How to Select a Physical Therapist Degree Program near Oracle 85623
Receiving a physical therapist degree near Oracle AZ is a critical first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated due to illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the proper education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research those you are looking at to make certain they will furnish a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is select a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be evaluated besides location and cost. But before we cover what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists work in a variety of settings, including Oracle AZ private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they develop a course of treatment to address the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Oracle AZ medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy field, it is rather 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 Available
There are 3 physical therapy degrees offered for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the only degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief explanations of degrees that are available in the Oracle 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 qualify for enrollment. The programs are most often provided by community or junior colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually part of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to ready students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to finish and commonly incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement if you want 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 3 years to finish, making the overall commitment seven years in most cases. Clinical training is an important element in addition to the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in several states for licensing also.
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 USA. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases 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 on campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapy 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 college campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online segment of the program may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Oracle AZ residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition might be significantly lower than similar on campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding some of your initial queries, such as the type of physical therapy degree you intend to obtain, 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 Oracle AZ area and throughout Arizona, you’ll need to look into additional qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of college choices. Furthermore, you need to make sure that you select the school that is right for you. That’s why we have collected a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are considering. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Find out if the schools you are considering have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As previously 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 select an online college, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist school and program you select are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to guaranteeing that you receive 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 Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT college’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Get in touch with several Oracle AZ physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your school selections. It may also be a good idea to check with 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 Rate? There are a two useful statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapy programs you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may suggest that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Oracle AZ area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care field is good or perhaps exceptional. It also confirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you select provides both superior training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internships Offered? Find out if the physical therapy programs you are interested in have associations with Oracle AZ hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to get hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may help students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Oracle healthcare community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy college they choose will need to be within commuting distance of their Oracle AZ residence. Individuals 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 program 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 Aid Offered? The majority of DPT colleges offer some type of financial support to their potential students. Ask if the schools you are examining have a financial aid department and find out what type of help is offered. They at least should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. Some physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial aid might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapist program you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Oracle AZ area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Oracle Arizona?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Oracle AZ area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Buffalo Bill Cody owned the High Jinks Gold Mine in Oracle briefly and, in 1911, appeared as "Santa" for a group of local children. The community is the location of the Biosphere 2 experiment. Oracle was also the postal address for environmentalist author Edward Abbey, who never lived in the town but visited often. Oracle is becoming a bedroom community for Tucson, Arizona, but large-scale development is opposed by many residents.
Oracle State Park is adjacent. The Arizona Trail passes through the Park and community. Oracle is the gateway to the road up the "back side" of Mount Lemmon, which starts off of American Avenue and currently offers a secondary route to the top. Prior to the construction of the Catalina Highway on the opposite side of the Santa Catalina range, the Oracle Control Road was the only road access to the mountain community of Summerhaven. The term "control road" derives from the fact that the direction of traffic was restricted to one-way only, either up or down at alternate times of day, to prevent motorists from having to pass one another on the narrow, steep road. This route is now popular mainly with off-road 4x4 drivers and with off-road or dual-purpose motorcyclists, and should not be attempted by regular passenger cars or street motorcycles. This road ends at the Catalina Highway near Loma Linda.
The name "Oracle" comes from early prospectors. Albert Weldon came to the area looking for gold and silver. He and some other companions named their first mine The Oracle after the ship Weldon had traveled on. The community was later named after its first mine, and thus, indirectly, after a ship.
Pick the Best Physical Therapy Training Program near Oracle AZ
Choosing the ideal physical therapist school is a necessary initial decision you must make to launch 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 excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are other critical questions that you need to ask concerning your school of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapy program, bear in mind that numerous variables will lead you to your final decision. You might want to go to different colleges to view their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me achieve 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 necessary education and training, you can achieve your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Oracle AZ.
A Few More Interesting Locations in Arizona
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