How to Select a Physical Therapy Degree Program near Arizona City 85223
Getting a physical therapist degree near Arizona City AZ is a critical first step to launching a rewarding career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated due to injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they can 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, many mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate those you are looking at to make certain they will furnish a quality education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is choose a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be evaluated besides location and cost. 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 Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists work in a variety of settings, including Arizona City AZ hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they design a program of treatment to address the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Arizona City AZ health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone thinking about 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
There are 3 physical therapist degree options available for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief descriptions of degree levels that are offered in the Arizona City AZ area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are typically offered by junior or community colleges, and require two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally part of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy education to prep candidates to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to complete and usually incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required in order 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 finish, making the overall commitment seven years in most cases. Clinical training is an essential element along with the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in some 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 attainable in the United States. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Schools
Although not as common as the on campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapy degrees available, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online part of the course of study can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Arizona City AZ residence. Online schools are not only to some extent 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 a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
At this point you probably have come to decision regarding some of your preliminary queries, such as the type of physical therapy degree you intend to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are so many PT colleges within the Arizona City AZ area and throughout Arizona, you’ll have to research other qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of school options. Moreover, you need to be sure that you enroll in the college that is ideal for you. That’s why we have put together a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Ask if the programs you are reviewing have received accreditation from a regional or a national 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 enroll in an online college, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist school and program you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist community. There are several ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, beginning with asking for 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. Call several Arizona City AZ physical therapist clinics or other medical care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your college selections. It might also be prudent to check with the Arizona Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of significant statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may indicate that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Arizona City AZ area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even exceptional. It also affirms that the school has a large network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you choose furnishes both excellent training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internships Provided? Find out if the physical therapist colleges you are interested in have associations with Arizona City AZ clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to receive practical experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist graduates and students develop professional connections in the Arizona City healthcare community and help with job placement once licensed.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapy school they pick will need to be within travelling distance of their Arizona City AZ residence. Students who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry 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 choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Help Offered? The majority of DPT schools supply some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are examining have a financial aid office and see what type of assistance is obtainable. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. A number of physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial aid may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapy school you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Arizona City AZ area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Arizona City Arizona?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Arizona City AZ area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
List of cities and towns in Arizona
Arizona is a state located in the Western United States. There are 91 incorporated cities and towns in the U.S. state of Arizona as of 2010. Incorporated places in Arizona are those that have been granted home rule, possessing a local government in the form of a city or town council. The 2010 census put 5,021,810 of the state's 6,392,017 residents within these cities and towns, accounting for 78.56% of the population. Most of the population is concentrated within the Phoenix metropolitan area, with an 2010 census population of 4,192,887 (65.60% of the state population).
The oldest incorporated place in Arizona is Tucson which incorporated in 1877 and the most recent was the town of Tusayan which incorporated in March 2010. As of 2010, Phoenix, the capital and largest city in Arizona, is ranked as the sixth most populous city in the United States. Other Arizona cities among the 100 most populous in the country are Tucson, Mesa, Glendale, Chandler, Gilbert and Scottsdale.
The Arizona Constitution has, since its ratification in 1912, allowed for the creation of municipal corporations in any community with a population of 3,500 or greater. According to the constitution, a municipal charter cannot be created by special laws or by the legislature, but rather by the communities themselves as provided by general law. The population limit specified by the constitution was lowered by state law to a minimum of population of 1,500 for most locations, and further reduced to 500 for communities located within 10 miles (16 km) of a national park or national monument. State law further restricts the incorporation of new municipalities within urbanized areas, which are defined as a specific buffer zone surrounding existing cities and towns.
Choose the Ideal Physical Therapist Degree Program near Arizona City AZ
Choosing the right physical therapy program is an important first decision you must make to begin a gratifying career in the health care profession. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you choose should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. However there are additional critical questions that you need to ask concerning your college of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapy college, keep in mind that a number of factors will lead you toward your final decision. You may decide to go to different colleges to view their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the ideal choice. And with the proper education and training, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Arizona City AZ.
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