How to Pick a Physical Therapist College near Fountain Hill 71642
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Fountain Hill AR is an essential first step to beginning a fulfilling 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 receive the proper training and education. A PT must also become licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate the ones you are considering to ensure they will supply a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is select a school just because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be considered besides location and cost. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of settings, including Fountain Hill AR hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers 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 earlier mentioned, physical therapists help patients 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 problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also try to stop any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Fountain Hill AR medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Offered
There are three physical therapist degrees available for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief descriptions of degrees that are available in the Fountain Hill 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 equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are most often provided by community colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a component of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist education to ready students to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to finish and often include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to finish, making the overall commitment seven years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal component in addition to the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in a number of 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 offered in the United States. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Schools Online
While not as prevalent as the on-campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapist degrees available, even more at the graduate level. Because of 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 nearby an available internship. However, the online part of the curriculum can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Fountain Hill AR home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition may be somewhat less than comparable on campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online option the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
By now you probably have come to decision concerning a few of your preliminary queries, including the type of physical therapist degree you intend to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are numerous PT schools within the Fountain Hill AR area and across Arkansas, you’ll have to research other qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of college options. Also, you need to make sure that you select the program that is ideal for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. Ask each of the potential schools these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are looking at have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As earlier stated, if you are pursuing a doctoral degree the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you enroll in an online school, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist program and school you select are accredited, not just the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are several ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Get in touch with a few Fountain Hill AR physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your college options. It might also be a good idea to check with the Arkansas Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of important statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might suggest that students left because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Fountain Hill AR area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care field is good or perhaps excellent. It also affirms that the college has a wide network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you choose furnishes both superior training and a course of study 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 vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Provided? Ask if the physical therapist colleges you are interested in have associations with Fountain Hill AR hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent means to obtain practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist students and graduates establish professional connections in the Fountain Hill health care community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy school they select will have to be within travelling distance of their Fountain Hill AR home. Those who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to bear 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 commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Aid Offered? The majority of DPT colleges offer some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial aid department and find out what type of assistance is offered. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapist school you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Fountain Hill AR area, make sure 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 carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Fountain Hill Arkansas?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Fountain Hill AR area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Fountain Hill, Arkansas
As of the census of 2000, there were 159 people, 66 households, and 39 families residing in the town. The population density was 104.1/km² (271.0/mi²). There were 77 housing units at an average density of 50.4/km² (131.3/mi²). The racial makeup of the town was 60.38% White, 35.22% Black or African American, 1.89% from other races, and 2.52% from two or more races. 2.52% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 66 households out of which 19.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.0% were married couples living together, 10.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.9% were non-families. 33.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.41 and the average family size was 3.08.
In the town, the population was spread out with 24.5% under the age of 18, 10.1% from 18 to 24, 22.6% from 25 to 44, 26.4% from 45 to 64, and 16.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 80.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.6 males.
Choose the Ideal Physical Therapist College near Fountain Hill AR
Picking the best physical therapy school is a necessary initial decision you must make to start a gratifying career in the health care profession. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you pick should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. However there are additional critical questions that you should ask pertaining to your college of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapy program, bear in mind that a number of variables will lead you to your ultimate decision. You might decide to go to different colleges to view their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me achieve my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the right choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Fountain Hill AR.
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