How to Pick a Physical Therapy Training Program near Texarkana 71854
Getting a physical therapist degree near Texarkana AR is an important first step to starting a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated as a result of illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the appropriate education and training. A PT must also be licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s important to research the ones you are considering to make sure they will provide a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is enroll in a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be considered along with cost and location. 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 Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists work in a variety of settings, such as Texarkana AR hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they design a course of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Texarkana AR health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degree Options
There are three physical therapy degree options available for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short summaries of degrees that are offered in the Texarkana AR area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are typically made available by community or junior colleges, and take about two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually part of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy training to prep candidates to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally require 4 years to finish and usually incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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 3 years to finish, making the overall commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an important component in addition to the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in a number of 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 attainable in the USA. Some licensed 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 Degrees Online
Although not as common as the on campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapist degrees available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online part of the curriculum may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Texarkana AR home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition may be significantly lower than comparable on-campus options, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
At this point you undoubtedly have come to decision concerning some of your preliminary queries, including the kind of physical therapist degree you intend to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the Texarkana AR area and across Arkansas, you’ll have to research additional qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of college options. Furthermore, you need to be sure that you enroll in the school that is right for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are looking at have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As previously mentioned, 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 receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy program and school you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapist community. There are multiple ways you can research a PT program’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Call several Texarkana AR physical therapist clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your school selections. It may also be prudent to check with the Arkansas Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of useful statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapy schools you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may indicate that students left due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Texarkana AR area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or perhaps outstanding. It also confirms that the school has a wide network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you select furnishes both exceptional training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria for Arkansas or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapist colleges you are assessing have partnerships with Texarkana AR clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to obtain hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can help students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Texarkana health care community and assist with job placement after licensing.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are reviewing what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy college they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Texarkana AR residence. Those who have decided 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. Something to keep in mind is that if you choose 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 generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Most DPT colleges supply some type of financial aid to their potential students. Inquire 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 getting a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. Some physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial aid may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapist school you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Texarkana AR area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Texarkana Arkansas?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Texarkana AR area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Texarkana is the twelfth-largest city in Arkansas and the county seat of Miller County. The city is located across the state line from its twin city, Texarkana, Texas. The city was founded at a railroad intersection on December 8, 1873, and was incorporated in Arkansas on August 10, 1880. Texarkana is the principal city of the Texarkana metropolitan area, which is ranked 274th in terms of population in the United States with a city population of 32,259 and a combined metropolitan population of 150,098 in 2016 according to the United States Census Bureau.
Located within the Ark-La-Tex subregion of Southwest Arkansas, Texarkana is located in the Piney Woods, a oak-hickory forest atop the flat Gulf Coastal Plain. Texarkana's economy is driven by agriculture and the city's position as a crossroads of three major Interstate highways: Interstate 30 (I-30), I-49 and the future I-69. Outdoors tourism, such as fishing at Lake Millwood, are also important in the region. The Texarkana Arkansas School District is the largest public school district on the Arkansas side, leading to graduation from Arkansas High School. The city is home to Texarkana College (on the Texas side of town), and a branch campus of the University of Arkansas Community College at Hope (UACCH).
Texarkana, Arkansas, is located at 33°25′59″N 94°1′14″W / 33.43306°N 94.02056°W / 33.43306; -94.02056 (33.433075, -94.020514). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 41.9 square miles (108.4 km2), of which 41.7 square miles (107.9 km2) is land and 0.19 square miles (0.5 km2) (0.43%) is water.
Select the Ideal Physical Therapy Training Program near Texarkana AR
Choosing the best physical therapist college is a necessary first decision you need to make to launch a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you choose should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. However there are other critical questions that you need to ask concerning your school of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapist school, bear in mind that many factors will guide you to your final decision. You might want to visit each of the campuses to view their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me accomplish my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the right choice. And with the proper training and education, you can fulfill your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Texarkana AR.
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