How to Select a Physical Therapist College near Joiner 72350
Earning a physical therapy degree near Joiner AR is an essential first step to launching a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated due to injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the proper education and training. A PT must also be licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate those you are thinking about to make sure they will provide a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to 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 the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists practice in diverse settings, such as Joiner AR private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they design a course of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Joiner AR medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Offered
There are 3 physical therapist degrees offered for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the only degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief explanations of degrees that are available in the Joiner AR area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are most often made available by community or junior colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a portion of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy education to ready students to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally require four years to finish and commonly 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to finish, making the total investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal element in addition to the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not just for graduation but in a number of states for licensing as well.
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. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Degrees
While not as common as the on campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapist degrees available, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online segment of the program can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Joiner AR residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition can be somewhat less than comparable on campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
By now you probably have made a decision regarding several of your preliminary questions, including the kind of physical therapist degree you intend to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are so many PT schools within the Joiner AR area and throughout Arkansas, you’ll have to look into other qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of college choices. Moreover, you need to make certain that you select the school that is best for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Ask if the schools you are considering 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 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 school and program you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are several ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, beginning 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 as well. Contact some Joiner AR physical therapist clinics or other healthcare facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your program options. It might 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 schools.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapist schools you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might mean that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction 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 Joiner AR area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even exceptional. It also confirms that the school has a wide network of contacts to help students obtain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you choose furnishes both exceptional 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) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the physical therapy colleges you are interested in have associations with Joiner AR clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to obtain hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can help graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Joiner health care community and assist with job placement once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are researching what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. 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 speak with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they pick will need to be within travelling distance of their Joiner AR home. Students who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local 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 perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Aid Offered? The majority of DPT colleges offer some type of financial assistance to their potential students. Find out if the schools you are considering have a financial assistance office and see what kind of assistance is available. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. Some physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial aid might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapy college you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Joiner 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 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 Joiner Arkansas?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Joiner AR area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 576 people residing in the city. The racial makeup of the city was 50.0% White, 47.2% Black and 0.2% Native American. 2.6% were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
As of the census of 2000, there were 540 people, 197 households, and 139 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,860.0 people per square mile (718.9/km²). There were 223 housing units at an average density of 768.1/sq mi (296.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 52.78% White, 45.93% Black or African American, 0.37% from other races, and 0.93% from two or more races. 0.74% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 197 households out of which 37.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.1% were married couples living together, 26.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.4% were non-families. 25.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.74 and the average family size was 3.29.
Pick the Best Physical Therapy School near Joiner AR
Picking the ideal physical therapy program is a necessary 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 school you enroll in should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. However there are additional important questions that you should ask pertaining to your school of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapist college, bear in mind that numerous variables will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You might decide to visit different colleges to see their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me achieve 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 field so you can make the best choice. And with the proper education and training, you can achieve your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Joiner AR.
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