How to Enroll In a Physical Therapist College near Rector 72461
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Rector 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 injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the appropriate training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate the ones you are thinking about to make sure they will provide a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is choose a college just because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be evaluated besides cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists work in diverse locations, including Rector AR hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they create a course of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Rector AR health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone considering entering the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees
There are three physical therapy degree options offered for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short descriptions of degrees that are offered in the Rector AR area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are usually offered by community or junior colleges, and require two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a component of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist training to prep students to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential initial step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally require 4 years to complete and commonly include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated if you want to become a practicing licensed 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 3 years to finish, making the overall investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an important component along with the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in a number of 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 eliminated and is no longer offered in the USA. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Colleges
Although not as common as the on campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapy programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online segment of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Rector AR home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition might be somewhat less than similar on campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
By now you most likely have come to decision regarding a few of your initial questions, including the kind of physical therapist degree you would like to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are so many PT schools within the Rector AR area and across Arkansas, you’ll have to research other qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of school choices. Also, you need to make sure that you select the college that is best for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing schools these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are looking at have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As previously 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 earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist program and school you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist community. There are several ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Call a few Rector AR physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your school options. It might also be a good idea to check with the Arkansas Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two relevant statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapist colleges you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might indicate that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Rector AR area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also confirms that the school has a wide network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you enroll in furnishes both superior training and a curriculum that satisfies 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) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. Although 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 supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the physical therapy programs you are reviewing have associations with Rector AR hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to get hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can help students and graduates form professional relationships in the Rector healthcare community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide 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 therapy schools you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy college they decide on will have to be within driving distance of their Rector AR home. Those who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern 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 school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? The majority of DPT colleges provide some type of financial aid to their potential students. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance office and find out what type of assistance is obtainable. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. Some physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapy program you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Rector AR area, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Rector Arkansas?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Rector AR area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
In 1881 the Texas and St. Louis Railroad laid out the town of Rector about 2 miles (3 km) to the south of an existing settlement named Scatterville, and the population of Scatterville gradually migrated to the new town.
Rector is located in southern Clay County along the southeastern edge of Crowley's Ridge. U.S. Route 49 passes through the city, leading northeast 13 miles (21 km) to Piggott and southwest 7 miles (11 km) to Marmaduke. In the southern part of the city, Arkansas Highway 90 (Main Street) intersects US 49.
As of the census of 2000, the racial makeup of the city was 98.26% White, 0.55% Native American, 0.20% Asian, and 0.99% from two or more races. 0.89% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Choose the Best Physical Therapist Degree Program near Rector AR
Selecting the right physical therapy program is an important first decision you need to make to launch a gratifying career in the healthcare profession. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you enroll in should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. However there are additional critical questions that you should ask concerning your school of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapist college, bear in mind that many variables will guide you toward your final decision. You might decide to go to different colleges to view their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college 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 field so you can make the right choice. And with the proper training and education, you can accomplish your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Rector AR.
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