How to Pick a Physical Therapy College near Duncan 85534
Earning a physical therapist degree near Duncan AZ is an essential first step to starting a rewarding career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been disabled as a result of injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the appropriate education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to research those you are considering to make sure they will provide a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is select a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be evaluated besides location and cost. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of locations, including Duncan AZ private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they develop a course of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Duncan AZ medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Offered
There are 3 physical therapy degree options offered for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short explanations of degrees that are offered in the Duncan AZ area:
- Associate Degrees train students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are usually offered by junior or community colleges, and take about two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually part of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist training to prepare students to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to finish and often incorporate 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 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 seven years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an important component along with the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Consequently 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 eliminated and is no longer available in the USA. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Programs
Although not as prevalent as the on-campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the program can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Duncan AZ residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition can be somewhat lower than comparable on campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
By now you probably have come to decision concerning a few of your preliminary questions, including the type of physical therapist degree you want to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT schools within the Duncan AZ area and throughout Arizona, you’ll need to explore other qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of school options. Moreover, you want to make sure that you select the college that is best for you. That’s why we have collected a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy schools you are thinking about. Ask all of the potential schools these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are considering have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. 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 select an online college, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy program and school you choose are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Call some Duncan AZ physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your school selections. It might also be prudent to check with the Arizona Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two significant statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapy schools you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might suggest that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Duncan AZ area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even exceptional. It also verifies that the program has a wide network of contacts to assist students get internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you enroll in furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria for Arizona or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the physical therapy schools you are assessing have associations with Duncan AZ hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great way to get hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can help students and graduates develop professional connections in the Duncan healthcare community and assist with job placement after licensing.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are looking at 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 final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they choose will need to be within travelling distance of their Duncan AZ home. Individuals who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Support Offered? Most DPT colleges offer some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are looking at have a financial assistance department and see what type of assistance is offered. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. Some physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial aid might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapy school you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Duncan AZ area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify 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 may miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Duncan Arizona?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Duncan AZ area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Duncan is in the Gila River valley, 4 miles (6 km) west of the Arizona-New Mexico border. The town limits are on both sides of the Gila, but the primary portion of the town and the entire downtown area lie on the south side of the river. Duncan was founded in the mid 19th century, and the land was added to the United States as a part of the Mexican Cession. The town of Duncan has been destroyed twice by flood and once by fire.
The town and area are primarily populated by ranchers and miners (especially from the Freeport-McMoran copper mines in southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico). Surrounding smaller towns such as Franklin and York in Arizona and Virden, New Mexico, use Duncan public works and public schools. The Duncan area along the Gila River is renowned for Native American artifacts such as arrow heads, pottery, burial sites, cave paintings and other remnants of the Anasazi and other pre-historic cultures, as well as artifacts from garrison camps of the expedition of Francisco Vázquez de Coronado.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor was born in El Paso, Texas, but grew up near Duncan on the Lazy B ranch, which straddles the border between Arizona and New Mexico. The Day family ran the ranch for many years until selling it; it continues to be run as a ranch. O'Connor later wrote a book titled Lazy B: Growing up on a Cattle Ranch in the American Southwest about her childhood experiences on the ranch with her brother H. Alan Day.
Choose the Ideal Physical Therapy School near Duncan AZ
Deciding on the best physical therapy program is a necessary initial decision you have to make to launch a rewarding career in the healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you choose should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. But there are additional important questions that you should ask pertaining to your college of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapist college, bear in mind that a number of variables will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You might decide to visit each of the campuses to view their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me accomplish my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the best choice. And with the proper education and training, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Duncan AZ.
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