How to Choose a Physical Therapist College near Superior 85273
Receiving a physical therapist degree near Superior AZ is an important first step to starting a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated as a result of illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the necessary training and education. A PT must also be licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate the ones you are looking at to make sure they will supply a superior education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is choose a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be evaluated besides cost and location. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, 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, including Superior AZ hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they develop a program of treatment to address the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Superior AZ medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also manage 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 considering entering the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees
There are 3 physical therapist degree options available for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the only degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short summaries of degree levels that are offered in the Superior AZ area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are typically offered by community or junior colleges, and require 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a component of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy education to ready candidates to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally take four years to complete and usually include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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). 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. Practical or clinical training is an important element in addition to the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment 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 replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer available in the USA. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Programs
Although not as prevalent as the on-campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online part of the program can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Superior AZ home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition may be somewhat lower than comparable on campus options, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
At this point you most likely have come to decision regarding several of your preliminary queries, such as the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are numerous PT colleges within the Superior AZ area and throughout Arizona, you’ll need to look into other qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of college options. Furthermore, you want to make certain that you select the program that is best for you. That’s why we have collected a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions before making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are looking at have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As previously stated, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you select an online school, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist program and school you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Also, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even 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 select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are several ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, beginning with requesting 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. Call a few Superior AZ physical therapist centers or other medical care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your program options. It may also be prudent to check with 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 couple of important statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapy schools you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may mean that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Superior AZ area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps excellent. It also confirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to help students obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you select provides both exceptional training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapy schools you are reviewing have associations with Superior AZ hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific way to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Superior healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they select will need to be within driving distance of their Superior AZ residence. Individuals 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 importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps 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 generally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Support Offered? The majority of DPT schools provide some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Find out if the colleges you are considering have a financial aid office and find out what type of assistance is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. Some physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapist program you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Superior 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 need to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Superior Arizona?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Superior AZ area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Superior (Western Apache: Yooʼ Łigai) is a town in Pinal County, Arizona, United States. According to the 2010 census, the population of the town is 2,837. Superior was founded as a mining town for the Silver Queen and the later Magma mines.
Such films as U Turn by Oliver Stone, Eight Legged Freaks, How the West Was Won, Blind Justice, The Prophecy, Skinwalkers, The Gauntlet with Clint Eastwood, and Young Billy Young are set in Superior. In 2005, a sci-fi film named The Salena Incident, also called Alien Invasion Arizona, was filmed in Superior.
During the 1870s, at the height of the American Indian Wars; a company of Apache horsemen were ambushed by US cavalry. After losing 50 men; the Apache retreated up the mountain later named Apache Leap. Accepting defeat; the remaining 75 Apache leapt to their death rather than being captured by the US army. http://www.nativehistorymagazine.com/2013/02/the-legend-of-apache-tears.html
Choose the Right Physical Therapist School near Superior AZ
Choosing the best physical therapist college is an important initial decision you must make to launch a fulfilling career in the healthcare profession. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you enroll in should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. However there are other critical questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapist college, keep in mind that numerous variables will lead you to your ultimate decision. You may decide to go to each of the schools to see their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me achieve my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Superior AZ.
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