How to Enroll In a Physical Therapist Degree Program near Mayer 86333
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Mayer AZ is an essential first step to beginning a rewarding career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been disabled due to illness or injury 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 become licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research the ones you are thinking about to make sure they will furnish a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is select a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be evaluated in addition to location and cost. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists work in diverse locations, including Mayer AZ hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help patients that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they design a course of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Mayer AZ health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees
There are three physical therapy degrees available for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one 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 progress to the doctoral level. Below are short summaries of degree levels that are offered in the Mayer AZ area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are usually offered by community colleges, and require 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a portion of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy training to ready students to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they typically require 4 years to finish and commonly include 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 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 total investment of time seven years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an important element along with the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in a number of 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 practicing 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 Therapy Online Colleges
Although not as common as the on campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapy programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined 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 may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Mayer AZ residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition might be somewhat lower than similar on campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
By now you probably have come to decision regarding a few of your preliminary queries, like the kind of physical therapist degree you want to attain, 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 Mayer AZ area and throughout Arizona, you’ll need to research other qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of college options. Moreover, you need to make sure that you choose the program that is best for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are looking at have earned 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 enroll in an online school, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy program and school you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are several ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, starting with requesting 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 also. Call several Mayer AZ physical therapist clinics or other medical care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your school options. It might also be a good idea to contact the Arizona Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two significant statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapy colleges you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may mean that students left due to dissatisfaction 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 Mayer AZ area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care field is good or even exceptional. It also confirms that the school has a large network of contacts to help students gain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you choose furnishes both superior training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing. 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. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Offered? Inquire if the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing have relationships with Mayer AZ hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to obtain practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist graduates and students establish professional connections in the Mayer healthcare community and help with job placement after licensing.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. 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 talk with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they choose will need to be within travelling distance of their Mayer AZ home. Individuals 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 concern. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically 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 provide some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have a financial aid office and find out what type of assistance is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. Some physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapist college you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Mayer AZ area, confirm that they are offered. 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 carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Mayer Arizona?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Mayer AZ area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Select the Ideal Physical Therapist Degree Program near Mayer AZ
Picking the ideal physical therapy college is a necessary initial decision you have to make to begin a rewarding career in the healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you select should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. But there are other important questions that you need to ask regarding your school of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapist program, bear in mind that numerous factors will lead you to your ultimate decision. You may want to go to different campuses to view their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me realize 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 field so you can make the ideal selection. And with the proper training and education, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Mayer AZ.
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