Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – Winslow AR

How to Choose a Physical Therapist Degree Program near Winslow 72959

Winslow AR physical therapy school student with volunteerGetting a physical therapist degree near Winslow AR is an important first step to starting a fulfilling career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled as a result of illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the necessary training and education. A PT must also become licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate those you are considering to make certain they will supply a quality education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is enroll in a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be considered along with location and cost. 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?

Winslow AR physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in a variety of settings, such as Winslow AR hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help people that are struggling with a lack of mobility and often pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they develop a program of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also try to stop any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Winslow AR health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone considering entering the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degrees

Winslow AR physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapy degree options offered for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short summaries of degree levels that are offered in the Winslow AR area:

  • Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are usually offered by junior or community colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a portion of the program.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy training to ready students to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically require 4 years to finish and commonly include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are mandated if you want 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 complete, making the overall 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 fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in several 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 attainable in the United States. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapist Colleges Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Winslow ARWhile not as common as the on-campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapist programs available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Winslow AR residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition may 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, ensuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.

What to Ask Physical Therapist Schools

At this point you probably have come to decision regarding several of your preliminary questions, including the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are so many PT colleges within the Winslow AR area and throughout Arkansas, you’ll have to research other qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of college options. Furthermore, you want to be sure that you enroll in the college that is best for you. That’s why we have put together a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapy schools you are thinking about. Ask each of the potential schools these questions before making a final decision.

Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited?  Ask if the schools you are looking at have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As earlier 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 school, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.

What is the School’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can research a PT program’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 also. Get in touch with several Winslow AR physical therapist centers or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your school options. It may also be prudent to contact 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 Percentage? There are a two significant statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may mean that students left due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Winslow AR area? If a program has a higher 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 college has a wide network of contacts to assist students get internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you enroll in furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria for Arkansas or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing have partnerships with Winslow AR clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can help graduates and students establish professional connections in the Winslow medical community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small 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 want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.

Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapy college they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Winslow AR residence. Individuals who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often 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 Support Offered? Most DPT colleges provide some form of financial aid to their potential students. Inquire if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid office and see what kind of help is available. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial assistance might be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapy program you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Winslow AR area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Winslow Arkansas?

If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Winslow AR area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.

Winslow, Arkansas

Winslow (formerly Summit Home)[3] is a city in Washington County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 391 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers Metropolitan Area.

A stagecoach stop for many years, the community now known as Winslow first received a post office on December 11, 1876, known as Summit Home. The town grew significantly upon completion of the Winslow Tunnel, which allowed the St. Louis – San Francisco Railway (Frisco) to run through the steep Boston Mountains of south Washington County.[4] The town was renamed to Winslow on August 3, 1881 in honor of Edward F. Winslow, president of the Frisco Railroad.[3] The town became a somewhat resort town for its picturesque peaks at the end of the 19th century, drawing many wealthy from the Fort Smith area to summer there. It was incorporated on February 17, 1905.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.9 square miles (4.9 km2), all land. Winslow is 12 miles (19 km) east of Devil's Den State Park, along Arkansas Highway 74.[6]

Select the Right Physical Therapy Training Program near Winslow AR

Choosing the ideal physical therapy school is an important first decision you need to make to start a rewarding career in the health care profession. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you enroll in should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. But there are other relevant questions that you should ask regarding your school of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapist college, keep in mind that many variables will guide you to your final decision. You may decide to visit different campuses 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 practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the proper education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Winslow AR.

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