How to Find the Right Physical Therapy Program near Alpine Arizona
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near Alpine AZ is an essential first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been disabled due to illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the appropriate training and education. A PT must also become licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate those you are thinking about to make sure they will deliver a quality education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is choose a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be evaluated in addition to cost and location. But before we discuss 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’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in diverse settings, including Alpine AZ private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they design a course of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Cardiac arrest
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Burn injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Cerebral Palsy
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Alpine AZ health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degree Options
There are 3 physical therapy degree options offered for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the only degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief summaries of degrees that are available in the Alpine AZ area:
- Associate Degrees train students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are most often provided by community or junior colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually part of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy training to ready students to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally take 4 years to finish and commonly include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to complete, making the overall investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal element along with the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in some states for licensing as well.
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 USA. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Colleges Online
Although not as prevalent as the more traditional options, there are many accredited online physical therapy programs available, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the program may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Alpine AZ residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat less than comparable on-campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages may make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding several of your preliminary questions, including the kind of physical therapist degree you intend to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are numerous PT colleges within the Alpine AZ area and across Arizona, you’ll need to explore other qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of school options. Furthermore, you need to make certain that you select the program that is ideal for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are considering. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Ask if the programs you are looking at have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As previously mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you select an online college, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy program and school you select are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Contact a few Alpine AZ physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations 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 College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of significant statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapy schools you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might indicate that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Alpine AZ area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care field is good or even exceptional. It also verifies that the college has a broad network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the school you select provides both exceptional training and a course of study that satisfies 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 college. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing have associations with Alpine AZ clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to obtain practical training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Alpine healthcare community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are looking at what the average teacher to student 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 an opportunity to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapy college they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Alpine AZ residence. Students who have opted 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 importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically 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? The majority of DPT colleges provide some form of financial aid to their prospective students. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have a financial aid office and find out what type of help is offered. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. Some physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial assistance may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapist college you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Alpine AZ area, check 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 enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Alpine Arizona?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Alpine AZ area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Alpine is an unincorporated community and census-designated place in Apache County, Arizona, United States, in Bush Valley in the east central part of the state. As of the 2010 census, it had a population of 145.
Alpine was settled in 1876 by Anderson Bush, who built a log house originally known as "Fort Bush". Bush sold his holdings in 1879 to William Maxwell and Fred Hamblin, Mormon settlers who established the town as a Mormon community. The community was named for its lofty elevation.
Alpine is located at an elevation of 8,050 feet (2,450 m) above sea level in the eastern end of the White Mountains and surrounded by the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest. Alpine is a popular destination for hunting, fishing, and camping. Alpine is near the headwaters of the San Francisco River and six miles from the New Mexico border. As of 1960, it was the highest place in the United States where farming was successfully occurring.
Accredited Physical Therapy Assistant Programs Online Alpine AZ
Selecting the ideal physical therapy college is an important initial decision you must make to launch a gratifying career in the health care profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you enroll in should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. However there are other critical questions that you should ask regarding your college of choice as well. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Accredited Physical Therapy Assistant Programs Online. However, as you start your search for a physical therapy college bear in mind that a number of factors will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You may decide to go to each of the campuses to view their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the proper training and education, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Alpine AZ.
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