How to Choose a Physical Therapy School near Casa Grande 85222
Earning a physical therapy degree near Casa Grande AZ is an essential first step to launching a rewarding career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated due to injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the proper education and training. A PT must also be licensed in all states, a large number mandating 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 those you are looking at to make certain they will supply a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is select a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be considered along with location and cost. But before we cover 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 a variety of settings, such as Casa Grande AZ 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 diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they create a course of treatment to address the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating 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.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Casa Grande AZ health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone considering going into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Available
There are 3 physical therapist degrees available for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short descriptions of degree levels that are available in the Casa Grande AZ area:
- Associate Degrees train students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are typically provided by community or junior colleges, and take about two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a component of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to prepare candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally require 4 years to complete and usually include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement in order 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 complete, making the total investment of time seven years in most cases. Clinical training is an intregal element in addition to the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not just 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 phased out and is no longer attainable in the USA. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Colleges Online
While not as prevalent as the more traditional options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online part of the program may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Casa Grande AZ residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition might be somewhat less than comparable on campus options, and costs for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
At this point you probably have come to decision regarding some of your initial queries, including the type of physical therapist degree you intend to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are numerous PT schools within the Casa Grande AZ area and across Arizona, you’ll have to look into additional qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of college options. Moreover, you need to make sure that you choose the program that is best for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering. Ask each of the competing schools these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are looking at have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As earlier 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 college, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist program and school you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapy community. There are a number of ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Call a few Casa Grande AZ physical therapy clinics or other medical care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your school selections. It might also be prudent to check with the Arizona Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two useful statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapist colleges you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may mean that students left due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Casa Grande AZ area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care community is good or even outstanding. It also verifies that the college has a large network of contacts to assist students get internships or employment after graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you enroll in provides both excellent training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing criteria for Arizona 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 program. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the physical therapy schools you are interested in have associations with Casa Grande AZ clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to get practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may help graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Casa Grande health care community and help with job placement after licensing.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they decide on will have to be within travelling distance of their Casa Grande AZ home. Students who have decided 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 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 might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Most DPT schools provide some form of financial support to their potential students. Inquire if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid department and see what kind of assistance is offered. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. Some physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial assistance may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapist program you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Casa Grande AZ area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Casa Grande Arizona?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Casa Grande AZ area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Casa Grande, Arizona
Casa Grande (O'odham: Wainom Wo:g) is a city in Pinal County, approximately halfway between Phoenix and Tucson in the U.S. state of Arizona. According to the 2010 census, the population of the city is 48,571. It is named after the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument, which is actually located in Coolidge. "Casa Grande" is Spanish for "big house".
Casa Grande was founded in 1879 during the Arizona mining boom, specifically due to the presence of the Southern Pacific Railroad. In January 1880, the community of Terminus, meaning "end-of-the-line," was established despite consisting of just five residents and three buildings. In September 1880, railroad executives renamed the settlement Casa Grande, after the Hohokam ruins at the nearby Casa Grande Ruins National Monument. Casa Grande grew slowly, and suffered several setbacks both in 1886 and 1893, when fires ravaged the town, destroying all wooden housing structures within it. When the mining boom slowed in the 1890s, the town was nearly abandoned, but with the advent of agriculture, the town remained alive and well, and was eventually incorporated in 1915.
According to historian David Leighton, during World War II, from 1942 to 1945, a Japanese-American relocation camp was set up outside of Casa Grande, known as the Gila River War Relocation Center. Two notable people that were interned there were future actor Pat Morita and baseball player Kenichi Zenimura, who constructed a baseball field and set up a league in the relocation camp.
Pick the Ideal Physical Therapist College near Casa Grande AZ
Deciding on the ideal physical therapy school is an important first decision you must make to begin a fulfilling career in the health care profession. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you pick should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. However there are other critical questions that you should ask pertaining to your school of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapy college, keep in mind that many variables will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You might decide to go to different campuses to view their facilities and talk with current 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 adhering to our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the ideal choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can achieve your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Casa Grande AZ.
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