How to Select a Physical Therapist Program near Stamps 71860
Earning a physical therapy degree near Stamps AR is an essential first step to starting a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been disabled as a result of injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the appropriate 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 before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research those you are thinking about to make sure they will supply a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is choose a school just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be evaluated besides location and cost. 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 Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists practice in diverse locations, such as Stamps AR hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Stamps AR health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Offered
There are three physical therapy degrees available for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short explanations of degrees that are available in the Stamps AR area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to become 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 programs are most often provided by community or junior colleges, and require 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a portion of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy education to ready students to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they typically take four years to finish and often include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated if you want to become a licensed practicing 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 three years to finish, making the overall commitment 7 years in most cases. Clinical training is an essential element in addition to the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in some 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 practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Programs
Although not as common as the on campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online part of the course of study may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Stamps AR home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition might be significantly lower than comparable on-campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs 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.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
At this point you most likely have made a decision regarding some of your preliminary queries, including the type of physical therapist degree you intend to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are so many PT colleges within the Stamps AR area and throughout Arkansas, you’ll have to research other qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of school choices. Furthermore, you want to make sure that you choose the school that is best for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions before making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are considering 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 choose an online program, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist school and program 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. Along with guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy community. There are several ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Contact several Stamps AR physical therapy centers or other medical care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any advice about your college selections. It may also be prudent to contact the Arkansas Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of useful statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapist schools you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may suggest that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Stamps AR area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also verifies that the college has a broad network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you enroll in provides both excellent training and a course of study that supports the licensing criteria for Arkansas or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internships Offered? Inquire if the physical therapist schools you are interested in have associations with Stamps AR clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can help students and graduates form professional connections in the Stamps healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are considering what the typical teacher to student 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 an opportunity to converse with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Stamps AR home. Individuals who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry 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 even 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 generally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Most DPT schools provide some type of financial support to their prospective students. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have a financial assistance department and see what type of assistance is available. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. Some physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial assistance may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapy school you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Stamps AR area, verify 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 carry. Also, ask what the procedure 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 Stamps Arkansas?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Stamps AR area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
A post office has been in operation in Stamps since 1887. The community has the name of the local Stamps family. Stamps was the shop headquarters for the former Louisiana and Arkansas Railway until the relocation in the early 1920s to Minden in Webster Parish in north Louisiana.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,131 people, 830 households, and 541 families residing in the town. The population density was 693.7 people per square mile (268.0/km²). There were 1,003 housing units at an average density of 326.5 per square mile (126.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 44.30% White, 54.48% Black or African American, 0.52% Native American, 0.09% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, and 0.56% from two or more races. Of the population 0.61% was Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 830 households out of which 30.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.8% were married couples living together, 21.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.7% were non-families. Of all households 31.7% were made up of individuals and 17.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 3.10.
Enroll in the Ideal Physical Therapist Training Program near Stamps AR
Selecting the best physical therapist program is a necessary first decision you must make to launch a rewarding career in the health care profession. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you choose should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. But there are additional critical questions that you should ask concerning your school of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapist program, bear in mind that many variables will guide you to your ultimate decision. You might decide to go to each of the colleges to view their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me reach my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the best selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can achieve your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Stamps AR.
A Few More Interesting Locations in Arkansas