How to Pick a Physical Therapist College near Clinton 72031
Earning a physical therapy degree near Clinton AR is an essential first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated due to illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the necessary education and training. A PT must also be licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to research the ones you are thinking about to make certain they will provide a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is select a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be evaluated in addition to cost and location. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists work in a variety of settings, including Clinton AR private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they create a program of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Clinton AR health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degree Options
There are three physical therapist degree options offered for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is available to become 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. Following are brief descriptions of degrees that are offered in the Clinton AR area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are most often made available by community or junior colleges, and take about two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a portion of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist education to prep candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically take 4 years to finish and usually incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required if you want 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 finish, making the total investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an important element along with the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in several states for licensing as well.
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 current licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Online Degrees
Although not as common as the more traditional options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the course of study may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Clinton AR residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition may be significantly lower than comparable on-campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
By now you most likely have made a decision concerning some of your initial questions, including the type of physical therapist degree you would like to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are so many PT colleges within the Clinton AR area and throughout Arkansas, you’ll have to look into additional qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of school choices. Furthermore, you need to be sure that you pick the program that is right for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapist programs you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing schools these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Find out if the colleges 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 select an online school, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can research a PT program’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Get in touch with several Clinton AR physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your school options. It might also be a good idea to contact the Arkansas Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapist programs you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may mean that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, 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 Clinton AR area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps excellent. It also affirms that the college has a wide network of contacts to assist students get internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you select furnishes both superior training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is needed 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 PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapy schools you are interested in have partnerships with Clinton AR hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent means to receive practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist graduates and students form professional connections in the Clinton healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are researching what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Clinton AR residence. Those who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to keep 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 might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Aid Offered? The majority of DPT colleges supply some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial assistance department and see what type of assistance is offered. They at least should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. Some physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial assistance might 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 particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Clinton AR area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Clinton Arkansas?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Clinton AR area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Clinton is the county seat of Van Buren County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 2,602 at the 2010 census, making it the most populous city in the county (reclaiming the distinction from the resort community of Fairfield Bay). The city was named for DeWitt Clinton, the New York governor who built the Erie Canal; he had also been a U.S. Senator from New York.
The City of Clinton is situated on the shore of the Archey Fork, a tributary of the Upper Little Red River which flows into Greers Ferry Lake. This body of water is known for its rich and diverse fish habitat and recreational uses. A channelization project in 1982 following a major flood event has recently been re-engineered by The Nature Conservancy in cooperation with city officials and corporate sponsors. The multi-phase restoration project has witnessed the installation of a cantilevered stream bed, bank stabilization, and habitat regeneration. The restoration is now part of the city's historic downtown park and trail system.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,283 people, 1,007 households, and 626 families residing in the city. The population density was 200.3 people per square mile (77.3/km²). There were 1,123 housing units at an average density of 98.5 per square mile (38.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 95.71% White, 0.04% Black or African American, 0.74% Native American, 0.13% Asian, 1.31% from other races, and 2.06% from two or more races. 2.67% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Choose the Right Physical Therapy Training Program near Clinton AR
Selecting the best physical therapy program is an important initial decision you must make to start a rewarding career in the healthcare profession. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you pick should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. However there are additional relevant questions that you need to ask regarding your school of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapy college, keep in mind that many variables will lead you to your final decision. You may decide to visit different schools to view their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me accomplish my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the best choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can achieve your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Clinton AR.
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