How to Find the Right Physical Therapy Program near Lockesburg 71846
Earning a physical therapist degree near Lockesburg AR is an essential first step to beginning a rewarding career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated as a result of illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the necessary training and education. A PT must also be licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate the ones you are thinking about to ensure they will supply a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is choose a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be evaluated in addition to cost and location. But before we cover 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’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in diverse locations, including Lockesburg AR hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they design a course of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Lockesburg AR medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Offered
There are 3 physical therapy degrees offered for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is available to become 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. Following are brief explanations of degree levels that are offered in the Lockesburg AR area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are usually offered by community colleges, and take about two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a portion of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to prepare candidates to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally take 4 years to finish and commonly incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated if you want to become a licensed practicing 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 three years to complete, making the overall investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal component in addition to the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in some states for licensing as well.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer attainable in the USA. Some practicing 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 Online Programs
While not as common as the on-campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online part of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Lockesburg AR residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition can be somewhat lower than comparable on campus options, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
By now you most likely have made a decision concerning some of your initial questions, such as the type of physical therapist degree you want to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are so many PT schools within the Lockesburg AR area and across Arkansas, you’ll have to explore additional qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of college options. Furthermore, you need to make sure that you enroll in the college that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Ask if the schools you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As earlier 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 important that both the physical therapist program and school you select are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Contact a few Lockesburg AR physical therapist centers or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any advice about your school 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 Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of important statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapy programs you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students left due to 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 school’s job placement program, particularly in the Lockesburg AR area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care field is good or even excellent. It also confirms that the school has a large network of contacts to assist students get internships or employment after graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you select furnishes both excellent training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing criteria for Arkansas or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internships Provided? Find out if the physical therapist programs you are interested in have partnerships with Lockesburg AR clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to receive practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can help students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Lockesburg healthcare community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy school they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Lockesburg AR home. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes naturally 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 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 need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Most DPT colleges supply some type of financial assistance to their potential students. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at have a financial aid office and see what type of help is available. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. Some physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial assistance may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapy program you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Lockesburg AR area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Lockesburg Arkansas?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Lockesburg AR area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
As of the census of 2000, there were 711 people, 276 households, and 197 families residing in the town. The population density was 201.1 inhabitants per square mile (77.5/km²). There were 328 housing units at an average density of 92.8 per square mile (35.8/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 92.55% White, 4.50% Black or African American, 2.25% from other races, and 0.70% from two or more races. 2.95% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 276 households out of which 37.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.2% were married couples living together, 10.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.6% were non-families. 25.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.58 and the average family size was 3.09.
In the town the population had 30.8% under the age of 18, 9.3% from 18 to 24, 26.7% from 25 to 44, 20.4% from 45 to 64, and 12.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.1 males.
Select the Right Physical Therapy College near Lockesburg AR
Deciding on the best physical therapist college is an important initial decision you need to 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 school you enroll in should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. But there are additional important questions that you should ask concerning your college of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapist school, bear in mind that numerous variables will guide you toward your final decision. You may want to visit each of the colleges to view their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me accomplish 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 field so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can achieve your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Lockesburg AR.
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