How to Select the Right Physical Therapy Program near Clifton Arizona
Getting a physical therapist degree near Clifton AZ is a critical first step to starting a rewarding career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled due to injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the appropriate education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate those you are thinking about to make certain they will furnish a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is choose a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be considered along with location and cost. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists practice in varying settings, such as Clifton AZ private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help patients that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they create a course of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also strive to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Heart attacks
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Fire injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Cerebral Palsy
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Clifton AZ health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy field, it is quite 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 Degree Options
There are 3 physical therapist degree options available for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short explanations of degrees that are available in the Clifton AZ area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to be 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 equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are usually provided by community or junior colleges, and require 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a component of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist training to prep 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 first step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they typically take 4 years to finish and usually incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to finish, making the overall investment of time seven years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an important component along with the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in a number of 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 eliminated 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 prior to the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Degrees Online
While not as common as the on-campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, 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 close to the school campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online part of the program can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Clifton AZ residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition may be somewhat lower than comparable on campus options, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
By now you probably have made a decision regarding several of your initial queries, including the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the Clifton AZ area and across Arizona, you’ll need to look into additional qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of college choices. Furthermore, you want to be sure that you enroll in the school that is ideal for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapy schools you are considering. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions prior to making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As previously 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 enroll in an online school, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist school and program you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Contact several Clifton AZ physical therapy centers or other medical care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your school options. It might also be prudent to contact the Arizona Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of useful statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapy programs you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may mean that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Clifton AZ area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even excellent. It also affirms that the program has a broad network of contacts to assist students get internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you enroll in provides both superior training and a curriculum that satisfies 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) 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 additional tests.
Are Internships Provided? Ask if the physical therapist schools you are evaluating have relationships with Clifton AZ clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to receive hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can help graduates and students develop professional connections in the Clifton medical community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapy school they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Clifton AZ residence. Students who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? The majority of DPT colleges offer some type of financial assistance to their potential students. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid department and see what type of help is available. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. Some physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial assistance might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapy school you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Clifton AZ area, check that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Clifton Arizona?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Clifton AZ area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Clifton is a town in and the county seat of Greenlee County, Arizona, United States, along the San Francisco River. The population of the town was 3,311 at the 2010 census, with a 2017 population estimate of 4,870 by the Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity. It was a site of the Arizona copper mine strike of 1983.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 14.8 square miles (38.4 km2), of which 14.6 square miles (37.8 km2) is land and 0.23 square miles (0.6 km2), or 1.46%, is water. Clifton has a hot semi-arid climate (Köppen BSh) that closely borders on both the hot desert climate and the cool semi-arid climate. There is a large degree of diurnal temperature variation. Summers are very hot and sometimes humid, with most rainfall coming from the monsoon between July and October. The wettest year was 2004 with 28.49 inches (723.6 mm) including 6.97 inches (177.0 mm) in August, whilst the driest year with a full record was 1924 with only 4.85 inches (123.2 mm) including a mere 1.98 inches (50.3 mm) between July and October. Winters are mild (though with very cold nights) and dry, with snow only recorded in fourteen years since 1892.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,596 people, 919 households, and 685 families residing in the town. The population density was 174.8 people per square mile (67.5/km²). There were 1,087 housing units at an average density of 73.2 per square mile (28.3/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 67.10% White, 0.96% Black or African American, 2.27% Native American, 0.04% Asian, 26.73% from other races, and 2.89% from two or more races. 55.86% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Training For Physical Therapist Clifton AZ
Picking the right physical therapist college is an important initial decision you need to make to begin a fulfilling career in the medical profession. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you choose should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. However there are additional relevant questions that you need to ask concerning your college of choice also. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Training For Physical Therapist. However, as you start your search for a physical therapist college bear in mind that a number of variables will lead you toward your final decision. You may want to go to different colleges to see their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the right selection. And with the proper training and education, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Clifton AZ.
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