How to Find the Right Physical Therapist School near Pearcy 71964
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Pearcy AR is an essential first step to launching a rewarding career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated due to illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the necessary education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate the ones you are thinking about to make certain they will supply a superior education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is enroll in a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be considered in addition to 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 is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in a variety of locations, such as Pearcy AR hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they develop a program of treatment to address the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Pearcy AR health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degree Options
There are 3 physical therapist degrees offered for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short summaries of degrees that are available in the Pearcy AR area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are typically offered by community colleges, and require two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a portion of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist education to prepare candidates to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they generally require 4 years to complete and usually incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated 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 most cases. Clinical or practical training is an important component along with the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in several states for licensing also.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has taken the place of the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer offered in the United States. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Degrees Online
While not as common as the on-campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, 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 requires that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online segment of the program can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Pearcy AR home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition might be significantly less than similar on-campus options, and costs for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning some of your initial questions, including the kind of physical therapist degree you want to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are numerous PT colleges within the Pearcy AR area and across Arkansas, you’ll have to look into other qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of college choices. Moreover, you want to be sure that you select the program that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions prior to making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Find out if the programs you are considering have received accreditation from a regional or a national 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 choose an online college, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist school and program you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Call a few Pearcy AR physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your college selections. It may also be prudent to check with the Arkansas Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two important statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapist colleges you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may mean that students left due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Pearcy AR area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even outstanding. It also affirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you enroll in provides both exceptional training and a course of study that supports 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 college. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internships Offered? Inquire if the physical therapist schools you are evaluating have relationships with Pearcy AR hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to receive hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can help graduates and students form professional relationships in the Pearcy healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist college they decide on will have to be within travelling distance of their Pearcy AR home. Students who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble 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 college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Aid Offered? The majority of DPT schools provide some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Ask if the schools you are examining have a financial aid office and see what type of help is offered. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. Some physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial aid may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapist college you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Pearcy AR area, make certain that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Pearcy Arkansas?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Pearcy AR area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
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The DC-3 is a twin-engine metal monoplane with a tailwheel-type landing gear and was developed as a larger, improved 14-bed sleeper version of the Douglas DC-2. It had many exceptional qualities compared to previous aircraft. It was fast, had good range and could operate from short runways. It was reliable and easy to maintain and carried passengers in greater comfort. Before the war it pioneered many air travel routes. It could cross the continental United States and made worldwide flights possible. It is considered the first airliner that could make money carrying only passengers.
Civil DC-3 production ended in 1942 at 607 aircraft. Military versions, including the C-47 Skytrain (designated the Dakota in British Royal Air Force (RAF) service), and Russian- and Japanese-built versions, brought total production to over 16,000. Following the war, the airliner market was flooded with surplus C-47s and other ex-military transport aircraft, and Douglas' attempts to produce an upgraded DC-3 failed due to cost.
Choose the Best Physical Therapist College near Pearcy AR
Selecting the best 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 PT or DPT degree program and college you select should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. But there are other relevant questions that you need to ask regarding your school of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapy program, bear in mind that numerous variables will guide you to your ultimate decision. You may decide to go to different schools to view their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me accomplish my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the ideal choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can accomplish your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Pearcy AR.
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