How to Choose the Right Physical Therapist Training Program near Arizona City Arizona
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Arizona City AZ is an essential first step to beginning a rewarding career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated due to illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the appropriate education and training. A PT must also become licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate those you are thinking about to make certain they will deliver a superior education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is enroll in a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be evaluated in addition to cost and location. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists practice in varying locations, such as Arizona City AZ hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they develop a program of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Cardiac arrest
- Sports injuries
- Fire injuries
- Hip Replacement
- Multiple Sclerosis
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Arizona City AZ health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees
There are 3 physical therapy degree options available for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief explanations of degree levels that are available in the Arizona City AZ area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are typically made available by community or junior colleges, and require two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically part of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy education to prepare students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take four years to complete and usually 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 must also 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 investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential element in addition to the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in a number of 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 available in the United States. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Schools
While not as common as the more traditional alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapy degrees available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the school campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the curriculum may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Arizona City AZ residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition can be somewhat less than similar on-campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
By now you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning several of your initial questions, including the type of physical therapy degree you would like to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT schools within the Arizona City AZ area and across Arizona, you’ll have to research additional qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of school options. Also, you need to make certain that you pick the college 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 all of the competing schools these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Find out if the schools you are looking at have received accreditation from a regional or a national 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 select an online college, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy school and program you enroll in 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 receive an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Get in touch with a few Arizona City AZ physical therapy 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 school selections. 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 schools.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two important statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may suggest 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 hired with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Arizona City 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 affirms that the college has a wide network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you choose furnishes both superior training and a course of study that supports the licensing criteria for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapy colleges you are evaluating have associations with Arizona City AZ clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to get practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can assist students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Arizona City health care community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they select will need to be within driving distance of their Arizona City AZ residence. Individuals who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually 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 Support Offered? Most DPT schools provide some type of financial assistance to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are examining have a financial assistance office and find out what type of help is obtainable. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial assistance may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapy college you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Arizona City AZ area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Arizona City Arizona?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Arizona City AZ area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
List of cities and towns in Arizona
Arizona is a state located in the Western United States. There are 91 incorporated cities and towns in the U.S. state of Arizona as of 2010. Incorporated places in Arizona are those that have been granted home rule, possessing a local government in the form of a city or town council. The 2010 census put 5,021,810 of the state's 6,392,017 residents within these cities and towns, accounting for 78.56% of the population. Most of the population is concentrated within the Phoenix metropolitan area, with an 2010 census population of 4,192,887 (65.60% of the state population).
The oldest incorporated place in Arizona is Tucson which incorporated in 1877 and the most recent was the town of Tusayan which incorporated in March 2010. As of 2010, Phoenix, the capital and largest city in Arizona, is ranked as the sixth most populous city in the United States. Other Arizona cities among the 100 most populous in the country are Tucson, Mesa, Glendale, Chandler, Gilbert and Scottsdale.
The Arizona Constitution has, since its ratification in 1912, allowed for the creation of municipal corporations in any community with a population of 3,500 or greater. According to the constitution, a municipal charter cannot be created by special laws or by the legislature, but rather by the communities themselves as provided by general law. The population limit specified by the constitution was lowered by state law to a minimum of population of 1,500 for most locations, and further reduced to 500 for communities located within 10 miles (16 km) of a national park or national monument. State law further restricts the incorporation of new municipalities within urbanized areas, which are defined as a specific buffer zone surrounding existing cities and towns.
Physical Therapy College Programs Arizona City AZ
Choosing the right physical therapy school is an important initial decision you must make to begin a gratifying career in the healthcare profession. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you decide on should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. However there are additional relevant 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 Physical Therapy College Programs. However, as you commence your search for a physical therapist college keep in mind that a number of factors will lead you to your ultimate decision. You may want 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 school help me realize my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the right choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Arizona City AZ.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Arizona
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