How to Pick a Physical Therapist Training Program near Cortaro 85652
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near Cortaro AZ is an important first step to starting a fulfilling career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled as a result of injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the appropriate 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 before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research those you are looking at to ensure they will provide a superior education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is enroll in a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be evaluated along with cost and location. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists practice in diverse settings, including Cortaro AZ private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they create a course of treatment to address the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also strive to prevent any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Cortaro AZ medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing 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 Available
There are 3 physical therapist degrees available for individuals 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 target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short summaries of degrees that are offered in the Cortaro 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 earned 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 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a component of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist education to prepare students to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally require 4 years to complete and commonly incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to finish, making the total investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an essential element in addition to the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in some 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 offered in the United States. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Programs Online
Although not as prevalent as the more traditional alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, 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 requires that the student live near the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online segment of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Cortaro AZ residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition may be somewhat less than comparable on campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
By now you most likely have come to decision concerning some of your preliminary queries, such as the type of physical therapy degree you want to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are numerous PT colleges within the Cortaro AZ area and across Arizona, you’ll need to explore other qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of school options. Moreover, you need to make certain that you pick the school that is best for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions before making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are looking at have earned accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As previously 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 can 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. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy community. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT college’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Call several Cortaro AZ physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your program selections. It may also be a good idea to contact the Arizona Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of useful statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapist colleges you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might indicate that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, 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 Cortaro AZ area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps excellent. It also confirms that the program has a large network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you enroll in furnishes both excellent training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements 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) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the physical therapy programs you are evaluating have associations with Cortaro AZ hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to receive practical training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can help graduates and students form professional relationships in the Cortaro healthcare community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy college they choose will have to be within travelling distance of their Cortaro AZ residence. Students 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 consider is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Aid Provided? The majority of DPT colleges offer some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial aid office and see what kind of aid is offered. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. Some physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial assistance might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapist school you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Cortaro AZ area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Cortaro Arizona?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Cortaro AZ area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Cortaro is a neighborhood of Marana, Arizona in Pima County, Arizona, United States. Cortaro is located along Interstate 10 13 miles (21 km) northwest of Tucson. Cortaro has a post office with ZIP code 85652.
Choose the Best Physical Therapy Degree Program near Cortaro AZ
Choosing the best physical therapist program is an important first decision you need to make to start a rewarding career in the healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you enroll in should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are other important questions that you should ask concerning your school of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapist program, bear in mind that a number of variables will lead you to your final decision. You might decide to go to each of the colleges to see their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me achieve my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the ideal choice. And with the proper training and education, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Cortaro AZ.
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