How to Choose a Physical Therapist Degree Program near Parker 85344
Earning a physical therapist degree near Parker AZ is an important first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled as a result of illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the appropriate education and training. A PT must also become licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to investigate those you are looking at to make sure they will furnish a quality education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is choose a college just because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be considered along with 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 what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in a variety of settings, such as Parker AZ private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they create a course of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also strive to prevent any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Parker AZ health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy field, it is rather 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 Degrees Offered
There are three physical therapist degree options available for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short descriptions of degree levels that are available in the Parker AZ area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are usually offered by junior or community colleges, and require 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally part of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to prep candidates to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally require four years to finish and often include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required if you want to become a practicing licensed 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 finish, making the overall commitment 7 years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an essential element along with the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not solely 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 eliminated and is no longer available in the United States. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even 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 options, there are many accredited online physical therapy degrees available, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the course of study may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Parker AZ residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition may be somewhat less than comparable on campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
By now you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning several of your preliminary questions, such as the type of physical therapist degree you intend to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are so many PT schools within the Parker AZ area and across Arizona, you’ll have to look into additional qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of school options. Moreover, you need to be sure that you choose the school that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapy programs you are considering. Ask each of the competing schools these questions prior to making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Ask if the schools you are considering have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As earlier mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctoral degree the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you choose an online program, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy program and school you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapy community. There are several ways you can look into a PT school’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Get in touch with a few Parker AZ physical therapist centers or other medical care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your college options. It might also be prudent to contact the Arizona Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two significant statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapist programs you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may suggest that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Parker AZ area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or perhaps excellent. It also affirms that the college has a wide network of contacts to assist students get internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you select provides both excellent 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 needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the physical therapy schools you are interested in have partnerships with Parker AZ hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to get practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may assist graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Parker healthcare community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy college they decide on will need to be within driving distance of their Parker AZ residence. Those who have chosen to attend online classes 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 consider is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically 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 Aid Provided? Most DPT colleges supply some form of financial aid to their potential students. Inquire if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid office and find out what kind of assistance is available. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. Some physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial aid may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapy college you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Parker AZ area, confirm that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option 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 Parker Arizona?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Parker AZ area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Parker (Mojave 'Amat Kuhwely, formerly 'Ahwe Nyava) is the county seat of La Paz County, Arizona, United States, on the Colorado River in Parker Valley. The population was 3,083 at the 2010 census.
Founded in 1908, the town was named after Ely Parker, the first Native American commissioner for the U.S. government. The original town site of Parker was surveyed and laid out in 1909 by a railroad location engineer by the name of Earl. H. Parker for the Arizona & California Railway. The town officially incorporated in 1948 and became the county seat for the newly created La Paz county on January 1, 1983.
The town's name and origin began when a post office called Parker was established January 6, 1871, at Parker's Landing and the site of the Parker Indian Agency, named for Ely Parker, on the Colorado River Indian Reservation, 4 miles down river from the site of the railroad bridge of the modern town, to serve the Indian agency.:118 What became Parkers Landing was established on the river as the place to land and pick up cargo and personnel for the Indian Agency and the U. S. Army detachment that was stationed there at Camp Colorado from 1864 to 1869 during the first years of the Reservation. Camp Colorado was abandoned after wind blown sparks from the departing steamboat Cocopah rapidly burned down the brush huts of the officers of the garrison, and endangered its barracks and storehouses. :66, n.61
Pick the Best Physical Therapy Degree Program near Parker AZ
Picking the right physical therapist school is an important initial decision you have to make to start a fulfilling career in the health care field. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you choose should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are additional important questions that you should ask regarding your school of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapist program, bear in mind that a number of variables will guide you to your final decision. You might decide to go to each of the campuses to view their facilities and speak with active 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 supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the ideal selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Parker AZ.
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