How to Enroll In the Right Physical Therapist Course near Gilbert Arizona
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Gilbert AZ is an essential first step to beginning a rewarding career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled as a result of injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the proper training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to investigate the ones you are looking at to ensure they will provide a quality education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is choose a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be evaluated besides location and cost. But before we discuss 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 is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of settings, such as Gilbert AZ private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Cardiac arrest
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Fire injuries
- Hip Replacement
- Multiple Sclerosis
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Gilbert AZ health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees
There are three physical therapist degree options offered for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short descriptions of degree levels that are available in the Gilbert AZ area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are typically made available by junior or community colleges, and require two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually a portion of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy education to prep candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally take 4 years to finish and often include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required if you want to become a practicing licensed physical therapist. The degree program also must 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 investment of time 7 years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal element in addition to the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, 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 eliminated and is no longer offered in the USA. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Online Colleges
While not as common as the more traditional options, there are a number of 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 incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online part of the curriculum may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Gilbert AZ home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition can be somewhat lower than comparable on-campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
By now you undoubtedly have come to decision concerning some of your preliminary questions, such as the type 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 considering there are so many PT schools within the Gilbert AZ area and throughout Arizona, you’ll have to research additional qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of college choices. Also, you need to be sure that you select the college that is best for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy schools you are thinking about. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions prior to making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Ask if the schools you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a national or a regional agency. 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 choose an online school, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy program and school you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist community. There are several ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Get in touch with a few Gilbert AZ physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your school selections. It may 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 Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two relevant statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate 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 placed in jobs with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Gilbert AZ area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even excellent. It also affirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to help students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you select provides both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Offered? Find out if the physical therapy schools you are evaluating have associations with Gilbert AZ clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to receive practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may help students and graduates establish professional connections in the Gilbert healthcare community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are researching what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist college they choose will need to be within commuting distance of their Gilbert AZ home. Students who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern 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 choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? The majority of DPT colleges provide some form of financial aid to their potential students. Inquire if the colleges you are considering have a financial aid department and see what type of help is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. A number of physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapy program you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Gilbert AZ area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Gilbert Arizona?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Gilbert AZ area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Gilbert is a town in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States, located southeast of Phoenix, within the Phoenix metropolitan area. Once known as the "Hay Shipping Capital of the World", It is the sixth-largest municipality in Arizona, and the fifth-largest in the Metropolitan Phoenix Area.
Gilbert encompasses 76 square miles (197 km2) and has made a rapid transformation from an agriculture-based community to an economically diverse suburban center located in the southeast valley of the Greater Phoenix area. In the last three decades, Gilbert has grown at an extremely high rate, increasing in population from 5,717 in 1980 to 208,453 as of the 2010 census. The town grew at an average annual growth rate of nearly 13% during this 30-year period. In 2017, the town's population was estimated to be at 242,354.
Gilbert owes its beginnings to William "Bobby" Gilbert who provided land to the Arizona Eastern Railway in 1902 to construct a rail line between Phoenix and Florence, Arizona. Ayer's Grocery Store, the first store in Gilbert, opened in 1910 and became the location of the first post office in 1912. The location of the town post office moved several times before settling on the east side of Gilbert Road in downtown, where it still stands today. In 1912, many Mormons who had fled the Mormon colonies in Mexico due to the actions of the forces of Pancho Villa settled in Gilbert. By 1915, they began holding church meetings at the Gilbert Elementary School. In 1918, they were organized into the Gilbert Ward.
Courses Needed For Physical Therapy Gilbert AZ
Deciding on the best physical therapist college is an important first decision you need to make to begin a gratifying career in the medical profession. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you enroll in should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. However there are additional important questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice as well. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Courses Needed For Physical Therapy. However, as you begin your search for a physical therapist school keep in mind that many variables will lead you to your final decision. You might want to visit different schools to see their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me accomplish my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the ideal selection. And with the proper education and training, you can achieve your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Gilbert AZ.
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