How to Find the Right Physical Therapist Degree Program near Scottsdale 85250
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near Scottsdale AZ is an essential first step to launching a rewarding career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated due to illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the appropriate training and education. 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 evaluate the ones you are looking at to make certain they will supply a quality education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is choose a school 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 cost and location. But before we cover what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists work in a variety of locations, including Scottsdale AZ private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes 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 mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they create a course of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Scottsdale AZ health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone considering going into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Offered
There are three physical therapy degrees offered for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is attainable to become 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. Following are brief descriptions of degrees that are available in the Scottsdale AZ area:
- Associate Degrees train students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are usually made available by junior or community colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a component of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to ready candidates to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they typically take 4 years to finish 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 must also be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to complete, making the total investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal component along with the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not only 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 United States. A number of practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Degrees Online
Although not as common as the more traditional options, there are some accredited online physical therapist programs available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online portion of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Scottsdale AZ home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition might be significantly lower than similar on-campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
At this point you probably have made a decision regarding some of your initial queries, like the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are so many PT colleges within the Scottsdale AZ area and throughout Arizona, you’ll need to research additional qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of college options. Furthermore, you need to make sure that you choose the school that is ideal for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapy schools you are considering. Ask all of the potential schools these questions before making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Find out if the schools you are looking at have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As previously 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 may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy program and school you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are several ways you can look into a PT school’s reputation, beginning 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. Contact a few Scottsdale AZ physical therapist centers or other medical care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your college selections. It might also be prudent to check with the Arizona Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapist colleges you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might indicate that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, 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 Scottsdale AZ area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care field is good or perhaps outstanding. It also affirms that the college has a wide network of contacts to help students get internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college 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 practicing. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing have associations with Scottsdale AZ clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to get practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Scottsdale health care community and help with job placement once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for 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 an opportunity to converse with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist school they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Scottsdale AZ residence. Those who have decided to attend classes online naturally 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 keep 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 need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Most DPT schools provide some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Ask if the colleges you are considering have a financial aid office and find out what type of assistance is offered. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. Some physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial assistance may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapy school you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Scottsdale AZ area, verify that they are offered. 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 have to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Scottsdale Arizona?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Scottsdale AZ area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Scottsdale (O'odham: Vaṣai S-vaṣonĭ; Yaqui: Eskatel) is a city in the eastern part of Maricopa County, Arizona, United States, part of the Greater Phoenix Area. Named Scottsdale in 1894 after founder Winfield Scott and incorporated in 1951 with a population of 2,000, the 2015 population of the city is estimated to be 236,839 according to the U.S. Census Bureau.The New York Times described downtown Scottsdale as "a desert version of Miami's South Beach" and as having "plenty of late night partying and a buzzing hotel scene." Its slogan is "The West's Most Western Town."
Scottsdale, 31 miles long and 11.4 miles wide at its widest point, shares boundaries with many other municipalities and entities. On the west, Scottsdale is bordered by Phoenix, Paradise Valley and unincorporated Maricopa County land. Carefree is located along the western boundary, as well as sharing Scottsdale's northern boundary with the Tonto National Forest. To the south Scottsdale is bordered by Tempe. The southern boundary is also occupied by the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, which extends along the eastern boundary, which also borders Fountain Hills, the McDowell Mountain Regional Park and more unincorporated Maricopa County land.
The area which would include what would become Scottsdale was originally inhabited by the Hohokam, from approximately 300 BC to 1450 AD. This ancient civilization farmed the area and developed a complex network of canals for irrigation which was unsurpassed in pre-Columbian North America. At its peak, the canals stretched over 250 miles, many of which built remains extant today, some having been renovated and put back into use in the 20th century. Under still-mysterious circumstances, the Hohokam disappeared around 1450 or 1500, the most likely theory having to do with a prolonged drought. The area's later occupants, the Pima and O'odham (also known as the Papago), are thought to be the direct descendants of the Hohokam people.
Select the Right Physical Therapist School near Scottsdale AZ
Deciding on the best physical therapist college is an important initial decision you need to make to begin a rewarding career in the health care field. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you enroll in should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. However there are additional relevant questions that you should ask regarding your school of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapist school, keep in mind that many factors will lead you toward your final decision. You may want to visit different campuses to see their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me achieve my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can accomplish your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Scottsdale AZ.
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