How to Select a Physical Therapy Program near State University 72467
Receiving a physical therapy degree near State University AR is an essential first step to starting a rewarding career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated as a result of injury or illness regain function and mobility. 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 every state, many requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate the ones you are looking at to make sure they will provide a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is choose a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be evaluated 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 practice in a variety of locations, including State University AR private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a course of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other State University AR medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees
There are 3 physical therapy degree options available for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the single degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short explanations of degree levels that are available in the State University AR area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are most often made available by junior or community colleges, and require two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a component of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy training to prepare students to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they generally require 4 years to finish and commonly incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required 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 complete, making the total investment of time 7 years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal component in addition to the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in several states for licensing also.
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 United States. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Degrees Online
Although not as common as the on campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapist programs offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to 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 in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online part of the program may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s State University AR home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition might be significantly lower than comparable on-campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
At this point you most likely have made a decision concerning some of your preliminary queries, like the type of physical therapist degree you want to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are so many PT schools within the State University AR area and throughout Arkansas, you’ll have to research other qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of college choices. Moreover, you want to make certain that you choose the school that is best for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. Ask all of the competing schools these questions before making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Ask if the schools you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As previously mentioned, 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 college, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist school and program you choose are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist community. There are several ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Call several State University AR physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your college selections. It may also be prudent to contact the Arkansas Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two significant statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapist programs you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might suggest that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the State University AR area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps outstanding. It also verifies that the school has a broad network of contacts to help students get internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you select furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria 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 program. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing have relationships with State University AR hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to obtain 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 form professional relationships in the State University healthcare community and assist with job placement after licensing.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapy school they select will have to be within travelling distance of their State University AR residence. Those who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally 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 Aid Offered? Most DPT colleges offer some form of financial aid to their prospective students. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial assistance office and see what kind of assistance is offered. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. Some physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial assistance might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapist program you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the State University AR area, confirm that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near State University Arkansas?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the State University AR area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Arkansas State University
Arkansas State University (also known as A-State) is a public research university and is the flagship campus of the Arkansas State University System, the state's second largest college system and second largest university by enrollment. It is located atop 1,376 acres (5.6 km2) on Crowley's Ridge at Jonesboro, Arkansas, United States. The university marked its centennial year in 2009. Arkansas State has Sun Belt rivalries with all West Division schools (Little Rock, Louisiana, Louisiana-Monroe, Texas State, and UT Arlington). Their primary Sun Belt rivals are Little Rock and Louisiana-Monroe.
A-State was founded as the First District Agricultural School in Jonesboro in 1909 by the Arkansas Legislature as a regional agricultural training school. Robert W. Glover, a Missionary Baptist pastor who served in both houses of the Arkansas Legislature from Sheridan (1905–1912), introduced in 1909 the resolution calling for the establishment of four state agricultural colleges, including the future ASU.
In 1918, ASU began offering a two-year college program. In 1925, it became First District Agricultural and Mechanical College. A four-year degree program was begun in 1930. A & M College became Arkansas State College in 1933. In 1967, the Arkansas Legislature elevated the college to university status and changed the name to Arkansas State University.
Pick the Right Physical Therapist Training Program near State University AR
Choosing the best physical therapy college is an important initial decision you need to make to start a fulfilling career in the health care profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you decide on should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are other relevant questions that you should ask pertaining to your school of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapist school, bear in mind that a number of variables will lead you toward your final decision. You might decide to visit each of the colleges to view their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me achieve my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the ideal selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can fulfill your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in State University AR.
A Few More Interesting Locations in Arkansas