How to Enroll In a Physical Therapy Program near Cave City 72521
Receiving a physical therapist degree near Cave City AR is an important first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. 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 must get the proper training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research those you are considering to ensure they will provide a quality education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is select a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be considered 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 practice in diverse locations, such as Cave City AR private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help individuals that are struggling with a lack of mobility and often pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they design a program of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also strive to prevent any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Cave City AR medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone considering getting 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 Available
There are 3 physical therapist degrees available for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is attainable 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 advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief descriptions of degree levels that are available in the Cave City AR area:
- Associate Degrees educate 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 GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are usually offered by community colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a component of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy training to prepare students to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they typically require four years to complete and often include 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). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to complete, making the overall investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an intregal element along with the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not just for graduation but in some 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 attainable in the United States. Some practicing 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 Online Degrees
While not as common as the on-campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy programs available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the school campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online portion of the program can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Cave City AR residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition can be significantly less than similar on-campus alternatives, 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.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
By now you probably have made a decision concerning several of your preliminary queries, like the kind of physical therapist degree you intend to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are so many PT colleges within the Cave City AR area and throughout Arkansas, you’ll need to explore additional qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of school options. Also, you need to make sure that you select the school that is right for you. That’s why we have put together a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Find out if the programs you are considering have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. 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 enroll in an online program, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy program and school you choose are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist community. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Call a few Cave City AR physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your program selections. It might also be a good idea to check with the Arkansas Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of significant statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapy programs you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might indicate that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Cave City AR area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care field is good or even outstanding. It also verifies that the college has a wide network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you choose provides both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internships Offered? Find out if the physical therapist colleges you are interested in have partnerships with Cave City AR hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to receive 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 can assist students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Cave City health care community and help with job placement once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy college they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Cave City AR residence. Students who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing 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 be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Aid Provided? The majority of DPT colleges offer some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Inquire if the colleges you are examining have a financial aid 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 qualify for. A number of physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial aid may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapist school you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Cave City AR area, verify that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Cave City Arkansas?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Cave City AR area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Cave City, Arkansas
Cave City is a city in Independence and Sharp counties in the U.S. state of Arkansas. The population was 1,904 at the 2010 census. The city was named for a large cave underneath the Crystal River Tourist Camp, which is the oldest motor court in Arkansas. Cave City is known for its award-winning "world's sweetest" watermelons and holds an annual watermelon festival in July.
Cave City is located at 35°56′53″N 91°33′3″W / 35.94806°N 91.55083°W / 35.94806; -91.55083 (35.948087, -91.550952). The town is centered on, and partially located above, the Crystal River, an underground body of water located in the multi-room Crystal River Cave, for which the town is named. The beginning and ending of the water source has never been determined.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,904 people, 751 households, and 504 families residing in the city. The population density was 752.7 people per square mile (290.1/km²). There were 838 housing units at an average density of 326.1 per square mile (125.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 0.3% Black, 96.9% white or European, 0.1% Asian, and 1.5% from two or more races. 2.5% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Pick the Best Physical Therapist Degree Program near Cave City AR
Selecting the best physical therapy college is a necessary first decision you must make to begin a rewarding career in the medical profession. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you pick should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. But there are other critical questions that you should ask regarding your school of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapy college, keep in mind that a number of factors will lead you to your ultimate decision. You might decide to go to each of the colleges to view their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me achieve my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the best choice. And with the proper education and training, you can achieve your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Cave City AR.
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