How to Enroll In the Right Physical Therapy Training Program near Irving Texas
Receiving a physical therapist degree near Irving TX is an important first step to starting a rewarding career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated as a result of injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the proper education and training. A PT must also be licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate those you are thinking about to make certain they will deliver a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is enroll in a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be considered in addition to cost and location. But before we discuss 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 is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of settings, such as Irving TX private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier touched on, 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 program of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also strive to stop any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries
- Cardiac arrest
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Fire injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Multiple Sclerosis
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Irving TX health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees
There are 3 physical therapist degrees available for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief descriptions of degrees that are available in the Irving TX area:
- Associate Degrees train students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are usually made available by community colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a component of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy education to prep candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they normally take four years to finish and usually incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated 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 overall investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal component along with the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in a number of 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 offered in the United States. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases 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 on-campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapy degrees available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online part of the curriculum can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Irving TX home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition can be somewhat lower than similar on-campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online option the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
At this point you most likely have come to decision concerning some of your initial questions, like the type of physical therapy degree you would like to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are so many PT colleges within the Irving TX area and across Texas, you’ll have to explore additional qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of school options. Moreover, you need to make sure that you enroll in the school that is best for you. That’s why we have collected a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. Ask each of the potential schools these questions prior to making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Find out if the programs you are looking at have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As previously stated, 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 school, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy program and school you select are accredited, not just the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as 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 select have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are several ways you can look into a PT college’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 agencies for their reviews also. Call some Irving TX physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your school options. It may also be prudent to contact the Texas 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 Percentage? There are a couple of significant statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapist schools you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may mean that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Irving TX area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even exceptional. It also affirms that the program has a broad network of contacts to help students get internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you select provides both excellent training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria for Texas or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internships Offered? Ask if the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing have partnerships with Irving TX clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to obtain hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can help students and graduates develop professional connections in the Irving health care community and help with job placement after licensing.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable 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 classrooms. 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 speak with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist school they select will need to be within driving distance of their Irving TX home. Those who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Help Offered? The majority of DPT colleges offer some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial aid office and find out what kind of help is obtainable. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapist program you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Irving TX area, confirm that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Irving Texas?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Irving TX area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Irving is a principal city in Dallas County in the U.S. state of Texas and it is also an inner ring suburb of the city of Dallas. According to a 2017 estimate from the United States Census Bureau, the city population was 240,373 making it the thirteenth most populous city in Texas and 93rd most populous city in the U.S. Irving is part of the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex.
Irving includes the Las Colinas community, one of the first master-planned developments in the United States and once the largest mixed-use development in the Southwest with a land area of more than 12,000 acres (4,856 ha). Las Colinas is home to the Mustangs at Las Colinas, which is the largest equine sculpture in the world, as well as many Fortune 500 companies, such as ExxonMobil, Kimberly-Clark and Fluor Corporation. In January 2011 the city completed the Irving Convention Center at Las Colinas and continues to develop the area into a mixed-use complex, including a special entertainment district.
Irving was founded in 1903 by J.O. "Otto" Schulze and Otis Brown. It is believed literary author Washington Irving was a favorite of Netta Barcus Brown, and consequently the name of the town site, Irving, was chosen. Irving began in 1889 as an area called Gorbit, and in 1894 the name changed to Kit. Irving was incorporated April 14, 1914, with Otis Brown as the first mayor.
How To Become A Physical Therapist Assistant Irving TX
Picking the best physical therapy school is an important initial decision you must make to begin a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you pick should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. But there are other relevant questions that you should ask regarding your college of choice also. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on How To Become A Physical Therapist Assistant. However, as you commence your search for a physical therapist school keep in mind that numerous factors will guide you to your ultimate decision. You might decide to visit different schools to see their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me reach my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Irving TX.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Texas
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