How to Pick a Physical Therapist Program near Queen Creek 85242
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Queen Creek AZ is a critical first step to launching a rewarding career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled due to illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the proper training and education. A PT must also become licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate the ones you are thinking about to ensure they will furnish a superior education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is select a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be evaluated besides cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of settings, such as Queen Creek AZ private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also strive to stop any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Queen Creek AZ medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees
There are 3 physical therapist degrees offered for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief summaries of degrees that are available in the Queen Creek AZ area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are usually made available by junior or community colleges, and take about two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually a component of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist training to prepare candidates to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral preliminary step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically take four years to complete and often incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required in order to become a practicing licensed physical therapist. The degree program also must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to finish, making the overall investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an essential component along with the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in a number of 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 available in the USA. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Degrees Online
Although not as common as the on-campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy programs available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature 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 segment of the program may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Queen Creek AZ residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition can be significantly less than comparable on campus options, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
By now you probably have come to decision concerning a few of your preliminary queries, such as the kind of physical therapist degree you would like to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are so many PT schools within the Queen Creek AZ area and across Arizona, you’ll need to explore other qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of college choices. Furthermore, you need to make sure that you choose the program that is right for you. That’s why we have collected a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering. Ask each of the competing schools these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a national or a regional 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 select an online school, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Call a few Queen Creek AZ physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your college 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 filed against the colleges.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two relevant statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may mean that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Queen Creek AZ area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even excellent. It also affirms that the program has a large network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you enroll in furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapist programs you are interested in have associations with Queen Creek AZ hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can assist students and graduates establish professional connections in the Queen Creek health care community and assist with job placement after licensing.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy college they choose will have to be within travelling distance of their Queen Creek AZ home. Students who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble 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 choose 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 typically charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Help Provided? The majority of DPT colleges provide some form of financial aid to their prospective students. Ask if the schools you are considering have a financial aid department and find out what type of aid is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. Some physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial aid might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapist program you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Queen Creek AZ area, confirm that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Queen Creek Arizona?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Queen Creek AZ area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Queen Creek, Arizona
Queen Creek is located at 33°15′47″N 111°38′05″W / 33.26306°N 111.63472°W / 33.26306; -111.63472 (33.263101, −111.634685). The Town of Queen Creek is primarily within Maricopa County, but the Town Limits also extend into Pinal County on the eastern and southern borders. Even further to the east and south of QC Town Limits in Pinal County is the large (est. 87,000 population in 2015) unincorporated community of San Tan Valley.
As of the census of 2010, there were 26,361 people, 8,557 households, residing in the town. The population density was 167.3 people per square mile (64.6/km²). There were 8,557 housing units at an average density of 49.6 per square mile (19.2/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 82.14% White, 0.35% Black or African American, 6.53% Native American, 0.32% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 14.30% from other races, and 2.29% from two or more races. 17.3% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 1,218 households out of which 50.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 75.9% were married couples living together, 7.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 11.8% were non-families. 8.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 2.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.54 and the average family size was 3.77.
Pick the Right Physical Therapist Training Program near Queen Creek AZ
Choosing the ideal physical therapist program is a necessary first decision you need to make to begin a rewarding career in the medical profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you select should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. But there are other critical questions that you should ask pertaining to your school of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapist program, bear in mind that numerous variables will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You might want to go to each of the colleges to view their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me accomplish my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the ideal selection. And with the proper education and training, you can achieve your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Queen Creek AZ.
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