and see what kind of aid is offered. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. A number of physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial assistance might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapy program you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Tontitown AR area, check that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Tontitown Arkansas?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Tontitown AR area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Tontitown is a city in Washington County, Arkansas, United States. The community is located in the Ozark Mountains and was founded by Italian settlers in 1898. Known for its grapes and wines, Tontitown has hosted the Tontitown Grape Festival continuously since 1898. It is part of the Northwest Arkansas metropolitan area, serving as a bedroom community for larger neighbors Fayetteville and Springdale. The town experienced a 160% growth in population between the 2000 and 2010 censuses.
Led by Catholic priest Pietro Bandini, Italian settlers working on Lakeport Plantation in the Arkansas delta moved to northwest Arkansas and found the climate and terrain similar to their native Northern Italy. Tontitown was founded in 1898 and named for Italian explorer Henri de Tonti.
As of the census of 2000, there were 942 people, 351 households, and 273 families residing in the city. The population density was 134.2 people per square mile (51.8/km²). There were 368 housing units at an average density of 52.4/sq mi (20.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 96.28% White, 1.70% Native American, 0.11% Pacific Islander, 0.85% from other races, and 1.06% from two or more races. 2.23% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Select the Right Physical Therapy School near Tontitown AR
Selecting the best physical therapist program is an important first decision you need to make to launch a rewarding career in the health care field. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you choose should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. But there are other critical questions that you should ask regarding your college of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapist college, bear in mind that a number of factors will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You may decide to go to each of the campuses to see their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me accomplish my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the ideal selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Tontitown AR.
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