How to Enroll In a Physical Therapist Degree Program near Chino Valley 86323
Earning a physical therapy degree near Chino Valley AZ is a critical first step to starting a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been disabled due to injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the appropriate training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to investigate the ones you are thinking about to ensure they will supply a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is choose a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be considered in addition to 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 is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists practice in diverse locations, including Chino Valley AZ hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. 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 injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they create a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Chino Valley AZ health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees
There are three physical therapy degrees available for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the single degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short summaries of degree levels that are available in the Chino Valley AZ area:
- Associate Degrees prepare 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 be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are usually made available by community colleges, and require two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually part of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist training to prepare students to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential initial step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically require 4 years to complete and usually include an internship program of a minimum of 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 three years to complete, making the overall investment of time seven years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an important component along with the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in several states for licensing as well.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has taken the place of the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer available in the United States. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Colleges
While not as prevalent as the more traditional alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapist programs available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the program can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Chino Valley AZ home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition can be somewhat lower than comparable on campus options, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
At this point you most likely have made a decision concerning some of your preliminary questions, including the type of physical therapy degree you would like to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT colleges within the Chino Valley AZ area and across Arizona, you’ll need to explore additional qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of school choices. Furthermore, you need to make certain that you select the school that is best for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. Ask each of the potential schools these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Find out if the programs you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As earlier stated, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you select an online program, it can also receive 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. Additionally, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are several ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Contact some Chino Valley AZ physical therapist clinics or other medical care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your program selections. It may also be prudent to check with the Arizona Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two significant statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapy schools you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might mean that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction 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 Chino Valley AZ area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care field is good or perhaps outstanding. It also confirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to help students gain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you enroll in provides both exceptional training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing have partnerships with Chino Valley AZ hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to obtain hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Chino Valley healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapy college they select will have to be within driving distance of their Chino Valley AZ home. Students who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area 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 even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Most DPT schools supply some form of financial support to their prospective students. Ask if the colleges you are considering have a financial aid office and find out what kind of aid is offered. They at least should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. A number of physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapist program you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Chino Valley AZ area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Chino Valley Arizona?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Chino Valley AZ area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Chino Valley, Arizona
Chino Valley is located at 34°45′30″N 112°26′59″W / 34.75833°N 112.44972°W / 34.75833; -112.44972 (34.758381, -112.449758). The town is located adjacent the southeast terminus of Chino Valley, about 9 miles (14 km) north at Paulden. The smaller north-trending Little Chino Valley lies just east of the townsite.
Chino Valley is the site of the first Territorial Capital of Arizona. The capital moved to Prescott, 15 miles (24 km) away, in 1864. U.S. Army Cavalry Lt. Amiel W. Whipple, while traveling through the area in 1854, gave the community its name. "Chino" is the Spanish name for the abundant curly grama grass growing in the area.
In 1895, a narrow gauge branch of the United Verde and Pacific Railroad to Jerome, joining the Santa Fe, Prescott, and Phoenix Railway, was completed, and Jerome Junction was established. In 1923, the activities of Jerome Junction were absorbed by Chino Valley.
Select the Ideal Physical Therapy Training Program near Chino Valley AZ
Selecting the right physical therapist school is an important first decision you need to make to launch a fulfilling career in the healthcare profession. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you choose should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. But there are additional important questions that you should ask concerning your college of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapist college, keep in mind that many factors will guide you toward your final decision. You might want to visit each of the schools to see their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me reach my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the right selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Chino Valley AZ.
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