Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – Bunkie LA

How to Find the Right Physical Therapist Degree Program near Bunkie 71322

Bunkie LA physical therapy school student with volunteerGetting a physical therapist degree near Bunkie LA is a critical first step to launching a fulfilling career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated as a result of injury or illness gain back function and mobility. 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 become licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to investigate those you are considering to make certain they will deliver a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is select a school just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be evaluated in addition to location and cost. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.

What is a Physical Therapist?

Bunkie LA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in a variety of locations, such as Bunkie LA hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a course of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Bunkie LA medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also oversee 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 getting into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degrees

Bunkie LA physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapist degree options available for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, 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 advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief summaries of degree levels that are available in the Bunkie LA area:

  • Associate Degrees train students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are typically offered by junior or community colleges, and require 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a component of the curriculum.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist training to ready candidates to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally take 4 years to complete and usually incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are required if you want to become a licensed practicing 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 commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an essential element along with the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in some 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 phased out and is no longer attainable in the United States. A number of practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapist Online Colleges

woman attending physical therapy school online in Bunkie LAWhile not as common as the more traditional alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapy programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online portion of the program can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Bunkie LA residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition can be somewhat lower than comparable on-campus alternatives, and expenditures 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 option the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.

Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges

At this point you probably have made a decision regarding some of your preliminary queries, like the kind of physical therapist degree you would like to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are numerous PT colleges within the Bunkie LA area and across Louisiana, you’ll have to look into additional qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of school choices. Furthermore, you need to be sure that you pick the program that is best for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist programs you are considering. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.

Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited?  Find out if the colleges you are considering have earned 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 enroll in an online college, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist program and school you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.

What is the College’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist community. There are a number of ways you can research a PT program’s reputation, starting 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 agencies for their reviews as well. Call a few Bunkie LA physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your program selections. It might also be prudent to check with the Louisiana Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.

What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of significant statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapy colleges you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may suggest that students left because of displeasure 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 Bunkie LA area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care field is good or perhaps outstanding. It also verifies that the college has a broad network of contacts to help students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you select provides both exceptional training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria for Louisiana 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 school. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapy programs you are reviewing have partnerships with Bunkie LA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific way to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may help students and graduates form professional relationships in the Bunkie medical community and assist with job placement after licensing.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit way in the back of class 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 therapist schools you are researching what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.

Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapy school they select will need to be within driving distance of their Bunkie LA home. Students who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Aid Offered? The majority of DPT colleges offer some form of financial aid to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial aid department and find out what type of aid is obtainable. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. Some physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial aid may be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapist school you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Bunkie LA area, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Bunkie Louisiana?

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

Bunkie, Louisiana

The federal post office in town contains a mural, Cotton Pickers, painted in 1939 during the Great Depression by Caroline Speare Rohland. Federally commissioned murals were produced from 1934 to 1943 in the United States through the Section of Painting and Sculpture, later called the Section of Fine Arts, of the Treasury Department. This work was part of the effort by the federal government to employ artists during the difficult Depression years.[6]

The area around Bunkie is devoted to agriculture; since the late 20th century, corn has been an important commodity crop. Since 1987, Bunkie has hosted the annual Louisiana Corn Festival during the second full weekend of June.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.69 square miles (6.97 km2), of which 2.68 square miles (6.93 km2) is land and 0.015 square miles (0.04 km2), or 0.57%, is water.[4]

Select the Best Physical Therapy Degree Program near Bunkie LA

Selecting the best physical therapist college is an important initial decision you need to make to start a rewarding career in the medical profession. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you decide on should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. However there are other important questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapist program, bear in mind that many factors will guide you toward your final decision. You might decide to go to each of the campuses to see their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me realize 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 ideal choice. And with the proper education and training, you can fulfill your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Bunkie LA.

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