How to Enroll In a Physical Therapy School near Morrilton 72110
Getting a physical therapy degree near Morrilton AR is a critical first step to launching a fulfilling career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated as a result of injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the proper training and education. A PT must also be licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate those you are thinking about to make certain they will deliver a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is choose a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be considered along with location and cost. But before we cover 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 Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists practice in varying locations, such as Morrilton AR hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a course of treatment to address the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also strive to prevent any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Morrilton AR health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Offered
There are 3 physical therapist degrees available for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the single degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief explanations of degrees that are available in the Morrilton AR area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are typically offered by junior or community colleges, and require two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically part of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist training to prep students to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally take 4 years to finish and usually incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated in order 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 three years to finish, making the total commitment 7 years in most 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 several states for licensing as well.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer offered in the United States. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Online Colleges
Although not as common as the on-campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online part of the curriculum may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Morrilton AR residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition may be significantly less than comparable on-campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding some of your preliminary questions, like the type of physical therapy degree you would like to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are so many PT schools within the Morrilton AR area and across Arkansas, you’ll need to look into other qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of school options. Furthermore, you need to make sure that you pick the program that is right for you. That’s why we have put together a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapy schools you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing schools these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Ask if the programs you are reviewing 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 choose an online college, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist program and school you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Call several Morrilton AR physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your program selections. It might also be prudent to check with the Arkansas Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of significant statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. First 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 placed in jobs with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Morrilton 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 perhaps excellent. It also verifies that the school has a large network of contacts to assist students get internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you select provides both superior training and a curriculum 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. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the physical therapist programs you are assessing have associations with Morrilton AR hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific way to obtain hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help students and graduates establish professional connections in the Morrilton healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy school they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Morrilton AR residence. Those who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to bear 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 commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Most DPT colleges supply some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial assistance department and see what kind of aid is offered. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. Some physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial aid might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapist school you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Morrilton AR area, verify 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 need to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Morrilton Arkansas?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Morrilton AR area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Morrilton is a city in Conway County, Arkansas, United States, less than 50 miles (80 km) northwest of Little Rock. The city is the county seat of Conway County. The population was 6,767 at the 2010 census.
In 1825 a trading post was established about a mile south of present day Morrilton on the Arkansas River. This town, later named Lewisburg, thrived after being incorporated in 1844. In 1871 the Little Rock and Fort Smith Railroad built track through present day Morrilton. It was later named Morrilton after the previous landowners E.J. and George H. Morrill.. The downtown grew around the Morrill's land and that owned by James M. Moose. Residents of Lewisburg eventually moved away from the river and to the railroad hub at Morrilton. In 1883 Morrilton became the seat of Conway County, Arkansas.
Morrilton is located in southern Conway County at 35°9′23″N 92°44′31″W / 35.15639°N 92.74194°W / 35.15639; -92.74194 (35.156373, -92.741944). It is bordered on the south by the Arkansas River.
Choose the Ideal Physical Therapy Training Program near Morrilton AR
Selecting the ideal physical therapy college is an important initial decision you need to make to launch a rewarding career in the health care profession. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you decide on should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. But there are other relevant questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapy college, bear in mind that many variables will lead you to your ultimate decision. You may decide to visit different colleges to see their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me accomplish my goal of becoming a licensed practicing 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 right choice. And with the proper training and education, you can achieve your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Morrilton AR.
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