How to Select a Physical Therapist Degree Program near De Queen 71832
Getting a physical therapy degree near De Queen AR is an important first step to beginning a rewarding career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated due to illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the necessary education and training. A PT must also become licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate the ones you are considering to make certain they will supply a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is select a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be evaluated in addition to location and cost. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists practice in diverse locations, including De Queen AR private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they develop a program of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other De Queen AR medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Offered
There are three physical therapist degree options available for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short descriptions of degree levels that are offered in the De Queen AR area:
- Associate Degrees train students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are usually offered by community colleges, and take about two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually part of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy education to prepare students to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be qualified 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 a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated 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 3 years to finish, making the total commitment 7 years in most cases. Clinical training is an important element along with the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in some 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 offered in the United States. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Schools Online
Although not as common as the more traditional alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapist degrees available, 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 an available internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the curriculum can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s De Queen AR home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition may be significantly lower than comparable on-campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are minimized. 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.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning a few of your initial questions, including the kind of physical therapist degree you intend to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT colleges within the De Queen AR area and throughout Arkansas, you’ll need to explore additional qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of college choices. Also, you want to make certain that you pick the program that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions before making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Ask if the programs you are reviewing have received accreditation from a regional or a national 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 select an online college, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy school and program you select are accredited, not simply the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapist community. There are a number of ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, starting with requesting 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. Contact several De Queen AR physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your college selections. It may also be a good idea to check with the Arkansas Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of useful statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might indicate that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the De Queen AR area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or perhaps outstanding. It also affirms that the college has a large network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you choose furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working. 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 PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Offered? Find out if the physical therapy schools you are interested in have partnerships with De Queen AR clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist students and graduates develop professional relationships in the De Queen health care community and help with job placement once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are researching what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist college they pick will need to be within driving distance of their De Queen AR home. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually 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 Support Provided? The majority of DPT colleges provide some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have a financial assistance department and find out what kind of assistance is offered. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. Some physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial assistance might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapy program you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the De Queen AR area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near De Queen Arkansas?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the De Queen AR area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
De Queen, Arkansas
De Queen (/diː kwiːn/ DEE-kween) is a city and the county seat of Sevier County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 6,629 at the 2010 census. The placename is the anglicization of the family name of the Dutch merchant and railway financier, Jan de Goeijen (1861–1944). De Goeijen was reportedly rather unhappy with the deformation of his name.
De Queen hosts a campus of the Cossatot Community College of the University of Arkansas. The college also provides non-credit coursework in adult education: GED classes, ESL training, test preparation, and computer literacy.
As of the census of 2010, there were 6,629 people in De Queen. The median age was 29. The ethnic and racial composition of the population was 36.7% non-Hispanic white, 5.6% non-Hispanic black, 2.3% Native American, 0.7% Asian, 35.1% reporting some other race and 4.2% reporting two or more races. 53.5% of the population was Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Choose the Best Physical Therapy Training Program near De Queen AR
Deciding on the right physical therapy college is an important initial decision you must make to launch a fulfilling career in the medical field. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you pick should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. But there are other important questions that you need to ask regarding your college of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapist college, keep in mind that many factors will lead you to your ultimate decision. You may decide to go to different colleges to view their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school 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 selection. And with the proper education and training, you can fulfill your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in De Queen AR.
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