How to Enroll In a Physical Therapy College near Malvern 72104
Earning a physical therapy degree near Malvern AR is a critical first step to launching a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled due to illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the appropriate training and education. A PT must also become licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate the ones you are considering to make certain they will deliver a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is select a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be considered along with location and cost. But before we cover 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 Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists practice in diverse settings, including Malvern 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 the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help patients that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to address the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Malvern AR medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy profession, it is quite 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 Available
There are 3 physical therapy degrees available for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief explanations of degrees that are offered in the Malvern AR area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to practice as 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 be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are most often offered by junior or community colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally part of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist training to ready students to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important 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 a requirement 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). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to complete, making the total commitment 7 years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential component in addition to the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not only 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 United States. Some licensed physical therapists having 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 Colleges
Although not as common as the more traditional options, there are some accredited online physical therapist degrees available, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online part of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Malvern AR residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition might be somewhat lower than comparable on campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
By now you undoubtedly have come to decision concerning some of your initial questions, including the kind of physical therapy degree you want to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are numerous PT colleges within the Malvern AR area and across Arkansas, you’ll need to explore additional qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of college options. Moreover, you want to make sure that you enroll in the school that is best for you. That’s why we have put together a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapy colleges you are thinking about. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are looking at have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As earlier 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 choose an online program, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy program and school you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapy community. There are a number of ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Call several Malvern AR physical therapy centers or other medical care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your school options. It may also be prudent to contact the Arkansas Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two useful statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapist programs you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may mean that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Malvern AR area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even exceptional. It also affirms that the college has a broad network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you choose furnishes both superior training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the physical therapy colleges you are evaluating have associations with Malvern AR clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to get practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can assist graduates and students establish professional connections in the Malvern healthcare community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they pick will have to be within commuting distance of their Malvern AR home. Those who have decided 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 importance. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Support Provided? Most DPT schools provide some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Inquire if the colleges you are examining have a financial assistance office and see what kind of help is available. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapy school you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Malvern AR area, confirm that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option 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 as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Malvern Arkansas?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Malvern AR area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Malvern is a city in and the county seat of Hot Spring County, Arkansas, United States. Founded as a railroad stop at the eastern edge of the Ouachita Mountains, the community's history and economy have been tied to available agricultural and mineral resources. The production of bricks from locally available clay has earned the city the nickname, "The Brick Capital of the World". The city had a population of 10,318 at the time of the 2010 census, and in 2015 the estimated population was 10,928.
Named after Malvern Hill, Virginia, Malvern was founded in 1870 by the Cairo and Fulton Railroad as a city site 21 miles (34 km) southeast of Hot Springs. On October 15, 1878, Malvern officially became the county seat of Hot Spring County. The original inhabitants of the county were Native Americans, trappers, hunters, and farmers.
The Hot Springs Railroad, often referred to as the Diamond Jo line, was established as a narrow-gauge railroad by Chicago businessman Joseph Reynolds in 1874. Reynolds began building the Hot Springs Railroad, which extends northwest from Malvern Junction, a station on the Cairo & Fulton, to Hot Springs, after he had endured unsatisfactory stagecoach rides to the latter city. Because Malvern was the closest railroad station to Hot Springs, it became an important junction point for passengers transferring from rail to stagecoach to complete their journey to the spas in Hot Springs. This was the only railroad into Hot Springs for 15 years. The opening of the Little Rock & Hot Springs Western Railroad in April 1900 provided a more direct access to Hot Springs from Little Rock and the north, and both the Choctaw, Oklahoma & Gulf and the Iron Mountain took advantage of this route, effectively cutting the volume of interchange traffic into Malvern. By 1902 passenger train shuttle service through Malvern had essentially ended.
Pick the Ideal Physical Therapist Degree Program near Malvern AR
Choosing the right physical therapist school is a necessary first decision you must make to start a gratifying career in the medical field. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you decide on should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. But there are additional relevant questions that you need to ask regarding your school of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapist school, bear in mind that numerous factors will lead you to your ultimate decision. You might decide to visit different schools to view their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the proper education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Malvern AR.
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