How to Find the Right Physical Therapist Degree Program near Prescott 71857
Earning a physical therapist degree near Prescott AR is a critical first step to starting a rewarding career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated as a result of injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the proper education and training. A PT must also become licensed in every state, a large number 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 research those you are looking at to ensure they will furnish a superior education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is select a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has cheapest 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 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 work in varying settings, such as Prescott AR private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. 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 people that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they design a program of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Prescott AR medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees
There are three physical therapy degrees offered for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short explanations of degree levels that are available in the Prescott AR area:
- Associate Degrees train students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are usually made available by community or junior colleges, and require two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a component of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist training to ready candidates to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally take four years to complete and often include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement if you want to become a practicing licensed 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 finish, making the overall commitment 7 years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal component in addition to the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in several 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 available in the United States. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Online Schools
Although not as common as the on campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapy degrees available, more so 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 in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the program may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Prescott AR residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat less than similar on-campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
At this point you probably have come to decision regarding some of your preliminary questions, such as the type of physical therapy degree you want to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are numerous PT colleges within the Prescott AR area and throughout Arkansas, you’ll have to explore additional qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of college options. Moreover, you need to be sure that you pick the program that is ideal for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapy colleges you are thinking about. Ask each of the potential schools these questions before making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Find out if the programs you are considering have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As earlier 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 program, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist program and school you select are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Contact a few Prescott AR physical therapy 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 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 filed against the schools.
What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of useful statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapist programs you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might indicate that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Prescott AR area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care community is good or even exceptional. It also affirms that the college has a wide network of contacts to help students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you enroll in provides both excellent training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements for Arkansas or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is required 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 PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the physical therapist schools you are assessing have associations with Prescott AR clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to receive practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Prescott healthcare community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are considering 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 determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their Prescott AR home. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? The majority of DPT schools provide some form of financial support to their potential students. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid department and see what kind of aid is offered. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. A number of physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial aid might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapy college you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Prescott AR area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Prescott Arkansas?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Prescott AR area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Prescott is a city and the county seat of Nevada County, Arkansas, United States. The community had a population of 3,868 at the 2000 census. Prescott is part of the Hope Micropolitan Statistical Area.
Located 100 miles southwest of Little Rock, Prescott was developed on the Prairie D'Âne, named by French colonists before the United States acquired this area. The prairie consisted of approximately 25–30 square miles of rolling open land, surrounded by forest. The area had been a well-known crossroads prior to construction of the Cairo & Fulton Railroad. To the west lies the city of Washington, to the east lies the city of Camden, while to the south lies the Red River, with Shreveport, Texarkana, and Dallas beyond.
As of 2014, Prescott and Nevada County had sixteen properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Elkin's Ferry Battleground and the Prairie D'Ane Battlefield are further recognized as National Historic Landmarks within a National Historic Landmark District.
Select the Best Physical Therapist School near Prescott AR
Selecting the ideal physical therapist program is a necessary initial decision you need to make to launch a rewarding career in the medical profession. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you choose should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are other critical questions that you need to ask concerning your school of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapy program, keep in mind that many variables will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You might decide to visit different colleges to view their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the right selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Prescott AR.
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