How to Choose a Physical Therapist School near Piggott 72454
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near Piggott AR is a critical first step to launching a rewarding career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated due to injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the necessary education and training. A PT must also become licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate those you are considering to ensure they will deliver a superior education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is choose a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the lowest 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 the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists work in diverse settings, such as Piggott AR hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they develop a program of treatment to address the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Piggott AR medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone considering entering the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Available
There are 3 physical therapy degree options offered for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the single degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief explanations of degrees that are available in the Piggott AR area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are most often provided by junior or community colleges, and require 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a component of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist training to prep candidates to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an integral preliminary step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they typically take 4 years to finish and usually incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement if you want to become a licensed practicing 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 overall investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an important element along with the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, not just 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 offered in the United States. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Online Degrees
Although not as prevalent as the on-campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy degrees available, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online portion of the course of study can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Piggott AR home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition may be significantly lower than similar on-campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
By now you most likely have made a decision concerning several of your preliminary queries, such as the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are so many PT schools within the Piggott AR area and across Arkansas, you’ll have to research additional qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of college options. Also, you want to make certain that you choose the college that is right for you. That’s why we have collected a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions before making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are looking at have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As earlier stated, 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 college, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy program and school you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist community. There are several ways you can look into a PT school’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Contact several Piggott AR physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your program selections. It might also be prudent to contact the Arkansas Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapist schools you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might mean that students left due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Piggott AR area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even exceptional. It also affirms that the college has a wide network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you select provides both superior training and a course of study that satisfies 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) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapy programs you are interested in have partnerships with Piggott AR clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent manner to receive hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Piggott medical community and help with job placement once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are researching 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 decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they select will need to be within commuting distance of their Piggott AR residence. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program 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 often charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? The majority of DPT colleges supply some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial aid office and find out what kind of assistance is available. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. Some physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial aid may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapist college you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Piggott AR area, confirm that they are offered. 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, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Piggott Arkansas?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Piggott AR area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Piggott is a city in Clay County, Arkansas, United States, one of that county's two seats (Corning is the other). It is the northern terminus of the Arkansas segment of the Crowley's Ridge Parkway, a National Scenic Byway. As of the 2010 census, Piggott's population was 3,849. The town was founded by William N. Barron and named after his sister (Sarah Ann, wife of John Piggott).
Piggott is perhaps best known for its association with American writer and Nobel laureate Ernest Hemingway, whose second wife Pauline Pfeiffer was the daughter of prominent local landowner and businessman Paul Pfeiffer. After meeting and marrying in Paris in the late 1920s, Hemingway and Pauline made frequent and lengthy visits to her parents' home in Piggott, where Ernest Hemingway wrote portions of A Farewell to Arms, and other works. The Pfeiffer House and Carriage House are now preserved as the Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum and Educational Center, run by Arkansas State University.
The town was mentioned in the 1990s television sitcom Evening Shade, set in Arkansas. The high school football team coached by "Wood Newton" (played by Burt Reynolds) celebrated when it tied Piggott High in a game, which it almost always lost.
Choose the Best Physical Therapist School near Piggott AR
Picking the ideal physical therapy school is a necessary first decision you have to make to begin a gratifying career in the healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you choose should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. However there are additional important questions that you need to ask concerning your school of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapy college, keep in mind that a number of variables will lead you to your ultimate decision. You may want to visit different schools to view their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the right selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Piggott AR.
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