How to Pick a Physical Therapy School near Dardanelle 72834
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near Dardanelle AR is an essential first step to starting a rewarding career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated due to injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the proper training and education. A PT must also be licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to investigate the ones you are thinking about to make sure they will provide a superior 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 home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be considered besides cost and location. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists practice in varying settings, including Dardanelle AR hospitals, health clinics, 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 previously touched on, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they create a course of treatment to address the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent 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.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Dardanelle AR health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Available
There are three physical therapist degrees offered for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short summaries of degrees that are available in the Dardanelle AR area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are usually made available by community colleges, and take about two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a portion of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy education to prep candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to complete and often include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated in order 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 complete, making the overall investment of time 7 years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an important component along with the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in some states for licensing also.
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 USA. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Degrees Online
While not as prevalent as the more traditional options, there are many accredited online physical therapist 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 close to the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the program can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Dardanelle AR residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition might be significantly less than similar on-campus options, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
At this point you probably have made a decision regarding a few of your preliminary queries, 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 invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT colleges within the Dardanelle AR area and across Arkansas, you’ll need to look into other qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of college choices. Also, you want to be sure that you choose the program that is right for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapy schools you are considering. Ask all of the competing schools these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are looking at have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. 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 select an online school, it may 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. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapy community. There are multiple ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Get in touch with some Dardanelle AR physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your program selections. It might also be prudent to contact the Arkansas Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two useful statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might mean that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Dardanelle AR area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care field is good or perhaps exceptional. It also affirms that the program has a broad network of contacts to help students gain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you choose provides both excellent training and a course of study that supports the licensing criteria for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. 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 Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing have relationships with Dardanelle AR hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent means to obtain hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Dardanelle health care community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are researching what the typical 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 talk with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist college they choose will need to be within commuting distance of their Dardanelle AR home. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area 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 may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? The majority of DPT colleges provide some type of financial support to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are considering have a financial aid office and find out what type of help is available. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. A number of physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapist college you finally pick can offer 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 Dardanelle AR area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative 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 might miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Dardanelle Arkansas?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Dardanelle AR area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Dardanelle is a city in Yell County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 4,745 at the 2010 census. Along with Danville, it serves as a county seat for Yell County. It is located near Lake Dardanelle.
Dardanelle is one of the oldest cities in the state of Arkansas. Officially incorporated in 1855, Dardanelle celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2005. However, the area had been settled for years before that, first being established as a river town in the mid-18th century. It is Yell County's dual county seat, sharing that title with Danville.
The Treaty of Council Oaks was signed on June 24, 1823 on what is now Front Street beneath two huge oak trees (102 feet high and 400–500 years old). Under orders of President James Monroe, U.S. Army Colonel David Brearly and Arkansas territorial secretary Robert Crittendon met with Chief Black Fox and several Cherokee leaders to determine boundaries. As a result of the treaty, the Cherokees gave up all of their land in Arkansas south of the Arkansas River. One of the trees was destroyed in the early 1990s in a flood, but the other is still standing. The site is now a city park.
Pick the Right Physical Therapy Degree Program near Dardanelle AR
Choosing the right physical therapy school is an important first decision you have to make to start a gratifying career in the healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you choose should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are additional important questions that you need to ask concerning your college of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapy school, bear in mind that many factors will guide you to your final decision. You may decide to go to each of the colleges to see their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the best selection. And with the proper training and education, you can accomplish your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Dardanelle AR.
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