How to Choose a Physical Therapy Degree Program near Mount Holly 71758
Getting a physical therapy degree near Mount Holly AR is an essential first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled as a result of injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the appropriate training and education. 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 before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate the ones you are considering to make certain they will supply a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is choose a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be considered besides 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 Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists work in varying settings, including Mount Holly AR private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they design a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also strive to prevent any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Mount Holly AR health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also supervise 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 rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degree Options
There are 3 physical therapy degree options offered for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the single degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short explanations of degrees that are offered in the Mount Holly AR area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are typically made available by community or junior colleges, and require 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a component of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy training to prepare students to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically require 4 years to finish and commonly incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement in order to become a practicing licensed 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 3 years to complete, making the overall commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an important component in addition to the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in some states for licensing also.
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 USA. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Degrees Online
While not as prevalent as the on campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapist degrees available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Mount Holly AR residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition might be significantly less than similar on-campus options, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding a few of your initial queries, including the type of physical therapy degree you would like to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT schools within the Mount Holly AR area and across Arkansas, you’ll need to look into other qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of school options. Also, you want to make certain that you pick the college that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapist programs you are considering. Ask each of the potential schools these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Ask if the programs you are looking at have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As previously mentioned, 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 earn 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. Also, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with guaranteeing that you receive 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 Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential 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 program’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Call some Mount Holly AR physical therapist clinics or other medical care facilities that you might be interested 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 submitted against the colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two relevant statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapy programs you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may suggest 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 assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Mount Holly AR area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or perhaps exceptional. It also confirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to help students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you choose furnishes both superior training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing criteria for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapy colleges you are assessing have associations with Mount Holly AR clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to receive hands on training 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 students and graduates establish professional connections in the Mount Holly healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering 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 decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
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 Mount Holly AR residence. 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 area internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Most DPT colleges supply some form of financial support to their prospective students. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial aid office and find out what type of assistance is obtainable. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. A number of physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial aid might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapist college you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Mount Holly AR area, check that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Mount Holly Arkansas?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Mount Holly AR area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Smackover-Norphlet School District
Smackover-Norphlet School District No. 39 (SNSD), formerly Smackover School District 39, is a school district based in Smackover, Arkansas. It has territory in Union County, Ouachita County, and Columbia County.
On May 8, 2014 the Arkansas Board of Education (ABE) approved the merger of the Norphlet School District into the Smackover School District, effective July 1, 2014, forming the Smackover-Norphlet School District.
Pick the Best Physical Therapist College near Mount Holly AR
Selecting the ideal physical therapist college is an important initial decision you must make to launch a gratifying career in the health care profession. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you decide on should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are other important questions that you need to ask regarding your college of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapist school, keep in mind that many variables will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You may want to go to different colleges to view their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the proper training and education, you can achieve your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Mount Holly AR.
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