How to Find the Right Physical Therapist College near Chandler 85224
Earning a physical therapy degree near Chandler AZ is an essential first step to beginning a rewarding career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated as a result of illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire 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 prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to investigate the ones you are looking at to make sure they will furnish a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is enroll in a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be considered along with cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in diverse settings, including Chandler AZ private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. 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 suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they create a course of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Chandler AZ health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to keep 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 stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees
There are 3 physical therapist degree options available for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the only 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 preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short descriptions of degrees that are offered in the Chandler AZ area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are typically offered by community colleges, and require two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a component of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy education to ready students to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an essential initial step to practicing as a PT. As with 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 required 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 three years to finish, making the total investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential component in addition to the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in a number of 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 available in the United States. A number of practicing physical therapists having 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 Colleges Online
Although not as common as the more traditional options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy degrees available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online part of the program may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Chandler AZ home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition may be significantly lower than similar on-campus options, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
At this point you most likely have come to decision concerning several of your initial questions, including the kind of physical therapist degree you intend to attain, where you prefer 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 Chandler AZ area and across Arizona, you’ll have to look into other qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of college choices. Furthermore, you want to make sure that you choose the college that is right for you. That’s why we have collected a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist programs 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 looking at have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As earlier stated, 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 earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy school and program you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Get in touch with several Chandler AZ physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your program selections. It might also be prudent to contact the Arizona Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of useful statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may suggest that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Chandler AZ area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care community is good or even exceptional. It also confirms that the program has a large network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you enroll in provides both superior training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the physical therapist schools you are reviewing have partnerships with Chandler AZ hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to obtain hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may help students and graduates form professional relationships in the Chandler healthcare community and assist with job placement once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy college they choose will need to be within travelling distance of their Chandler AZ home. Individuals who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Help Provided? The majority of DPT colleges supply some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have a financial assistance department and see what type of help is offered. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. A number of physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial aid may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapy college you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Chandler AZ area, verify that they are available. 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 carry. Also, learn what the procedure 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 Chandler Arizona?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Chandler AZ area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Chandler is a city in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States, and a prominent suburb of the Phoenix, Arizona, Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). It is bordered to the north and west by Tempe, to the north by Mesa, to the west by Phoenix, to the south by the Gila River Indian Community, and to the east by Gilbert. As of July 2015, the population was 260,828 according to the United States Census Bureau, According to the city's official website, Chandler's Transportation & Development Department estimated the population, as of May 2016, to be 247,328. It also has satellite locations for many technology companies, including Intel and Orbital ATK.
In 1891, Dr. Alexander John Chandler, the first veterinary surgeon in Arizona Territory, settled on a ranch south of Mesa, studying irrigation engineering. By 1900, he had acquired 18,000 acres (73 km2) of land, and began drawing up plans for a townsite on what was then known as the Chandler Ranch. The townsite office opened on May 17, 1912, the same year that Chandler High School was established. The townsite was bounded by Galveston Street on the north, Frye Road on the south, Hartford Street on the west, and Hamilton Street on the east. By 1913, a town center had become established, featuring the Hotel San Marcos, the first golf resort in the state.
Most of Chandler's economy was successfully sustained during the Great Depression (a second San Marcos hotel was canceled due to the Depression however), but the cotton crash a few years later had a much deeper impact on the city's residents. Later, the founding of Williams Air Force Base in 1941 led to a small surge in population, but Chandler still only held 3,800 people by 1950. By 1980, it had grown to 30,000, and it has since paced the Phoenix metropolitan area's high rate of growth, with vast suburban residential areas swallowing former agricultural plots. Some of this growth was fueled by the establishment of manufacturing plants for communications and computing firms such as Microchip, Motorola and Intel.
Select the Ideal Physical Therapy School near Chandler AZ
Selecting the best physical therapy college is an important initial decision you must make to begin a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you choose should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. But there are other relevant questions that you need to ask concerning your school of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapist college, bear in mind that numerous variables will lead you to your ultimate decision. You may want to go to each of the colleges to view their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me reach my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the right selection. And with the proper training and education, you can achieve your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Chandler AZ.
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