How to Find the Right Physical Therapist Program near Alexander 72002
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Alexander AR is an important first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled due to injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the appropriate training and education. A PT must also be licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate the ones you are thinking about to make certain they will furnish a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is select a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be considered in addition to cost and location. But before we cover what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists practice in diverse locations, such as Alexander AR hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they design a course of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any advancement 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 affiliation with other Alexander AR health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone considering going into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Available
There are 3 physical therapy degree options offered for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single degree that is offered 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 short explanations of degrees that are available in the Alexander AR area:
- Associate Degrees train students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are typically offered by community or junior colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a component of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy training to prepare candidates to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically require 4 years to complete and commonly include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated 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 complete, making the total commitment 7 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 mandated, not only for graduation but in a number of states for licensing also.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has taken the place of the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer available in the USA. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Degrees Online
While not as prevalent as the on-campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy programs offered, even more 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 necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online segment of the curriculum may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Alexander AR residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition can be somewhat less than comparable on campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
At this point you probably have come to decision concerning a few of your initial queries, such as the type of physical therapist degree you want to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are numerous PT colleges within the Alexander AR area and throughout Arkansas, you’ll have to explore other qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of college choices. Furthermore, you want to make certain that you enroll in the school that is ideal for you. That’s why we have put together a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapy colleges you are thinking about. Ask all of the potential schools these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Ask if the programs you are looking at have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As earlier 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 earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist program and school you choose are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy community. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT school’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Contact a few Alexander AR physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your school selections. It might also be a good idea to contact the Arkansas 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 useful statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapy programs you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might suggest that students left because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Alexander AR area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also affirms that the school has a large network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you enroll in furnishes both excellent training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with 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 supplemental tests.
Are Internships Offered? Inquire if the physical therapist programs you are reviewing have partnerships with Alexander AR hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to receive hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Alexander medical community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind 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. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are looking at what the average 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 an opportunity to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Alexander AR home. Those who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Most DPT schools provide some type of financial support to their prospective students. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at have a financial assistance department and find out what kind of assistance is obtainable. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapy colleges 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 confirm that the physical therapist program you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Alexander AR area, verify that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option 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 may miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Alexander Arkansas?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Alexander AR area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Alexander is a city in Pulaski and Saline counties in the U.S. state of Arkansas. Located in Central Arkansas, the town was founded as a construction camp for the nearby railroad. Following its completion, the citizens decided to incorporate in 1887. Alexander is home to the Arkansas Juvenile Assessment and Treatment Center. The population was 2,901 at the 2010 census.
As of the 2000 census, there were 614 people, 276 households, and 171 families residing in the town. The population density was 526.8/km² (1,369.5/mi²). There were 305 housing units at an average density of 261.7/km² (680.3/mi²). The racial makeup of the town was 70.68% White, 26.71% Black or African American, 0.49% Native American, 0.98% Asian, 0.33% from other races, and 0.81% from two or more races. 2.28% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 276 households out of which 29.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.1% were married couples living together, 17.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.0% were non-families. 32.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.22 and the average family size was 2.79.
Select the Best Physical Therapy Degree Program near Alexander AR
Selecting the right physical therapist school is a necessary initial decision you have to make to begin a fulfilling career in the medical profession. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you select should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. However there are other important questions that you need to ask regarding your school of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapist college, bear in mind that numerous variables will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You may want to go to each of the campuses to view their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the best selection. And with the proper education and training, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Alexander AR.
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