How to Enroll In a Physical Therapist Program near Laveen 85339
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near Laveen AZ is an essential first step to starting a rewarding career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated due to injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the necessary training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee earn 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 considering to ensure they will deliver a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is select a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be considered in addition to location and cost. But before we cover what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of settings, such as Laveen AZ 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 the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they design a course of treatment to address the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also strive to stop any progression 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.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Laveen AZ health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees
There are three physical therapist degrees available for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the single degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short explanations of degree levels that are available in the Laveen AZ area:
- Associate Degrees train students to practice as 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 GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are usually offered by junior or community colleges, and require two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually part of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist education to ready students to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to complete and commonly incorporate an internship program of at least 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). In addition to 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 element in addition to the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in a number of 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 United States. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Colleges Online
While not as prevalent as the on campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the curriculum may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Laveen AZ home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition may be somewhat less than similar on campus alternatives, and expenses 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 disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
At this point you most likely have come to decision regarding some of your preliminary queries, like the type of physical therapist degree you want to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are so many PT colleges within the Laveen AZ area and throughout Arizona, you’ll have to research additional qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of school options. Furthermore, you want to make certain that you select the school that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are thinking about. Ask all of the potential schools these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Find out if the programs you are reviewing have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As earlier mentioned, 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 important that both the physical therapist school and program you select are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are several ways you can research 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 agencies for their reviews also. Call some Laveen AZ physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your college selections. It may also be prudent to contact the Arizona Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two important statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might indicate that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Laveen AZ area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even outstanding. It also verifies that the school has a wide network of contacts to help students gain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the school you select furnishes both excellent training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the physical therapy colleges you are interested in have relationships with Laveen AZ clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to receive practical training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Laveen health care community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are researching what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist college they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Laveen AZ residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend online classes obviously 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 program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Help Provided? The majority of DPT colleges supply some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Inquire if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance office and find out what kind of aid is obtainable. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapist program you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Laveen AZ area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Laveen Arizona?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Laveen AZ area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Laveen /ləˈviːn/ is an "urban village" within the city of Phoenix in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States, situated eight miles (13 km) southwest of Downtown Phoenix between South Mountain and the confluence of the Gila and Salt rivers. Parts of Laveen constitute an unincorporated community in Maricopa County, while the remainder falls within the city limits of Phoenix, constituting the city's "Laveen Village". Laveen Village is split between District 7 and District 8, both notable as minority-majority districts for the city. Although Laveen has been home to "pastoral alfalfa, cotton, and dairy farms" since the 1880s, housing and commercial developments have been increasingly urbanizing the area.
The Laveen area was first settled by farmers and dairymen in 1884. Despite its proximity to Phoenix, the community was isolated from its larger neighbor by the Salt River, which until the Roosevelt Dam was completed in 1911 carried water year-round. The only bridged crossing was at Central Avenue, more than six miles (10 km) away. Because of its isolation, like the rest of south Phoenix early Laveen was autonomous of Phoenix and became relatively self-sufficient, supporting two general stores, a barbershop, repair garage, two pool halls, and a building for the Laveen Women's Club. These businesses served as important gathering places for the greater Laveen community, which includes modern south Phoenix and the neighboring Gila River Indian Community (GRIC)
In the early 1900s, Walter E. Laveen and his family homesteaded an area encompassing all four corners of present-day 51st Avenue and Dobbins Road, where they also built the area's first general store—the Laveen Store—on the southeast corner. Members of the Laveen family donated land adjacent to their store for a school, which was built in 1913 and named Laveen School. A second general store, the Del Monte Market, was built in 1908 at 27th Avenue and Dobbins Road and is considered the oldest still standing building in Laveen.
Choose the Best Physical Therapist School near Laveen AZ
Choosing the ideal physical therapist program is a necessary first decision you need to make to launch a fulfilling career in the medical profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you select should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. However there are other critical questions that you should ask pertaining to your school of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapist college, bear in mind that many variables will guide you to your final decision. You may decide to go to different schools to view their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the ideal choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can achieve your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Laveen AZ.
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