How to Pick a Physical Therapist Training Program near Marana 85653
Getting a physical therapist degree near Marana AZ is an essential first step to launching a rewarding career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated due to illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the necessary 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 college. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate the ones you are thinking about to ensure they will furnish a superior education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is choose a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be considered in addition to location and cost. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists work in diverse locations, including Marana AZ hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. 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 patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they design a program of treatment to address the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Marana 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 thinking about entering the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees
There are three physical therapy degree options offered for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short explanations of degrees that are offered in the Marana AZ area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are usually made available by junior or community colleges, and require two years for completion. 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 prep candidates to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take 4 years to finish and commonly incorporate 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 must also be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to finish, making the overall commitment 7 years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an important element along with the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in several states for licensing also.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer offered in the USA. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Programs Online
Although not as common as the more traditional alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy programs available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online part of the program can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Marana AZ home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition may be significantly less than similar on-campus options, and costs for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the best 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 regarding a few of your initial questions, including the kind of physical therapist degree you would like to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are so many PT schools within the Marana AZ area and across Arizona, you’ll have to look into other qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of college options. Also, you want to make sure that you enroll in the program that is ideal for you. That’s why we have put together a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. Ask all of the competing schools these questions prior to making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Find out if the programs you are reviewing have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. 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 program, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy program and school you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are several ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Contact some Marana AZ physical therapist centers or other medical care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your program selections. It may also be a good idea to check with the Arizona Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of useful statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapist schools you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may mean that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Marana AZ area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care field is good or perhaps outstanding. It also confirms that the program has a wide network of contacts to help students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you select furnishes both exceptional training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Offered? Ask if the physical therapist programs you are reviewing have relationships with Marana AZ clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to obtain hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help graduates and students form professional relationships in the Marana health care community and help with job placement once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are looking at what the typical 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 determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Marana AZ home. Students who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide 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 for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Support Offered? The majority of DPT schools offer some type of financial aid to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are considering have a financial assistance office and find out what type of aid is offered. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any grants you might qualify 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, ask what financial aid might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapist school you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Marana AZ area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out 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 might miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Marana Arizona?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Marana AZ area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Marana is a town in Pima County, Arizona, located northwest of Tucson, with a small portion in Pinal County. According to the 2010 census, the population of the town is 34,961. Marana was the fourth fastest-growing place among all cities and towns in Arizona of any size from 1990 to 2000.
According to historian David Leighton, the first member of the Anway family in the Tucson area was Charles B. Anway, who arrived as a result of contracting tuberculosis. In 1919, brother William and his two children Louis and Ila arrived in town but they decided to settle in an area northwest of Tucson called Postvale, Arizona. In 1920, William who had been widowed for many years married Orpha Ralston, who was a member for many years in the Postvale Co-operative Women's Club. This club was involved in getting the local post office renamed from Postvale to the area's first known name Marana and in time the town name became Marana.
The southern portion of Marana has grown considerably since the early 1990s with the addition of businesses and some housing, much of it due to annexation of existing unincorporated areas. In 1992, the Marana Town Council voted to annex an area of unincorporated Pima County that was located to the southeast of the town limits. The area selected was a narrow corridor of land that snaked its way south along Interstate 10, then to the east along Ina Road, and then south along Thornydale Road. These areas were mainly high density commercial businesses and shopping centers, including large retailers such as Super KMart (now closed), Costco Wholesale, Target, and Home Depot. The areas were selected by Marana to be annexed, by their own admission, for their sales tax revenue. The large residential areas behind these commercial areas were not annexed. As a result, the city of Tucson filed a lawsuit in the Superior Court of the State of Arizona in and for the County of Pima (City of Tucson v Town of Marana) claiming that Marana illegally annexed the unincorporated areas in violation of existing state laws. However, on April 4, 1994, Judge Lina Rodriguez ruled in favor of Marana, allowing the annexation to stand. Following this suit, the Arizona State annexation laws were changed, forbidding municipalities from annexing small strips of land without taking large surrounding parcels as well. A "strip annexation" is no longer allowed under Arizona law.
Select the Right Physical Therapist Degree Program near Marana AZ
Choosing the right physical therapy college is a necessary initial decision you must make to begin a gratifying career in the healthcare profession. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you choose should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. But there are additional relevant questions that you should ask concerning your college of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapy program, bear in mind that numerous variables will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You might want to go to each of the schools to view their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me reach my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the best selection. And with the proper training and education, you can achieve your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Marana AZ.
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