How to Choose a Physical Therapy Degree Program near Chinle 86503
Earning a physical therapy degree near Chinle AZ is a critical first step to starting a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated as a result of injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the appropriate training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate those you are thinking about to make certain they will provide a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is select a college 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 considered in addition to location and cost. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists work in diverse locations, such as Chinle AZ private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers 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 touched on, physical therapists help patients that are struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to stop 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
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Chinle AZ medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Available
There are 3 physical therapist degree options available for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the single degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief summaries of degree levels that are available in the Chinle AZ area:
- Associate Degrees train students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are usually offered by community colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically part of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist education to prepare candidates to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally require four years to finish and usually include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required in order to become a licensed practicing 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 three years to finish, making the total commitment seven years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal component in addition to the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in a number of states for licensing also.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer offered in the USA. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Online Schools
While not as prevalent as the on-campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapy programs offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online portion of the program can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Chinle AZ home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition might be significantly lower than similar on campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
At this point you probably have come to decision regarding some of your initial questions, including the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are so many PT colleges within the Chinle AZ area and across Arizona, you’ll need to explore additional qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of college options. Also, you need to make sure that you pick the school that is right for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapist programs you are considering. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions before making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Ask if the programs you are looking at have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As earlier 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 school, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy program and school you select are accredited, not just the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are several ways you can research a PT program’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Call a few Chinle AZ physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your school options. It may also be prudent to contact the Arizona Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two useful statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapy programs you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may mean that students left due to 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 Chinle AZ area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even outstanding. It also confirms that the program has a large network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you choose provides both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria for Arizona or the state where you will be working. 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. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the physical therapist schools you are interested in have relationships with Chinle AZ clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to receive practical training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may help graduates and students form professional relationships in the Chinle medical 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 rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small 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 classrooms. 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 several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy college they choose will need to be within commuting distance of their Chinle AZ 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 importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually 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 Support Offered? The majority of DPT schools offer some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at have a financial assistance department and see what type of assistance is obtainable. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial aid may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapy program you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Chinle AZ area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Chinle Arizona?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Chinle AZ area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Chinle (Navajo: Chʼínílį́) is a census-designated place (CDP) in Apache County, Arizona. The name in Navajo means "flowing out" and is a reference to the location where the water flows out of the Canyon de Chelly. The population was 4,518 at the 2010 census.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 16.1 square miles (41.6 km2), of which 16.0 square miles (41.5 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km2), or 0.16%, is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 5,366 people, 1,358 households, and 1,076 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 334.7 people per square mile (129.2/km²). There were 1,644 housing units at an average density of 102.6 per square mile (39.6/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 91.28% Native American, 6.39% White, 0.19% Black or African American, 0.17% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.60% from other races, and 1.34% from two or more races. 1.83% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Choose the Right Physical Therapy Degree Program near Chinle AZ
Selecting the right physical therapy college is an important initial decision you have to make to begin a fulfilling career in the health care field. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you choose should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. However there are additional critical questions that you should ask regarding your school of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapist college, bear in mind that a number of factors will lead you to your final decision. You might want to go to each of the campuses to see their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me accomplish my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the right choice. And with the proper training and education, you can achieve your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Chinle AZ.
A Few More Interesting Locations in Arizona