How to Enroll In a Physical Therapist Training Program near Smackover 71762
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near Smackover AR is an essential first step to beginning a rewarding career in the health care industry. 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 need to receive the necessary education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate the ones you are considering to make certain they will furnish a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is enroll in a school simply 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 cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists practice in diverse locations, including Smackover AR private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers 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 touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they develop a course of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Smackover AR health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone considering going into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees
There are 3 physical therapy degrees offered for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short descriptions of degrees that are offered in the Smackover AR area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to be 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 GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are usually provided by community or junior colleges, and require two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually a portion of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy education to ready students to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they typically require 4 years to finish and commonly incorporate 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 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 finish, making the total commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an important component along with the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not only 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 eliminated and is no longer available in the USA. A number of practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Online Colleges
While not as common as the more traditional options, there are some accredited online physical therapist programs 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 near the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the curriculum can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Smackover AR residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition can be significantly lower than similar on campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs 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.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
At this point you most likely have made a decision regarding some of your initial questions, including the kind of physical therapy degree you want to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are so many PT colleges within the Smackover AR area and across Arkansas, you’ll need to explore additional qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of college choices. Furthermore, you want to make certain that you choose the program that is right for you. That’s why we have put together a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering. Ask each of the potential schools these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Find out if the schools you are reviewing have received accreditation from a national or a regional 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 enroll in an online program, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy school and program you select are accredited, not just the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT school’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Get in touch with several Smackover AR physical therapist clinics or other healthcare facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your college options. It may also be a good idea 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 two significant statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapist programs you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may indicate that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Smackover AR area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care field is good or even exceptional. It also verifies that the school has a wide network of contacts to assist students get internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you choose provides both excellent training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements 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) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing have associations with Smackover AR clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to obtain practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Smackover health care community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit 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 prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Smackover AR residence. Those who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school 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? Most DPT schools supply some type of financial assistance to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have a financial assistance department and see what type of aid is obtainable. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. Some physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial assistance might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapist program you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Smackover AR area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Smackover Arkansas?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Smackover AR area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Smackover is a small city in northern Union County, Arkansas, United States. According to Citydata.com, the 2014 population was at 1,790. It had a large oil boom in the 1920s, with production continuing for some time.
In 1686, the French settlers called this area "SUMAC COUVERT", which translates to "covered in sumac bushes". This was transliterated, that is, phonetically Anglicized by the English-speaking settlers of the 19th century and later to the name "SMACKOVER."
Oil was discovered in this area in 1922; it attracted national attention, speculators, and an economic boom. Smackover was incorporated in 1923. In the 1920s there was a large-scale oil industry in Smackover. The industry declined here and across southern Arkansas by the 1960s, at a cost of many jobs and major losses to the area economy.
Choose the Ideal Physical Therapy Training Program near Smackover AR
Picking the right physical therapy college is a necessary first decision you have to make to begin a gratifying career in the health care field. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you enroll in should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. However there are additional relevant questions that you should ask regarding your college of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapist school, bear in mind that numerous variables will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You may decide to visit each of the colleges to view their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Smackover AR.
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