How to Select the Right Physical Therapy Program near Catalina Arizona
Getting a physical therapy degree near Catalina AZ is a critical first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled due to injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the proper training and education. A PT must also be licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to research the ones you are thinking about to ensure they will deliver a quality education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is choose a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be evaluated in addition to location and cost. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists work in varying locations, such as Catalina AZ private practices, hospitals, 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 touched on, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they create a program of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Heart attacks
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Fire injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Multiple Sclerosis
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Catalina AZ medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees
There are 3 physical therapist degree options available for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the single degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief descriptions of degree levels that are offered in the Catalina AZ area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are typically provided by community colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically part of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy education to ready candidates to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally require four years to complete and usually include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement in order 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 total investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal component along with the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in some states for licensing as well.
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 offered in the USA. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Schools
While not as prevalent as the on campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapy programs available, even more 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 an available internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Catalina AZ residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition may be significantly less than similar on-campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
At this point you most likely have come to decision regarding several of your initial queries, such as the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are so many PT schools within the Catalina AZ area and throughout Arizona, you’ll have to look into other qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of college options. Also, you want to make sure that you select the college that is best for you. That’s why we have put together a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions prior to making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As earlier mentioned, 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 school, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist program and school you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are several ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Get in touch with a few Catalina AZ physical therapist centers or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your program selections. It might also be prudent to check with the Arizona Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapist programs you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might indicate that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Catalina AZ area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also verifies that the program has a wide network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you enroll in provides both superior training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapist programs you are interested in have associations with Catalina AZ clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent manner to get hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist students and graduates form professional relationships in the Catalina health care community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges 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 ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they decide on will need to be within travelling distance of their Catalina AZ residence. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes 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 keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically 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 Provided? Most DPT colleges provide some form of financial aid to their potential students. Ask if the schools you are considering have a financial assistance office and see what type of help is offered. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapy college you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Catalina AZ area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Catalina Arizona?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Catalina AZ area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Catalina is a census-designated place (CDP) in Pima County, Arizona, United States. The population was 7,025 at the 2000 census. Catalina continues to experience increasing population growth, while attempting to maintain its rural character. Catalina remains an unincorporated community, with no plans for annexation into any nearby towns.
As of the census of 2000, there were 7,025 people, 2,567 households, and 1,899 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 506.6 people per square mile (195.6/km²). There were 2,755 housing units at an average density of 198.7/sq mi (76.7/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 85.21% White, 0.54% Black or African American, 1.44% Native American, 0.40% Asian, 0.16% Pacific Islander, 9.71% from other races, and 2.55% from two or more races. 23.67% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 2,567 households out of which 33.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.2% were married couples living together, 10.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.0% were non-families. 20.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.67 and the average family size was 3.05.
PTA Training Programs Catalina AZ
Picking the right physical therapist school is a necessary initial decision you need to make to start a gratifying career in the health care field. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you select should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are other critical questions that you should ask concerning your school of choice also. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on PTA Training Programs. However, 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 colleges to view their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me accomplish my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Catalina AZ.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Arizona
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