How to Choose the Right Physical Therapy Program near Green Valley Arizona
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Green Valley AZ is a critical first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated due to illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the proper training and education. A PT must also become licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research those you are considering to ensure they will furnish a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is select a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be considered besides cost and location. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists work in diverse locations, including Green Valley AZ hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a course of treatment to address the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also strive to prevent any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries
- Heart attacks
- Sports injuries
- Burn injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Multiple Sclerosis
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Green Valley AZ medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degree Options
There are 3 physical therapist degrees available for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is available 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. Below are brief summaries of degree levels that are available in the Green Valley AZ area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are usually made available by community or junior colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually part of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist education to prepare candidates to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral preliminary step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they generally require 4 years to complete and usually incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required 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 complete, making the total investment of time seven years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an essential component in addition to the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in several states for licensing also.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer attainable in the USA. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Programs
Although not as common as the on campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapy programs available, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the curriculum can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Green Valley AZ residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition may be significantly lower than comparable on campus options, and costs for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
At this point you probably have made a decision regarding a few of your initial questions, including the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are so many PT schools within the Green Valley AZ area and throughout Arizona, you’ll need to research other qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of school choices. Also, you want to be sure that you select the school that is ideal for you. That’s why we have collected a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions prior to making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a regional or a national 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 choose an online college, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy school and program you select are accredited, not simply the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can research a PT program’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Get in touch with several Green Valley AZ physical therapist centers or other medical care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your program options. It might 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 College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of significant statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapist colleges you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may suggest that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Green Valley AZ area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even exceptional. It also confirms that the program has a broad network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the school you select furnishes both superior training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is needed 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, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the physical therapist colleges you are interested in have partnerships with Green Valley AZ clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to receive hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can help graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Green Valley health care community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapy school they decide on will have to be within driving distance of their Green Valley AZ home. 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 program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Help Provided? Most DPT schools offer some form of financial support to their potential students. Ask if the schools you are examining have a financial aid department and see what kind of help is obtainable. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. A number of physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial assistance may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapy college you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Green Valley AZ area, verify that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, learn 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 Green Valley Arizona?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Green Valley AZ area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Green Valley, Arizona
Green Valley is located along the western side of the Santa Cruz River at 31°51′N 111°0′W / 31.850°N 111.000°W / 31.850; -111.000 (31.8556, -111.0001).Continental is to the east of Green Valley, on the other side of the river.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 26.3 square miles (68.0 km²), of which, 26.2 square miles (68.0 km²) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km²) of it (0.08%) is water.
Green Valley is twenty miles (32 km) south of Tucson and 40 miles (64 km) north of Nogales, Sonora, Mexico. Surrounded by copper mines, and near the cycling, hiking and birding areas of the Santa Rita Mountains, Green Valley is an unincorporated retirement community composed of 59 Homeowner Associations.
How Long It Takes To Become A Physical Therapist Green Valley AZ
Choosing the ideal physical therapy program is a necessary first decision you must make to start a gratifying career in the medical field. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you enroll in should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. But there are additional relevant questions that you should ask pertaining to your school of choice also. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on How Long It Takes To Become A Physical Therapist. However, as you start your search for a physical therapy school keep in mind that many factors will lead you to your final decision. You might decide to visit different schools to see their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me achieve my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to 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 fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Green Valley AZ.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Arizona
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