How to Pick the Right Physical Therapist Program near Oracle Arizona
Getting a physical therapy degree near Oracle AZ is a critical first step to starting a rewarding career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated as a result of illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the proper training and education. A PT must also be licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to investigate those you are considering to ensure they will furnish a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is enroll in a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be evaluated besides location and cost. But before we cover what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists work in varying locations, including Oracle AZ private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers 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 stated, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they develop a course of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Cardiac arrest
- Sports injuries
- Burn injuries
- Hip Replacement
- Cerebral Palsy
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Oracle AZ health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Offered
There are three physical therapy degree options offered for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short summaries of degrees that are offered in the Oracle 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 earned a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are most often made available by community or junior colleges, and take about two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally part of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy training to prepare candidates to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take 4 years to finish and usually include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated 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 3 years to finish, making the overall investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an important component along with the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in several 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 United States. A number of practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Programs Online
Although not as prevalent as the on-campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapy degrees available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online part of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Oracle AZ home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition may be somewhat lower than similar on campus options, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning several of your preliminary questions, including the kind of physical therapist degree you want to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are so many PT schools within the Oracle AZ area and across Arizona, you’ll have to explore other qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of college choices. Furthermore, you want to be sure that you enroll in the program that is best for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. Ask all of the potential schools these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Ask if the programs you are considering have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. 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 select an online college, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist program and school you select are accredited, not just the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are several ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, starting with asking for 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 also. Contact a few Oracle AZ physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your program options. It may also be prudent 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 important statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might indicate that students left because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Oracle AZ area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or perhaps excellent. It also affirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you enroll in provides both exceptional training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria for Arizona or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internships Provided? Find out if the physical therapist schools you are assessing have relationships with Oracle AZ clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to get hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can help graduates and students form professional connections in the Oracle healthcare community and assist with job placement after licensing.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are researching what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on 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 perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy college they choose will need to be within commuting distance of their Oracle AZ residence. Students who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Most DPT schools offer some form of financial aid to their potential students. Inquire if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid department and see what type of assistance is offered. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. Some physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapist college you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Oracle AZ area, make certain that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Oracle Arizona?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Oracle AZ area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Buffalo Bill Cody owned the High Jinks Gold Mine in Oracle briefly and, in 1911, appeared as "Santa" for a group of local children. The community is the location of the Biosphere 2 experiment. Oracle was also the postal address for environmentalist author Edward Abbey, who never lived in the town but visited often. Oracle is becoming a bedroom community for Tucson, Arizona, but large-scale development is opposed by many residents.
Oracle State Park is adjacent. The Arizona Trail passes through the Park and community. Oracle is the gateway to the road up the "back side" of Mount Lemmon, which starts off of American Avenue and currently offers a secondary route to the top. Prior to the construction of the Catalina Highway on the opposite side of the Santa Catalina range, the Oracle Control Road was the only road access to the mountain community of Summerhaven. The term "control road" derives from the fact that the direction of traffic was restricted to one-way only, either up or down at alternate times of day, to prevent motorists from having to pass one another on the narrow, steep road. This route is now popular mainly with off-road 4x4 drivers and with off-road or dual-purpose motorcyclists, and should not be attempted by regular passenger cars or street motorcycles. This road ends at the Catalina Highway near Loma Linda.
The name "Oracle" comes from early prospectors. Albert Weldon came to the area looking for gold and silver. He and some other companions named their first mine The Oracle after the ship Weldon had traveled on. The community was later named after its first mine, and thus, indirectly, after a ship.
Requirements To Get Into Physical Therapy School Oracle AZ
Deciding on the right physical therapy school is a necessary first decision you need to make to begin a gratifying career in the medical field. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you pick should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. But there are other relevant questions that you should ask pertaining to your college of choice as well. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Requirements To Get Into Physical Therapy School. However, as you start your search for a physical therapist college bear in mind that many factors will guide you to your final decision. You might want to go to different colleges to see their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me realize my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the best choice. And with the proper education and training, you can achieve your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Oracle AZ.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Arizona
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