How to Find the Right Physical Therapist College near State University Arkansas
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near State University AR is an important first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated due to injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the appropriate education and training. A PT must also be licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research the ones you are looking at to ensure they will furnish a superior 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 need to be evaluated along with 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 the options for education.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists practice in varying locations, including State University AR private practices, hospitals, 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 previously mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are struggling with a lack of mobility and often pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they design a course of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also strive to stop any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Burn injuries
- Hip Replacement
- Multiple Sclerosis
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other State University AR health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degree Options
There are 3 physical therapist degrees offered for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief summaries of degree levels that are offered in the State University AR area:
- Associate Degrees train students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are usually provided by community colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically part of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy training to prep students to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally take four years to finish and often include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to finish, making the total 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 completion of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in several 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 United States. A number of practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Colleges Online
While not as prevalent as the more traditional alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature 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 part of the program may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s State University AR residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition can be significantly less than comparable on-campus options, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
By now you most likely have come to decision concerning several of your preliminary questions, such as the type of physical therapist degree you would like 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 State University AR area and across Arkansas, you’ll have to look into other qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of school choices. Furthermore, you need to make sure that you pick the college that is right for you. That’s why we have put together a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions before making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Find out if the programs you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. 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 enroll in an online program, it can also receive 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. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy community. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Contact several State University AR physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your school options. It might also be a good idea to check with the Arkansas Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two useful statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the State University AR area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even outstanding. It also affirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you enroll in provides both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapy programs you are reviewing have associations with State University AR hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to obtain hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can help students and graduates form professional connections in the State University healthcare community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapy school they decide on will need to be within travelling distance of their State University AR residence. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Support Provided? Most DPT schools provide some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial assistance office and see what type of help is offered. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. Some physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial aid may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapist program you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the State University AR area, confirm that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near State University Arkansas?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the State University AR area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Arkansas State University
Arkansas State University (also known as A-State) is a public research university in Jonesboro, Arkansas. It is the flagship campus of the Arkansas State University System and the second largest university by enrollment. It was founded in 1909 and is located atop 1,376 acres (5.6 km2) on Crowley's Ridge. Arkansas State has Sun Belt rivalries with all West Division schools (Little Rock, Louisiana, Louisiana-Monroe, Texas State, and UT Arlington). Their primary Sun Belt rivals are Little Rock, Louisiana-Monroe, and Louisiana.
A-State was founded as the First District Agricultural School in Jonesboro in 1909 by the Arkansas Legislature as a regional agricultural training school. Robert W. Glover, a Missionary Baptist pastor who served in both houses of the Arkansas Legislature from Sheridan (1905–1912), introduced in 1909 the resolution calling for the establishment of four state agricultural colleges, including the future ASU.
In 1918, ASU began offering a two-year college program. In 1925, it became First District Agricultural and Mechanical College. A four-year degree program was begun in 1930. A & M College became Arkansas State College in 1933. In 1967, the Arkansas Legislature elevated the college to university status and changed the name to Arkansas State University.
Physical Therapist Assistant Degree State University AR
Picking the best physical therapy school is an important first decision you must make to launch a rewarding career in the healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you choose should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. However there are additional critical questions that you should ask pertaining to your school of choice as well. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Physical Therapist Assistant Degree. However, as you start your search for a physical therapist program bear in mind that a number of variables will guide you to your ultimate decision. You may decide to go to each of the colleges to see their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me accomplish my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the best choice. And with the proper education and training, you can achieve your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in State University AR.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Arkansas