How to Pick a Physical Therapy College near Luke Afb 85309
Receiving a physical therapist degree near Luke Afb AZ is a critical first step to beginning a rewarding career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been disabled 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 acquire the appropriate training and education. A PT must also be licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research those you are thinking about to ensure they will provide a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is enroll in a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant 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 cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists work in a variety of locations, including Luke Afb AZ hospitals, health clinics, 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 earlier mentioned, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they design a course of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Luke Afb AZ medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degree Options
There are three physical therapist degrees available for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief descriptions of degrees that are available in the Luke Afb AZ area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are most often provided by community or junior colleges, and require two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally part of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist education to prepare students to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they typically take four years to complete and usually 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). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to complete, making the overall commitment 7 years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential element in addition to the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in some states for licensing also.
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 attainable in the United States. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Online Programs
Although not as common as the on-campus alternatives, there are a number of 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 incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online portion of the course of study can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Luke Afb AZ home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition may be somewhat lower than comparable on-campus options, and costs for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
At this point you probably have come to decision regarding a few of your initial questions, like the kind of physical therapist degree you would like to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are so many PT colleges within the Luke Afb AZ area and across Arizona, you’ll have to research other qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of school choices. Moreover, you need to be sure that you select the school that is right for you. That’s why we have collected a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. Ask all of the potential schools these questions prior to making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Ask if the schools you are looking at have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. 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 school, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are several ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Get in touch with a few Luke Afb AZ physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any advice about your college options. It may also be prudent to contact the Arizona Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two relevant statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may suggest that students left due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Luke Afb AZ area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or perhaps excellent. It also confirms that the program has a broad network of contacts to assist students get internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you enroll in furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapist schools you are reviewing have partnerships with Luke Afb AZ hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to obtain hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist graduates and students establish professional connections in the Luke Afb medical community and assist with job placement once licensed.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small 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 prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist college they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Luke Afb AZ residence. Students who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Support Offered? The majority of DPT colleges supply some form of financial support to their prospective students. Find out if the colleges you are examining have a financial aid office and find out what kind of help is available. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. Some physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial assistance may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapy program you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Luke Afb AZ area, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Luke Afb Arizona?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Luke Afb AZ area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Luke Air Force Base
Luke Air Force Base (IATA: LUF, ICAO: KLUF, FAA LID: LUF) is a United States Air Force base located 7 miles (6.1 nmi; 11 km) west of the central business district of Glendale, in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States. It is about 15 miles (13 nmi; 24 km) west of Phoenix, Arizona.
Luke AFB is a major training base of the Air Education and Training Command (AETC), training pilots in the F-16 Fighting Falcon. On 31 March 2011 it was announced that the F-35 Lightning II would replace the F-16 as the primary training aircraft at Luke, although the date of deployment of the new aircraft to Luke and reorganization plans were not announced. On 16 July 2013, the Air Force announced that Luke AFB will house a total of 144 F-35A Lightning IIs.
Luke Air Force Base is an active-duty F-16 Fighting Falcon training base with 170 F-16s assigned. The host command at Luke is the 56th Fighter Wing (56 FW), under Air Education and Training Command's 19th Air Force.
Enroll in the Right Physical Therapist College near Luke Afb AZ
Choosing the best physical therapist program is an important first decision you need to make to begin a rewarding career in the medical field. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you decide on 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 therapy college, keep in mind that a number of factors will guide you toward your final decision. You might decide to visit different schools to view their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me accomplish my goal of becoming a licensed practicing 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 proper training and education, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Luke Afb AZ.
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