How to Enroll In a Physical Therapy Program near Fairfield Bay 72088
Getting a physical therapy degree near Fairfield Bay AR is a critical first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people 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 must obtain the proper education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate the ones you are considering to make certain they will supply a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is enroll in a college just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the most affordable 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 address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists work in a variety of settings, such as Fairfield Bay AR hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also strive to stop any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Fairfield Bay AR medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone considering entering the physical therapy profession, it is quite 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 Offered
There are 3 physical therapist degree options available for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short explanations of degrees that are available in the Fairfield Bay AR area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are most often provided by junior or community colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually part of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy training to prepare candidates to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally take 4 years to finish and often incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated if you want to become a practicing licensed physical therapist. The degree program also must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to finish, making the overall investment of time seven years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal element in addition to the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in a number of 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 eliminated and is no longer available in the USA. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Degrees Online
Although not as common as the more traditional options, there are some accredited online physical therapy degrees available, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online portion of the course of study may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Fairfield Bay AR residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition can be significantly lower than similar on campus options, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning several of your initial questions, such as the type 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 Fairfield Bay AR area and throughout Arkansas, you’ll need to research other qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of college options. Furthermore, you need to make sure that you pick the school that is best for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are thinking about. Ask each of the potential schools these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Find out if the programs you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As previously 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 program, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy program and school you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Contact some Fairfield Bay AR physical therapist centers or other health care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your college options. It may also be a good idea to contact the Arkansas Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two significant statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may suggest that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Fairfield Bay AR area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care community is good or perhaps outstanding. It also verifies that the college has a wide network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you choose provides both exceptional training and a curriculum that satisfies 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internships Provided? Find out if the physical therapy schools you are assessing have partnerships with Fairfield Bay AR hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific way to receive hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can assist graduates and students form professional connections in the Fairfield Bay medical community and assist with job placement after licensing.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are researching what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy college they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Fairfield Bay AR residence. Students who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Most DPT schools provide some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Inquire if the colleges you are examining have a financial aid office and see what type of assistance is available. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. A number of physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial assistance might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapy college you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Fairfield Bay AR area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check 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 may miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Fairfield Bay Arkansas?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Fairfield Bay AR area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Fairfield Bay, Arkansas
Fairfield Bay is a city in Cleburne and Van Buren counties in the northern part of the U.S. state of Arkansas. The population was 2,338 at the 2010 census. The population in its portion in Van Buren County, which accounts for the bulk of the city limits, made the city the most populous in Van Buren County as of the 2000 census, but with a slight decline in population, lost the distinction to Clinton as of 2010.
Fairfield Bay is located in eastern Van Buren County at 35°36′07″N 92°15′51″W / 35.602031°N 92.264164°W / 35.602031; -92.264164, extending eastward into Cleburne County. It is located on hills overlooking the northern shore of Greers Ferry Lake, a reservoir on the Little Red River, a tributary of the White River which flows to the Mississippi.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 15.3 square miles (39.7 km2), of which 15.3 square miles (39.5 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km2), or 0.36%, is water.
Enroll in the Ideal Physical Therapy Degree Program near Fairfield Bay AR
Choosing the right physical therapy school is a necessary first decision you must make to start a gratifying career in the medical field. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you decide on should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. However there are other important questions that you need to ask concerning your school of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapy school, bear in mind that a number of factors will guide you to your final decision. You may decide to visit different colleges to view their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me achieve my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the proper education and training, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Fairfield Bay AR.
A Few More Interesting Locations in Arkansas
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