How to Select a Physical Therapist Degree Program near Clifton 85533
Earning a physical therapy degree near Clifton AZ is a critical first step to starting a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated due to illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the appropriate education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate those you are thinking about to ensure they will furnish a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is choose a school just 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 in addition to cost and location. But before we talk about 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’s Job Description?
Physical therapists practice in diverse locations, including Clifton AZ hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help people that are struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they create a course of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also try to stop any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Clifton AZ health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone considering entering the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Available
There are three physical therapist degree options offered for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short summaries of degree levels that are available in the Clifton AZ area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees 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 curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist training to prep candidates to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require 4 years to complete and usually include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement in order 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 commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an intregal component in addition to the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in several states for licensing as well.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer available in the USA. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Online Programs
Although not as common as the on campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapy programs available, even more at the graduate level. Due to 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 school campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online segment of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Clifton AZ residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition can be somewhat less than similar on-campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
By now you most likely have come to decision concerning several of your preliminary questions, like the type of physical therapy degree you want to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT colleges within the Clifton AZ area and across Arizona, you’ll need to research additional qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of college options. Furthermore, you need to be sure that you select the school that is best for you. That’s why we have collected a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapist programs you are considering. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions prior to making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Find out if the programs you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a national or a regional agency. 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 choose an online college, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist school and program you choose are accredited, not just the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy community. There are several ways you can research a PT program’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Contact several Clifton AZ physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your college options. It may also be a good idea to contact the Arizona Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may suggest that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Clifton AZ area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care field is good or even excellent. It also confirms that the program has a large network of contacts to assist students get internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you choose provides both exceptional training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements 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 therapist program. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the physical therapy programs you are reviewing have associations with Clifton AZ clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great means to receive practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist graduates and students establish professional connections in the Clifton medical 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 rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist school they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their Clifton AZ home. Those who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Support Offered? Most DPT colleges offer some type of financial support to their potential students. Inquire if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid department and see what type of help is available. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. Some physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial assistance might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapist school you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Clifton AZ area, check that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Clifton Arizona?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Clifton AZ area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Clifton is a town in and the county seat of Greenlee County, Arizona, United States, along the San Francisco River. The population of the town was 3,311 at the 2010 census, with a 2017 population estimate of 4,870 by the Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity. It was a site of the Arizona copper mine strike of 1983.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 14.8 square miles (38.4 km2), of which 14.6 square miles (37.8 km2) is land and 0.23 square miles (0.6 km2), or 1.46%, is water. Clifton has a hot semi-arid climate (Köppen BSh) that closely borders on both the hot desert climate and the cool semi-arid climate. There is a large degree of diurnal temperature variation. Summers are very hot and sometimes humid, with most rainfall coming from the monsoon between July and October. The wettest year was 2004 with 28.49 inches (723.6 mm) including 6.97 inches (177.0 mm) in August, whilst the driest year with a full record was 1924 with only 4.85 inches (123.2 mm) including a mere 1.98 inches (50.3 mm) between July and October. Winters are mild (though with very cold nights) and dry, with snow only recorded in fourteen years since 1892.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,596 people, 919 households, and 685 families residing in the town. The population density was 174.8 people per square mile (67.5/km²). There were 1,087 housing units at an average density of 73.2 per square mile (28.3/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 67.10% White, 0.96% Black or African American, 2.27% Native American, 0.04% Asian, 26.73% from other races, and 2.89% from two or more races. 55.86% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Select the Ideal Physical Therapist School near Clifton AZ
Deciding on the ideal physical therapy college is a necessary initial decision you must make to launch a gratifying career in the health care profession. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you enroll in should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. However there are additional relevant questions that you should ask regarding your school of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapist school, keep in mind that many factors will guide you toward your final decision. You may want to go to each of the campuses to view their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me accomplish my goal of becoming a practicing licensed 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 proper education and training, you can fulfill your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Clifton AZ.
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