How to Choose a Physical Therapist Training Program near Crossett 71635
Receiving a physical therapist degree near Crossett AR is a critical first step to launching a rewarding career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled due to injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the necessary training and education. A PT must also become licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research those you are considering to make certain they will provide a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is enroll in a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be evaluated along with cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists work in varying locations, including Crossett AR hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes 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 touched on, physical therapists help patients that are struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to address the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Crossett AR medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone considering going into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degree Options
There are 3 physical therapy degree options offered for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the only degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief descriptions of degrees that are offered in the Crossett AR area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are typically offered by community or junior colleges, and take about two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually a component of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to prepare candidates to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to complete and commonly incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated in order to become a licensed practicing 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 commitment seven years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential element in addition to the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not just 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 United States. A number of practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Colleges Online
While not as common as the more traditional options, there are some accredited online physical therapist programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the school campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online segment of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Crossett AR home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition might be significantly less than comparable on-campus options, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
By now you most likely have made a decision concerning several of your preliminary queries, such as the kind of physical therapy degree you want to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are so many PT schools within the Crossett AR area and throughout Arkansas, you’ll need to explore other qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of college choices. Also, you need to be sure that you select the college that is best for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions prior to making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are considering have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As previously mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you choose an online school, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy program and school you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are several ways you can look into a PT college’s reputation, starting with asking for 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. Get in touch with several Crossett AR physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your program options. It might also be prudent to contact the Arkansas Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of significant statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might mean that students left because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Crossett AR area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even exceptional. It also confirms that the school has a wide network of contacts to assist students get internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you enroll in provides both excellent training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing criteria 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the physical therapy schools you are reviewing have relationships with Crossett AR hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to get practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may help graduates and students develop professional connections in the Crossett medical community and assist with job placement once licensed.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Smaller classes permit 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 classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapy school they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Crossett AR home. Students who have decided 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 importance. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often 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 Help Offered? The majority of DPT schools offer some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Find out if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid office and see what type of aid is obtainable. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. Some physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial aid might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapist program you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Crossett AR area, check 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 carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Crossett Arkansas?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Crossett AR area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Crossett is the largest city in Ashley County, Arkansas, United States, with a population of 5,507, according to 2010 Census Bureau estimates. Combined with North Crossett and West Crossett, the population is 10,752. Crossett was incorporated in 1903.
As of the census of 2000, there were 6,097 people, 2,418 households, and 1,745 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,045.2 people per square mile (403.8/km²). There were 2,663 housing units at an average density of 456.5 per square mile (176.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 59.50% White, 39.02% Black or African American, 0.07% Native American, 0.46% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.30% from other races, and 0.64% from two or more races. 1.10% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 2,418 households out of which 31.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.4% were married couples living together, 16.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.8% were non-families. 25.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 2.96.
Enroll in the Best Physical Therapy Degree Program near Crossett AR
Choosing the best physical therapist program is a necessary first decision you need to make to launch 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 excellent reputations and accreditation. However there are other relevant questions that you need to ask concerning your college 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 visit each of the campuses to see 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 additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the best choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Crossett AR.
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