How to Find the Right Physical Therapy Degree Program near Prescott Valley 86312
Getting a physical therapist degree near Prescott Valley AZ is a critical first step to launching a fulfilling career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated due to injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the necessary education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate those you are thinking about to ensure they will provide a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is enroll in a college just because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be evaluated along with 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’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in a variety of settings, such as Prescott Valley AZ hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously stated, 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 program of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Prescott Valley AZ medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degree Options
There are three physical therapist degree options offered for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief explanations of degrees that are offered in the Prescott Valley AZ area:
- Associate Degrees train students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are usually provided by community colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a portion of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy training to ready candidates to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally require 4 years to finish and often include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated 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 complete, making the overall investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an intregal element along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in a number of 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 licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Schools Online
While not as prevalent as the on-campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy degrees 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 requires that the student live near the college campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online part of the course of study can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Prescott Valley AZ residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition may be somewhat less than comparable on-campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
By now you most likely have come to decision concerning a few of your initial questions, such as the kind of physical therapy degree you want to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are numerous PT colleges within the Prescott Valley AZ area and across Arizona, you’ll have to explore additional qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of school options. Furthermore, you need to make sure that you pick the school that is best for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy schools you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions before making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Find out if the programs you are looking at have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As earlier stated, if you are pursuing a doctoral degree the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you enroll in an online school, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist school and program you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, 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 aid.
What is the School’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Get in touch with a few Prescott Valley AZ physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your program 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 colleges.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two important statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapist programs you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may mean that students left because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Prescott Valley AZ area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even excellent. It also verifies that the college has a large network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the school you enroll in furnishes both exceptional training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapy schools you are interested in have associations with Prescott Valley AZ hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to get hands on experience 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 Prescott Valley medical community and assist with job placement after licensing.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they choose will need to be within travelling distance of their Prescott Valley AZ residence. Students who have decided 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. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Help Provided? Most DPT schools provide some type of financial support to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial assistance office and find out what type of help is available. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial assistance may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapy program you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Prescott Valley AZ area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Prescott Valley Arizona?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Prescott Valley AZ area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Prescott Valley, Arizona
Prescott Valley is a town with a current population (October 2016) of about 45,500 residents. It is located in Yavapai County, Arizona, United States, about 8 miles east of Prescott, which it has surpassed in growth. Prescott Valley was the seventh fastest-growing place among all cities and towns in Arizona between 1990 and 2000.
Prescott Valley (locally, PV) is located in central Arizona approximately 85 miles (137 km) north of Phoenix at 5,100 feet (1,600 m). elevation. PV has good access to Arizona State Route 89, SR-89A and SR-69, connecting to Interstates 17 and 40. Air service is available at Ernest A. Love Field, about 8 miles (13 km) northwest.
One of PV’s landmarks, Glassford Hill (elevation 6,177 feet (1,883 m)) was once an active volcano between 10 and 14 million years ago. Colonel William A. Glassford traveled the area in the 1880s and helped build a system of 27 heliograph stations to monitor the movements of Apache Indians, U.S. military troops and civilians. Glassford Hill was a part of that early communications system.
Pick the Ideal Physical Therapist Training Program near Prescott Valley AZ
Choosing the right physical therapist school is a necessary initial decision you must make to launch a gratifying career in the medical profession. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you pick should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. But there are additional important questions that you need to ask concerning your school of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapist school, keep in mind that a number of variables will lead you to your ultimate decision. You may decide to go to each of the campuses to view their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me accomplish my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the best selection. And with the proper education and training, you can achieve your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Prescott Valley AZ.
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