How to Choose the Right Physical Therapy College near Florence Arizona
Earning a physical therapy degree near Florence AZ is an important first step to starting a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled due to injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the necessary 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 school. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate the ones you are considering to make sure they will deliver a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is choose a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be considered in addition to cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in varying settings, such as Florence AZ private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help people that are struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to address the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Cardiac arrest
- Sports injuries
- Fire injuries
- Hip Replacement
- Cerebral Palsy
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Florence AZ medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Offered
There are 3 physical therapy degree options available for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief summaries of degrees that are available in the Florence 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 earned a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are most often provided by junior or community colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a portion of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist education to prepare students to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally take four years to finish and commonly include an internship program of a minimum of 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). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to finish, making the total commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an essential element in addition to the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not only 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. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Degrees
While not as common as the on-campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online portion of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Florence AZ home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition can be significantly less than comparable on-campus alternatives, and costs 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 option the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
By now you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning some of your preliminary questions, such as the type of physical therapist degree you would like to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT colleges within the Florence AZ area and across Arizona, you’ll have to explore additional qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of school choices. Also, you need to make sure that you pick the school that is right for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapy schools you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing schools these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are looking at have received accreditation from a regional or a national 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 school, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist school and program you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple 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 some Florence AZ physical therapy centers or other medical care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insight 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 colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two significant statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may suggest that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Florence AZ area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also verifies that the school has a broad network of contacts to assist students get internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you enroll in provides both superior training and a course of study that supports the licensing criteria for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the physical therapist schools you are assessing have relationships with Florence AZ clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to receive practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can help students and graduates develop professional connections in the Florence healthcare community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy college they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Florence AZ residence. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes obviously 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 decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Help Provided? Most DPT colleges supply some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Inquire if the colleges you are examining have a financial aid office and see what kind of assistance is available. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. Some physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial assistance may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapy program you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Florence AZ area, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Florence Arizona?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Florence AZ area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Florence (O'odham: S-auppag) is a town, 61 miles (98 km) southeast of Phoenix, in Pinal County, Arizona, United States. Florence, which is the county seat of Pinal County, is one of the oldest towns in that county and is regarded as a National Historic District with over 25 buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The population of Florence was 30,770 at the 2015 census.
The area where the current town of Florence is located was once inhabited by the members of the Athabascans, ancestors of the San Carlos Apache tribe. Prior to the establishment of the town, the Gila River served as a part of the border between the United States and Mexico. In 1853, the Gadsden Purchase extended American territory well south of the Gila.
Levi Ruggles, a veteran of the American Civil War, founded the town of Florence on the south bank of the Gila River. He came to Arizona Territory in 1866 as a U.S. Indian Agent. Recognizing the agricultural potential of the valley, he found an easily fordable crossing on the Gila River and surveyed a townsite there. With the aid of Governor R.C. McCormick, he secured a post office in August of the same year. Ruggles held numerous public offices including that of Territorial Legislator. Florence became the county seat in the newly formed Pinal County. Silver was discovered in 1875 in the nearby mountains which led to the creation of the famous Silver King Mine.
2 Year Physical Therapy Programs Florence AZ
Picking the right physical therapy college is an important initial decision you must make to start a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you pick should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. However there are additional important questions that you need to ask regarding your school of choice as well. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on 2 Year Physical Therapy Programs. However, as you begin your search for a physical therapy college keep in mind that a number of factors will guide you to your final decision. You might want to go to each of the colleges to see their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental 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 achieve your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Florence AZ.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Arizona
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