Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – Clarkdale AZ

How to Select a Physical Therapy College near Clarkdale 86324

Clarkdale AZ physical therapy school student with volunteerObtaining a physical therapist degree near Clarkdale AZ is a critical first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated due to illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the proper training and education. A PT must also be licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to research the ones you are considering to make sure they will deliver a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is enroll in a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be evaluated besides location and cost. But before we cover what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.

What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?

Clarkdale AZ physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in varying settings, such as Clarkdale 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 the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they design a course of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also strive 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
  • Strokes.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Clarkdale AZ medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone considering going into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degree Options

Clarkdale AZ physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapy degrees available for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the single degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short summaries of degrees that are available in the Clarkdale AZ area:

  • Associate Degrees train students to practice as 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 be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are usually provided by community colleges, and require 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically part of the course of study.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist training to ready students to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically require 4 years to finish and commonly incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are required 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 complete, making the overall investment of time seven years in most cases. Clinical training is an essential component along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Therefor 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 replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer available in the United States. A number of practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapy Online Schools

woman attending physical therapy school online in Clarkdale AZAlthough not as common as the more traditional alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Because of 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 school campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online part of the curriculum may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Clarkdale AZ residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition can be somewhat less than similar on-campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.

Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges

At this point you undoubtedly have come to decision concerning several of your preliminary queries, such as the kind of physical therapist degree you intend to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are so many PT schools within the Clarkdale AZ area and throughout Arizona, you’ll have to explore other qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of college options. Moreover, you want to be sure that you pick the school that is best for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. Ask all of the potential schools these questions before making an ultimate decision.

Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited?  Find out if the programs you are reviewing have received accreditation from a regional or a national 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 enroll in an online school, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy program and school you select are accredited, not simply the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the College’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are several ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Call a few Clarkdale AZ physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your program options. It may also be a good idea to contact the Arizona Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.

What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapist colleges you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might suggest that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Clarkdale AZ area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care community is good or even outstanding. It also affirms that the program has a broad network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the school you select provides both exceptional training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional exams.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapy programs you are evaluating have associations with Clarkdale AZ clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to get hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist graduates and students form professional connections in the Clarkdale health care community and help with job placement after licensing.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program also.

Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Clarkdale AZ residence. Students who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Most DPT colleges offer some form of financial support to their prospective students. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial assistance office and see what type of assistance is available. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. Some physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial aid might be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapy college you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Clarkdale AZ area, make certain that they are offered. 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, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Clarkdale Arizona?

If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Clarkdale AZ area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.

Clarkdale, Arizona

Clarkdale (Yavapai: Saupkasuiva[4]) is a town in Yavapai County, Arizona, United States. The Verde River flows through the town as does Bitter Creek, an intermittent tributary of the river. According to the 2010 census, the population of the town was 4,097.[2]

Clarkdale was founded in 1912 as a company smelter town by William A. Clark, for his copper mine in nearby Jerome. Clarkdale was one of the most modern mining towns in the world, including telephone, telegraph, electrical, sewer and spring water services, and was an early example of a planned community.[5] The Clark Mansion, a local landmark, was built in the late 1920s by William Clark III, Clark's grandson and heir to the United Verde Copper Company. The structure, east of town across the Verde River near Pecks Lake, was destroyed in 2010 by a fire of "suspicious" origin.[6]

The town center and business district were built in Spanish Colonial style, and feature the Clark Memorial Clubhouse and Memorial Library, both still in use. The Clubhouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The entire original town site is also on the National Register as the Clarkdale Historic District.[5]

Choose the Ideal Physical Therapist School near Clarkdale AZ

Choosing the best physical therapist school is a necessary first decision you have to make to begin a fulfilling career in the health care profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you select should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. But there are additional critical questions that you need to ask pertaining to your school of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapy college, bear in mind that many variables will guide you to your final decision. You may decide to visit each of the colleges to view their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me realize my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can achieve your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Clarkdale AZ.

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