How to Select a Physical Therapist Training Program near Newport 72112
Getting a physical therapist degree near Newport AR is an essential first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled due to illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the appropriate education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to investigate those you are considering to ensure they will supply a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is choose a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be considered along with location and cost. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists practice in diverse locations, including Newport 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 the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help patients that are struggling with a lack of mobility and often pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a course of treatment to address the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to prevent any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Newport AR health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Available
There are 3 physical therapy degrees offered for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief explanations of degrees that are available in the Newport AR area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are typically made available by junior or community colleges, and take about two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a portion of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist education to prep candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take 4 years to finish and often include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required 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). 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 training is an essential element in addition to the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Consequently 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 phased out and is no longer offered in the USA. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Programs Online
Although not as prevalent as the on-campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, 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 near the school campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online segment of the curriculum can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Newport AR home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition can be significantly less than comparable on campus options, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
At this point you most likely have made a decision concerning a few of your preliminary queries, such as the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are so many PT colleges within the Newport AR area and across Arkansas, you’ll need to research additional qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of college choices. Moreover, you want to be sure that you choose the college that is right for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapy programs you are considering. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions prior to making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are looking at have earned 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 select an online program, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy school and program you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist community. There are multiple ways you can research a PT program’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Call some Newport AR physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any advice about your college options. It might also be prudent to contact the Arkansas Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two significant statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may suggest that students left because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Newport AR area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps excellent. It also confirms that the college has a wide network of contacts to help students get internships or employment after graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you choose furnishes both superior training and a course of study that supports the licensing criteria for Arkansas or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is required 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, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internships Offered? Ask if the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing have relationships with Newport AR clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great means to obtain practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can help graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Newport health care community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are considering what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist college they select will have to be within travelling distance of their Newport AR home. Individuals who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required 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 live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Support Provided? The majority of DPT colleges offer some form of financial support to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are considering have a financial assistance office and find out what kind of assistance is offered. 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 school because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapist program you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Newport AR area, check that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative 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 may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Newport Arkansas?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Newport AR area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Newport is a city in and the county seat of Jackson County, Arkansas, United States, located on the White River 84 miles (135 km) northeast of Little Rock. The population was 7,879 at the 2010 census.
Newport is home to a campus of the Arkansas State University system, with particular focus on training in transportation careers. Newport is known as the town in which Sam Walton owned a Ben Franklin store prior to starting Wal-Mart.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 13.7 square miles (35.5 km2), of which 13.4 square miles (34.8 km2) is land and 0.27 square miles (0.7 km2), or 1.92%, is water.
Choose the Best Physical Therapy Training Program near Newport AR
Picking the best physical therapy college is a necessary initial decision you need to make to start a gratifying career in the healthcare profession. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you enroll in should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. But there are additional relevant questions that you need to ask regarding your school of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapist program, bear in mind that many factors will guide you toward your final decision. You might decide to visit different campuses to see their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can achieve your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Newport AR.
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