How to Enroll In a Physical Therapy Program near Fountain Hills 85268
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near Fountain Hills AZ is an essential first step to starting a rewarding career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated due to illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the proper training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate the ones you are looking at to make certain they will supply a superior education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is select a college just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be considered in addition to 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 Fountain Hills AZ private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a course of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also strive to prevent any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Fountain Hills AZ health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to keep in mind 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 Therapy Degrees Available
There are 3 physical therapy degree options offered for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the single degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief summaries of degree levels that are offered in the Fountain Hills AZ area:
- Associate Degrees train students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are usually provided by community or junior colleges, and require 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally part of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy training to prepare students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they generally require four years to complete and often include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required if you want 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 total investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an important component along with the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in some 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 phased out and is no longer offered in the United States. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Schools Online
Although not as common as the on-campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapy programs available, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online part of the curriculum can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Fountain Hills AZ residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition might be somewhat less than comparable on-campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
At this point you most likely have come to decision regarding a few of your preliminary questions, including the type of physical therapist degree you would like to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are numerous PT colleges within the Fountain Hills AZ area and across Arizona, you’ll need to research other qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of school choices. Furthermore, you want to be sure that you select the school that is best for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapy schools you are considering. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Find out if the programs you are considering have earned accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As previously stated, 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 program, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist school and program you select are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapist community. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT college’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Call several Fountain Hills AZ physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your school options. It might also be prudent to check with the Arizona Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two useful statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapy programs you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might mean that students left due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Fountain Hills AZ area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care field is good or even outstanding. It also confirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you enroll in provides both superior 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 needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internships Provided? Find out if the physical therapy programs you are interested in have associations with Fountain Hills AZ clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist graduates and students form professional relationships in the Fountain Hills medical community and help with job placement after licensing.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Fountain Hills AZ residence. Students who have decided 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 choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Most DPT colleges provide some form of financial support to their potential students. Ask if the schools you are looking at have a financial assistance department and see what type of help is available. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial assistance might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapy college you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Fountain Hills AZ area, check that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Fountain Hills Arizona?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Fountain Hills AZ area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Fountain Hills, Arizona
Fountain Hills is a town in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States. Known for its impressive fountain, once the tallest in the world, it borders on the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, and Scottsdale, Arizona. The population is 22,489, as of the 2010 census. Between the 1990 and 2000 censuses it was the eighth-fastest-growing place among cities and towns in Arizona.
In the early 1900's, the area that became Fountain Hills and the McDowell Mountain Regional Park was part of the Pemberton Ranch, later renamed the P Bar Ranch. Fountain Hills High School is built on the site of one of the P Bar Ranch's buildings, and a plaque stands in the parking lot to commemorate this.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 18.2 square miles (47.1 km2), of which 18.1 square miles (46.9 km2) is land and 0.1 square mile (0.26 km2) (0.55%) is water.
Enroll in the Best Physical Therapist Degree Program near Fountain Hills AZ
Selecting the best physical therapy program is an important initial decision you need to make to launch a rewarding career in the health care profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you enroll in should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. But there are other relevant questions that you should ask pertaining to your school of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapy college, bear in mind that numerous variables will lead you toward your final decision. You might want to visit each of the campuses to view their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me accomplish my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the best choice. And with the proper training and education, you can accomplish your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Fountain Hills AZ.
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