How to Select the Right Physical Therapy Program near Bullhead City Arizona
Receiving a physical therapist degree near Bullhead City AZ is an essential first step to launching a rewarding career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled as a result of illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the proper training and education. A PT must also become licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research those you are considering to make certain they will supply a quality education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is choose a school just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be evaluated besides location and cost. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of settings, including Bullhead City AZ hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes 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 stated, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they design a course of treatment to address the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also strive to prevent any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries
- Heart attacks
- Sports injuries
- Burn injuries
- Hip Replacement
- Cerebral Palsy
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Bullhead City AZ medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone thinking about 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 extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Offered
There are 3 physical therapy degree options available for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the only degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief summaries of degrees that are offered in the Bullhead City 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 a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are most often provided by junior or community colleges, and take about two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a portion of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist education to ready students to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally require four years to finish and commonly include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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 three years to finish, making the total investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an important element along with the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, 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 eliminated and is no longer available in the United States. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Programs
Although not as common as the more traditional options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist degrees available, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the course of study can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Bullhead City AZ home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition might be somewhat lower than comparable on campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online option the right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
At this point you most likely have made a decision concerning a few of your initial questions, such as the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are so many PT schools within the Bullhead City AZ area and across Arizona, you’ll need to research other qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of college options. Furthermore, you want to make sure that you choose 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 therapy colleges you are considering. Ask all of the potential schools these questions before making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Find out if the programs you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a national or a regional agency. 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 select an online school, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy program and school you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Contact a few Bullhead City AZ physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your college options. It may also be a good idea to check with the Arizona Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two useful statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may suggest that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Bullhead City AZ area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps excellent. It also verifies that the program has a broad network of contacts to help students gain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you select 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 every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the physical therapy schools you are evaluating have partnerships with Bullhead City AZ clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to obtain practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist graduates and students establish professional connections in the Bullhead City healthcare community and assist with job placement once licensed.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
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 Bullhead City AZ home. Individuals who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Help Provided? Most DPT colleges provide some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid department and see what type of help is offered. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. A number of physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapy college you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Bullhead City AZ area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Bullhead City Arizona?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Bullhead City AZ area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Bullhead City, Arizona
Bullhead City is a city located on the Colorado River in Mohave County, Arizona, United States, roughly 90 mi (140 km) south of Las Vegas, Nevada, and directly across the Colorado River from Laughlin, Nevada, whose casinos and ancillary services supply much of the employment for Bullhead City. Bullhead City is located on the southern border of Lake Mohave. According to the 2010 census, the population of the city is 39,540. The nearby communities of Laughlin, Needles, California, Fort Mohave and Mohave Valley bring the Bullhead area's total population to about 100,000, making it the largest micropolitan area in Mohave County.
In 2011, the Laughlin/Bullhead International Airport was named Airport of the Year by the Arizona Department of Transportation. The latest figures indicate that "...more than 115,000 people flew into Laughlin/Bullhead International Airport on casino-sponsored charters in 2010." In the 1980s the airport was home to the helicopters of the TV show Airwolf.
The earliest inhabitants of the Colorado River Valley were the Mojave people. The rich soil and plentiful water provided the valley's natives with the necessities to create a prosperous farming community. According to Mojave legend, life began on Spirit Mountain, the highest peak visible from the Bullhead City area.
Physical Therapy Assistant Online Classes Bullhead City AZ
Deciding on the best physical therapy program is a necessary first decision you have to make to launch a rewarding career in the medical profession. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you choose should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. But there are additional critical questions that you need to ask regarding your college of choice also. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Physical Therapy Assistant Online Classes. However, as you start your search for a physical therapist school keep in mind that numerous variables will lead you to your ultimate decision. You might decide to go to each of the campuses to see their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me accomplish my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the ideal choice. And with the proper education and training, you can fulfill your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Bullhead City AZ.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Arizona
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