How to Find the Right Physical Therapy Degree Program near Paradise Valley 85253
Receiving a physical therapist degree near Paradise Valley AZ is a critical first step to starting a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated due to illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the appropriate education and training. A PT must also become licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate the ones you are looking at to make certain they will deliver a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is enroll in a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be considered besides cost and location. But before we cover 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?
Physical therapists work in a variety of settings, including Paradise Valley AZ private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they develop a program of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to prevent any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Paradise Valley AZ medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degree Options
There are 3 physical therapist degrees available for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief summaries of degree levels that are offered in the Paradise Valley AZ area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are typically offered 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 education to ready candidates to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to complete and commonly include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement if you want 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 overall commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal component along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in some states for licensing also.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer attainable 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 current licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Schools Online
While not as common as the more traditional alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, 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. Fortunately, the online part of the program can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Paradise Valley AZ home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition may be significantly lower than comparable on campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
At this point you probably have made a decision regarding several of your preliminary questions, including the type of physical therapist degree you intend to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are numerous PT colleges within the Paradise Valley AZ area and throughout Arizona, you’ll need to look into additional qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of school options. Furthermore, you want to be sure that you choose the school that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are considering. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are looking at have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As earlier 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 college, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy school and program you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Also, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy community. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Get in touch with a few Paradise Valley AZ physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any advice about your program selections. It might also be a good idea to check with the Arizona Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two useful statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may indicate that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Paradise Valley AZ area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care community is good or perhaps outstanding. It also verifies that the school has a large network of contacts to assist students get internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you select provides both superior training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the physical therapy colleges you are interested in have partnerships with Paradise Valley AZ hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to receive practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist graduates and students develop professional connections in the Paradise Valley medical community and help with job placement after licensing.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapy college they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Paradise Valley AZ residence. Individuals who have opted 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 concern. Something to bear 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 might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Support Offered? Most DPT colleges supply some type of financial support to their potential students. Inquire if the schools you are considering have a financial aid department and find out what type of aid is available. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. Some physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial assistance might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapist college you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Paradise Valley AZ area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Paradise Valley Arizona?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Paradise Valley AZ area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Paradise Valley, Arizona
Paradise Valley is a small, affluent town in Maricopa County, Arizona. The town is known for its luxury golf courses, shopping, and restaurant scene. According to the 2010 census, the population of the town was 12,820. Despite the town's relatively small area and population compared to other municipalities in the Phoenix metropolitan area, Paradise Valley is home to eight full-service resorts, making it one of Arizona's premier tourist destinations. It is also known for expensive real estate.
It should not be confused with Paradise Valley Village, an official municipal designation, in northeast Phoenix. For instance, Paradise Valley Community College, Paradise Valley High School, Paradise Valley Hospital, Paradise Valley Mall, and Paradise Valley Golf Course are all located several miles to the north of the town, in Phoenix. The town's name along with all the other various entities bearing the same name comes from the expansive area known as Paradise Valley, that spreads from north of the Phoenix Mountains to Cave Creek and Carefree on the north and the McDowell Mountains to the east.
The Paradise Valley Unified School District is one of the largest in the state, though like many other institutions with the name Paradise Valley, it refers to the Phoenix village, and not to the town.
Pick the Best Physical Therapy Degree Program near Paradise Valley AZ
Deciding on the best physical therapy college is an important initial decision you have to make to begin a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you decide on should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. However there are additional important questions that you need to ask regarding your college of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapist program, keep in mind that a number of variables will lead you to your ultimate decision. You may want to go to each of the schools to view their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me accomplish my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the proper education and training, you can fulfill your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Paradise Valley AZ.
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