How to Find the Right Physical Therapist School near Kensett 72082
Earning a physical therapist degree near Kensett AR is a critical first step to starting a fulfilling career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated due to illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the appropriate training and education. A PT must also become licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate the ones you are looking at to make certain they will furnish a quality education and comply with 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 cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be considered 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 what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists practice in varying settings, including Kensett AR private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they create a program of treatment to address the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Kensett AR health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Offered
There are three physical therapy degree options available for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the single degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short descriptions of degrees that are available in the Kensett AR area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are typically made available by junior or community colleges, and require two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a portion of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist education to ready students to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential initial step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take four years to complete and commonly incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 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 3 years to complete, making the total investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an important element along with the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not just 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 eliminated and is no longer available in the USA. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Programs
While not as common as the on campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy programs available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online segment of the program may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Kensett AR residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition might be significantly less than similar on campus options, and costs for commuting are reduced. 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 Therapy Programs
At this point you probably have come to decision regarding some of your initial queries, including the type of physical therapist degree you want to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT colleges within the Kensett AR area and throughout Arkansas, you’ll need to look into additional qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of college options. Furthermore, you need to make certain that you enroll in the school that is right for you. That’s why we have put together a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapist programs you are considering. Ask all of the competing schools these questions before making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Find out if the schools you are considering have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As previously 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 earn 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. Also, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapist community. There are multiple ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Contact several Kensett AR physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any advice about your program options. It may also be prudent 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 College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two significant statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may mean that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Kensett AR area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care field is good or perhaps outstanding. It also affirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you select furnishes both superior training and a course of study that supports 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 school. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapist colleges you are evaluating have relationships with Kensett AR clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific way to obtain practical training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can help graduates and students form professional relationships in the Kensett medical community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far 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 one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist college they pick will need to be within travelling distance of their Kensett AR home. Those who have chosen 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 concern. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Support Provided? The majority of DPT schools offer some form of financial aid to their prospective students. Inquire if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance office and find out what kind of assistance is available. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. Some physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial aid may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapy college you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Kensett AR area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Kensett Arkansas?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Kensett AR area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Kensett is a city in White County, Arkansas, United States. Located adjacent to the east side of Searcy, the city is the hometown of noted legislator Wilbur D. Mills, who was influential throughout the 1960s and 1970s in the United States House of Representatives.
Allen Edge is the current mayor. The population was 1,791 at the 2000 census. Many companies have moved to Kensett to support the natural gas industry. Kensett is a center for landscaping and nursery activity. Double Springs sod farm, Latina Nursery (well known for Japanese maples and peach trees), and Two Rivers Nursery are all located in or near Kensett. There are several restaurants, and Kensett has the lowest sales tax rate in White County.
Kensett was a stop on the defunct Missouri and North Arkansas Railroad, which provided passenger and freight service from Joplin, Missouri, to Helena in Phillips County in eastern Arkansas, from 1906 until its disestablishment in 1946. At Kensett, the M&NA connected with the St. Louis, Iron Mountain and Southern Railway, later the Missouri Pacific Railroad, now the Union Pacific.
Pick the Best Physical Therapy School near Kensett AR
Deciding on the ideal physical therapist program is a necessary initial decision you need to make to launch a rewarding career in the medical field. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you pick should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. However there are other critical questions that you should ask pertaining to your college of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapy college, bear in mind that many variables will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You might decide to visit each of the colleges to see their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me reach my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the right choice. And with the proper education and training, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Kensett AR.
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