How to Pick the Right Physical Therapy Program near Kingman Arizona
Earning a physical therapy degree near Kingman AZ is a critical first step to starting a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated 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 need to acquire the appropriate education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate those you are considering to ensure they will furnish a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is select a school just because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be considered in addition to 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 the options for education.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists practice in varying locations, such as Kingman AZ hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers 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 earlier mentioned, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they design a course of treatment to deal with the mobility issues 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 numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks
- Sports injuries
- Fire injuries
- Hip Replacement
- Multiple Sclerosis
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Kingman AZ medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees
There are 3 physical therapy degrees offered for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is offered 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 progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief descriptions of degrees that are available in the Kingman AZ area:
- Associate Degrees train students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are most often offered by junior or community colleges, and require two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a component of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy training to prep candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they normally take 4 years to complete and commonly include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required if you want 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 three years to complete, making the total commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an essential element in addition to the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not just for graduation but in some states for licensing as well.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer offered in the USA. A number of practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Degrees
While not as common as the more traditional options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist programs offered, even more 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 in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online part of the curriculum can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Kingman AZ home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition may be significantly less than comparable on-campus options, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
By now you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning several of your preliminary queries, such as the kind 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 since there are so many PT schools within the Kingman AZ area and across Arizona, you’ll need to explore additional qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of school options. Moreover, you want to be sure that you enroll in the program that is right for you. That’s why we have put together a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. Ask each of the competing schools these questions before making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Find out if the programs you are considering 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 enroll in an online program, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy program and school you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are several ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Get in touch with a few Kingman AZ physical therapist clinics or other healthcare facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your college selections. It might also be a good idea to contact the Arizona Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two relevant statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may indicate that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Kingman AZ area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care field is good or even outstanding. It also verifies that the program has a broad network of contacts to help students get internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you choose provides both excellent training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing criteria for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. 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 tests.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the physical therapist programs you are assessing have partnerships with Kingman AZ hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific way to get hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can help students and graduates form professional relationships in the Kingman healthcare community and help with job placement after licensing.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist college they decide on will have to be within travelling distance of their Kingman AZ home. Those who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps 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 often charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Aid Offered? The majority of DPT schools provide some type of financial aid to their potential students. Inquire if the colleges you are considering have a financial aid department and find out what kind of aid is available. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. Some physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapy school you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Kingman AZ area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Kingman Arizona?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Kingman AZ area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Kingman (Huwaalyapay Nyava in the Mojave language) is a city in and the county seat of Mohave County, Arizona, United States. According to the 2010 census, the population of the city is 28,068. The nearby communities of Butler, and Golden Valley bring the Kingman area total population to over 45,000. Kingman is located about 105 miles (169 km) southeast of Las Vegas, Nevada and about 165 miles (266 km) northwest of the state capital, Phoenix.
Lt. Edward Fitzgerald Beale, a U.S. Navy officer in the service of the U.S. Army Corps of Topographical Engineers, was ordered by the U.S. War Department to build a federal wagon road across the 35th Parallel. His secondary orders were to test the feasibility of the use of camels as pack animals in the southwestern desert. Beale traveled through the present day Kingman in 1857 surveying the road and in 1859 to build the road. Beale's Wagon Road became part of Highway 66 and Interstate Highway 40. Remnants of the wagon road can still be seen in White Cliffs Canyon in Kingman.
Kingman, Arizona, was founded in 1882, when Arizona was still Arizona Territory. Situated in the Hualapai Valley between the Cerbat and Hualapai mountain ranges, Kingman is known for its very modest beginnings as a simple railroad siding near Beale’s Springs in the Middleton Section along the newly constructed route of the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad. The city of Kingman was named for Lewis Kingman, who surveyed along the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad's right-of-way between Needles, Calif., and Albuquerque, N.M. Lewis Kingman supervised the building of the railroad from Winslow, Ariz. to Beale's Springs, which is near the present location of the town of Kingman.
Graduate Physical Therapy Programs Kingman AZ
Selecting the right physical therapy program is an important initial decision you have to make to begin a gratifying career in the healthcare profession. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you select should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. But there are other important questions that you should ask concerning your college of choice also. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Graduate Physical Therapy Programs. However, as you start your search for a physical therapy college bear in mind that many factors will lead you to your final decision. You might decide to go to each of the campuses to view their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing 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 proper training and education, you can achieve your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Kingman AZ.
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