How to Enroll In a Physical Therapy Training Program near Greenwood 72936
Getting a physical therapy degree near Greenwood AR is an essential first step to starting a rewarding career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated as a result of illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the appropriate education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate those you are considering to make sure they will furnish a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is choose a college just because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be evaluated in addition to cost and location. 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 Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists work in varying locations, including Greenwood AR hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Greenwood AR health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Offered
There are three physical therapist degrees available for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short summaries of degree levels that are available in the Greenwood AR area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are typically offered by junior or community colleges, and take about two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally part of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy training to prep candidates to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they typically take four years to finish and often incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required if you want to become a practicing licensed 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 3 years to finish, making the total investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an intregal component in addition to the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not only 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 phased out and is no longer available in the USA. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Programs
Although not as common as the on campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapist programs offered, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the school campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online segment of the curriculum may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Greenwood AR home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition can be somewhat lower than comparable on campus options, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
By now you undoubtedly have come to decision regarding some of your preliminary queries, like the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are numerous PT colleges within the Greenwood AR area and across Arkansas, you’ll have to look into other qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of school choices. Also, you want to make sure that you enroll in 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 programs you are thinking about. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Find out if the programs you are looking at have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As previously 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 school, it can also earn 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, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist community. There are a number of ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Contact several Greenwood AR physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your college options. It may also be prudent to check with the Arkansas Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of important statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapist schools you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might suggest that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Greenwood AR area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or perhaps outstanding. It also affirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to help students gain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important 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) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapist schools you are evaluating have relationships with Greenwood AR clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to receive practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Greenwood medical community and assist with job placement after licensing.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Greenwood AR residence. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to keep 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 have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Support Offered? Most DPT colleges provide some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are considering have a financial assistance office and find out what type of aid is offered. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. A number of physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapy school you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Greenwood AR area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Greenwood Arkansas?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Greenwood AR area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Greenwood is a city in and one of the two county seats of Sebastian County, Arkansas, United States. It is the fifth largest municipality in the Fort Smith, Arkansas-Oklahoma Metropolitan Statistical Area with a population of 8,952 according to the 2010 US Census. According to estimates based on the most recent census, the population of Greenwood in 2017 was 9,405.
Greenwood was founded in 1851 when its location was selected for the first county seat of Sebastian County. The town was named for Judge Alfred Burton Greenwood. Judge Greenwood had been elected the previous year to serve as Circuit Judge over ten Northwest Arkansas counties. The first court house was a log structure, replaced in 1865 by a frame court house which was built in the center of the public square. This courthouse later burned and in 1916 the courthouse was relocated south of the square. Since that time the square has become a city park and site of many festivals, city picnics and celebrations.
The growth of Greenwood was comparatively slow, but by the breaking out of the Civil War it had attained some importance as a business center and by 1889 its business directory listed General Merchandise, Drugs, Groceries, Cotton Gin, Grist and Saw Mill, 3 Hotels, 3 Blacksmith and wood shops, 3 physicians, 1 dentist and 7 attorneys.
Enroll in the Right Physical Therapist Training Program near Greenwood AR
Selecting the ideal physical therapist program is a necessary initial decision you have to make to begin a fulfilling career in the health care profession. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you select should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are other important questions that you need to ask regarding your college of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapist program, keep in mind that a number of factors will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You might decide to visit different schools to view their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me realize my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the best choice. And with the proper training and education, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Greenwood AR.
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