How to Choose a Physical Therapist Training Program near Mountain View 72560
Earning a physical therapist degree near Mountain View AR is an essential first step to beginning a rewarding career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated as a result of illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the necessary education and training. A PT must also become licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate the ones you are thinking about to make sure they will furnish a superior education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is select a college just because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be considered along with cost and location. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of locations, such as Mountain View AR hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help people that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they create a course of treatment to resolve 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 abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Mountain View AR health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees
There are three physical therapist degrees offered for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short summaries of degree levels that are available in the Mountain View 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 a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are typically provided by community colleges, and require two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually part of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist education to prepare 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 the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally require 4 years to complete and commonly incorporate an internship program of at least 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to complete, making the overall commitment 7 years in most cases. Clinical training is an important component along with the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in several states for licensing as well.
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 attainable in the United States. A number of practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Online Degrees
While not as prevalent as the on campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist programs offered, even more 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. Fortunately, the online segment of the course of study can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Mountain View AR home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition may be significantly lower than similar on campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
By now you most likely have made a decision regarding a few of your preliminary queries, like the type of physical therapy degree you intend to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are so many PT schools within the Mountain View AR area and throughout Arkansas, you’ll have to research other qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of college options. Furthermore, you want to be sure that you choose the program that is best for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapy schools you are thinking about. Ask each of the potential schools these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Ask if the schools you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As previously 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 school, it may 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. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist community. There are several ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Call a few Mountain View AR physical therapist clinics or other health 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 check with the Arkansas Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of useful statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may mean that students left due to dissatisfaction 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 college’s job placement program, particularly in the Mountain View AR area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care field is good or even exceptional. It also confirms that the program has a wide network of contacts to help students get internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you select provides both exceptional training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria for Arkansas or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapy programs you are interested in have relationships with Mountain View AR hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to obtain hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist students and graduates develop professional connections in the Mountain View medical community and assist with job placement after licensing.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes 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 allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy school they decide on will need to be within travelling distance of their Mountain View AR home. Those who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry 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 school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Help Provided? Most DPT schools provide some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have a financial aid department and see what type of assistance is offered. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. Some physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial aid might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapy program you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Mountain View AR area, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Mountain View Arkansas?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Mountain View AR area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Mountain View, Arkansas
Mountain View is the largest city in and the county seat of Stone County, Arkansas, United States. Located in the Ozarks, the city has a rich tradition of preserving folk music and culture. Founded in 1873, the city's economy is largely based on tourism related to its title as the "Folk Music Capitol of the World". Mountain View hosts the Arkansas Folk Festival in April, various folk artists at Ozark Folk Center State Park throughout the year, and weekly music gatherings on the courthouse steps that are free and open to the public. The city is also known for outdoors recreation opportunities, including Blanchard Springs Caverns, trout fishing on the White River and the Ozark National Forest.
The town's name is derived from its location in a valley bordered by the Blue Mountain Range of the Ozark Mountains. Prior to the founding of Mountain View in 1890, the town of Riggsville, established in 1819 by Thomas Augustus Riggs, existed immediately to the east remaining until after the Civil War, when towns with southern sympathies were to be renamed or moved altogether.
A tornado on April 14, 1996, rated F4 on the Fujita scale killed NFL quarterback Kurt Warner's mother-in-law and father in-law. Another EF4 tornado caused major damage to the town on February 5, 2008 in the 2008 Super Tuesday tornado outbreak, the deadliest tornado outbreak in two decades.
Enroll in the Right Physical Therapist School near Mountain View AR
Deciding on the right physical therapy school is an important initial decision you have to make to start a gratifying career in the healthcare profession. As we have addressed 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 need to ask regarding your college of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapy program, keep in mind that numerous factors will lead you to your ultimate decision. You may want to go to each of the colleges to view their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed 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 selection. And with the proper training and education, you can achieve your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Mountain View AR.
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