How to Pick a Physical Therapist Program near Safford 85546
Earning a physical therapist degree near Safford AZ is an important 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 function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the proper education and training. A PT must also be licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate those you are considering to make certain they will supply a superior education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is select a college just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be considered besides cost and location. But before we discuss 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?
Physical therapists work in varying settings, including Safford AZ private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help people that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also strive to prevent any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Safford AZ medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees
There are three physical therapy degree options offered for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is available 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 advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief descriptions of degree levels that are offered in the Safford AZ area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are most often provided by junior or community colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually part of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy education to prepare candidates to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they normally take four years to complete and often include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated in order to become a licensed practicing 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 complete, making the total investment of time 7 years in most cases. Clinical training is an intregal component in addition to the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in several states for licensing as well.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer offered in the USA. Some licensed physical therapists having 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 Therapist Programs Online
Although not as prevalent as the more traditional alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, even more 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 requires that the student live near the college 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 Safford AZ home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition may be somewhat lower than similar 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 advantages can make the online option the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
By now you undoubtedly have come to decision concerning a few of your initial queries, like the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are so many PT colleges within the Safford AZ area and throughout Arizona, you’ll need to research other qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of college choices. Furthermore, you need to make certain that you choose the school that is best for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapist programs you are thinking about. Ask all of the potential schools these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Find out if the programs you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As previously 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 select an online school, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist program and school 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 receive an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for getting 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 exceptional reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT college’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Call a few Safford AZ physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your school options. It may also be prudent to contact the Arizona Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two useful statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapist colleges you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may indicate that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Safford AZ area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even outstanding. It also verifies that the school has a wide network of contacts to assist students get internships or employment after graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you enroll in furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internships Provided? Ask if the physical therapist schools you are interested in have partnerships with Safford AZ clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent means to get practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may help graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Safford healthcare community and assist with job placement after licensing.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are looking at what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist college they select will have to be within driving distance of their Safford AZ residence. Those who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble 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 college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Aid Offered? The majority of DPT colleges provide some type of financial support to their prospective students. Inquire if the schools you are considering have a financial assistance office and find out what kind of help is obtainable. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. A number of physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial assistance might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapist school you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Safford AZ area, check that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Safford Arizona?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Safford AZ area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Safford (Western Apache: Ichʼįʼ Nahiłtį́į́) is a city in Graham County, Arizona, United States. According to the 2010 Census, the population of the city is 9,566. The city is the county seat of Graham County.
Safford is located at 32°49′24″N 109°42′53″W / 32.82333°N 109.71472°W / 32.82333; -109.71472 (32.823266, -109.714613). The Pinaleno Mountains sit prominently to the southwest of town. The Pinalenos have the greatest vertical relief of any mountain range in Arizona.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 8.6 square miles (22 km2), of which, 8.6 square miles (22 km2) of it is land and 0.03 square miles (0.078 km2) of it (0.18%) is water.
Pick the Right Physical Therapist School near Safford AZ
Choosing the best physical therapist college is a necessary initial decision you must make to start a gratifying career in the health care field. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you select should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are additional critical questions that you need to ask pertaining to your school of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapy college, bear in mind that numerous factors will guide you to your final decision. You may decide to visit different campuses to see 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 licensed practicing 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 best selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can accomplish your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Safford AZ.
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