How to Choose a Physical Therapy School near Cochise 85606
Getting a physical therapist degree near Cochise AZ is an important first step to beginning a rewarding career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated due to injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the proper education and training. A PT must also become licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate the ones you are considering to make certain they will furnish a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is select a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be considered along with location and cost. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists work in a variety of settings, such as Cochise AZ private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they design a course of treatment to address the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also strive to prevent any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Cochise AZ medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone considering entering the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Available
There are 3 physical therapist degree options offered for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the single degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief explanations of degree levels that are available in the Cochise AZ area:
- Associate Degrees prepare 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 equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are most often offered by community or junior colleges, and require two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a component of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist training to ready students to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically take 4 years to complete and often incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated in order to become a practicing licensed 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 complete, making the overall commitment 7 years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal element in addition to the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not only 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 USA. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Colleges
While not as prevalent as the on-campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapist programs 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 requires that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the course of study may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Cochise AZ home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition might be significantly lower than similar on-campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
By now you undoubtedly have come to decision concerning a few of your initial questions, such as the type of physical therapist degree you want to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are numerous PT colleges within the Cochise AZ area and throughout Arizona, you’ll have to look into other qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of college choices. Moreover, you want to make sure that you choose the program that is ideal for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapy programs you are considering. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions before making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are looking at have earned accreditation from a national or a regional 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 select an online program, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist program and school you choose are accredited, not just the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapist community. There are a number of ways you can research a PT program’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Get in touch with a few Cochise AZ physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any advice about your school selections. It may also be a good idea to check with 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 two significant statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapist programs you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may suggest that students left because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Cochise AZ area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care field is good or perhaps outstanding. It also affirms that the college has a broad network of contacts to help students obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you select furnishes both exceptional training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing criteria 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) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. While licensing requirements differ 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 Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the physical therapist schools you are evaluating have associations with Cochise AZ hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great means to receive practical experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist graduates and students form professional connections in the Cochise medical community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges 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 determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy college they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Cochise AZ home. Students who have opted to attend classes online 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 bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college 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 for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Most DPT colleges supply some type of financial aid to their potential students. Inquire if the colleges you are examining have a financial aid department and see what type of assistance is offered. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. Some physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial assistance might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapy college you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Cochise AZ area, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Cochise Arizona?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Cochise AZ area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Cochise County, Arizona
In 1528 Spanish Explorers: Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca, Estevanico, and Fray Marcos de Niza survived a shipwreck off Texas coast. Captured by Native Americans they spent 8 years finding their way back to Mexico City, via the San Pedro Valley. Their journals, maps, and stories lead to the Cibola, seven cities of gold myth. The Expedition of Francisco Vásquez de Coronado in 1539 using it as his route north through what they called the Guachuca Mountains of Pima (Tohono O'odham) lands and later part of the mission routes north, but was actually occupied by the Sobaipuri descendants of the Hohokam. They found a large Pueblo (described as a small city) between Benson and Whetstone, and several smaller satellite villages and smaller pueblos including ones on Fort Huachuca, Huachuca City and North Eastern Fry. About 1657 Father Kino visited the Sobaipuris just before the Apache forced most from the valley, as they were struggling to survive due to increasing Chiricahua Apache attacks as they moved into the area of Texas Canyon in the Dragoon Mountains. In 1776 The Presidio Santa Cruz de Terrante was founded on the West bank of the San Pedro River, to protect the natives as well as the Spanish settlers who supplied the mission stations, but it was chronically short on provisions from raids, and lack of personnel to adequately patrol the eastern route due to wars with France and England, so the main route north shifted west to the Santa Cruz valley, farther from the Chiricahua Apache's ranges who almost exclusively controlled the area by 1821.
Cochise County was created on February 1, 1881, out of the eastern portion of Pima County. It took its name from the legendary Chiricahua Apache war chief Cochise. The county seat was Tombstone until 1929 when it moved to Bisbee. Notable men who once held the position of County Sheriff were Johnny Behan, who served as the first sheriff of the new county, and who was one of the main characters during the events leading to and following the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral. Later, in 1886, Texas John Slaughter became sheriff. Lawman Jeff Milton and lawman/outlaw Burt Alvord both served as deputies under Slaughter.
A syndicated television series which aired from 1956 to 1958, Sheriff of Cochise starring John Bromfield, was filmed in Bisbee. The Jimmy Stewart movie Broken Arrow and subsequent television show of the same name starring John Lupton, which also aired from 1956 to 1958, took place (but was not filmed) in Cochise County.
Enroll in the Best Physical Therapy Training Program near Cochise AZ
Choosing the best physical therapist school is a necessary initial decision you need to make to begin a gratifying career in the medical profession. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you enroll in should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. But there are other relevant questions that you need to ask concerning your school of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapy program, keep in mind that numerous factors will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You might decide to visit each of the colleges to view their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important 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 best choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Cochise AZ.
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