How to Enroll In a Physical Therapy Degree Program near Augusta 72006
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Augusta AR is an important first step to starting a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled as a result of injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the necessary education and training. A PT must also become licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate the ones you are thinking about to ensure they will furnish a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is enroll in a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be evaluated along with cost and location. But before we talk about 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 practice in varying locations, including Augusta AR private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they create a program of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also strive to stop any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Augusta AR medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees
There are three physical therapy degree options available for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the single degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief explanations of degree levels that are offered in the Augusta AR area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are most often provided by community colleges, and require 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a portion of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy education to prep candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically take 4 years to complete and commonly incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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 three years to complete, making the total investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal component in addition to the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in several 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 attainable in the USA. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Programs Online
Although not as prevalent as the more traditional options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, more so 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 close to the school 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 Augusta AR residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition might be significantly less than similar on campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
By now you most likely have made a decision regarding several of your preliminary queries, including the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the Augusta AR area and across Arkansas, you’ll have to look into additional qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of school choices. Furthermore, you want to make sure that you select the college that is best for you. That’s why we have collected a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapy schools you are considering. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions before making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Find out if the schools you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As earlier 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 choose an online school, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy school and program you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist community. There are a number of ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Call a few Augusta AR physical therapist clinics or other medical care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your school selections. It may also be prudent to check with the Arkansas Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of useful statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapy programs you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may indicate that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Augusta AR area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even exceptional. It also confirms that the college has a broad network of contacts to assist students get internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you choose furnishes both excellent training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing criteria for Arkansas or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with 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 number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapist programs you are reviewing have associations with Augusta AR hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner 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 students and graduates form professional connections in the Augusta health care community and assist with job placement once licensed.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are researching what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist school they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Augusta AR residence. Those who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Most DPT schools supply some form of financial support to their potential students. Ask if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance office and see what type of help is obtainable. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapist school you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Augusta AR area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Augusta Arkansas?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Augusta AR area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Augusta is a city in Woodruff County, Arkansas, United States, located on the east bank of the White River. The population was 2,693 at the 2000 census. The city is the county seat of Woodruff County.
Augusta is located at 35°17′11″N 91°21′39″W / 35.28639°N 91.36083°W / 35.28639; -91.36083 (35.286501, -91.360935). Augusta is located approximately 75 miles (121 km) northeast of Little Rock and 81 miles (130 km) west of Memphis, Tennessee.[Note 1] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.0 square miles (5.2 km2), all land.
Augusta is located in the Arkansas Delta, one of the six primary geographic regions of Arkansas. The Arkansas Delta is a subregion of the Mississippi Alluvial Plain, which is a flat area consisting of rich, fertile sediment deposits from the Mississippi River between Louisiana and Illinois. Prior to settlement, Woodruff County was densely forested, with bayous, sloughs, and swamps crossing the land. Seeking to take advantage of the area's fertile soils, settlers cleared the land to better suit row crops.
Enroll in the Ideal Physical Therapy College near Augusta AR
Deciding on the best physical therapist school is a necessary initial decision you need to make to begin a fulfilling career in the medical field. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you select should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. But there are other critical questions that you need to ask concerning your school of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapist college, keep in mind that numerous factors will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You might want to go to different campuses to view their facilities and talk with 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 field so you can make the ideal selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can achieve your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Augusta AR.
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