How to Enroll In a Physical Therapist College near Cottonwood 86326
Earning a physical therapist degree near Cottonwood AZ is an essential first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated due to illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the proper education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, 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 research those you are looking at to make certain they will furnish a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is select a college just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be evaluated besides location and cost. But before we cover what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists practice in diverse settings, including Cottonwood AZ hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they develop a program of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also strive to prevent any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Cottonwood AZ medical 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. One thing to bear in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy profession, it is quite 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 Therapy Degrees
There are 3 physical therapy degrees offered for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only 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 readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief summaries of degrees that are available in the Cottonwood AZ area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are most often provided by community colleges, and take about two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a portion of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist education to ready students to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they typically take four years to complete and often 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 three years to finish, making the total commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal element along with the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not only 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 offered in the USA. A number of practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Online Colleges
While not as common as the on-campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online part of the program may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Cottonwood AZ home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition can be somewhat less than comparable on campus options, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding a few of your preliminary questions, such as the type of physical therapist degree you want to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the Cottonwood AZ area and across Arizona, you’ll have to explore additional qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of college options. Furthermore, you need to make sure that you pick the college that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapy colleges you are thinking about. Ask all of the competing schools these questions before making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are considering have received 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 enroll in an online college, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist program and school you select are accredited, not simply 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 an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist community. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Call some Cottonwood AZ physical therapist clinics or other medical care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your college options. It might also be prudent to contact the Arizona Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of important statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapist programs you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might suggest that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Cottonwood AZ area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care field is good or even excellent. It also affirms that the school has a large network of contacts to help students get internships or employment after graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you enroll in furnishes both superior training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the physical therapy colleges you are evaluating have associations with Cottonwood AZ clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to receive hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may assist graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Cottonwood health care community and assist with job placement once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. 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 a number of students, the physical therapist school they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Cottonwood AZ home. Individuals who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose 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 typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Help Provided? Most DPT colleges supply some type of financial assistance to their potential students. Ask if the schools you are considering have a financial assistance office and find out what kind of assistance is available. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. Some physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapy program you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Cottonwood AZ area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Cottonwood Arizona?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Cottonwood AZ area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Cottonwood has a semi-arid steppe climate. In January the normal high temperature is 55 °F (13 °C) with a low of 26 °F (−3 °C). In July the normal high temperature is 97 °F (36 °C) with a low of 68 °F (20 °C). Annual precipitation is around 13 inches (33 cm).
As of the census of 2000, there were 9,179 people, 3,983 households and 2,369 families residing in the city. The population density was 860.3 people per square mile (332.1/km²). There were 4,427 housing units at an average density of 414.9 per square mile (160.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 85.24% White, 0.49% Black or African American, 1.57% Native American, 0.41% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 9.66% from other races, and 2.59% from two or more races. 20.53% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 3,983 households out of which 25.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.5% were Married Couples living together, 10.8% had a female as Head of Household with no Husband present, and 40.5% were non-families. 34.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 19.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27 and the average family size was 2.90.
Pick the Right Physical Therapy School near Cottonwood AZ
Picking the ideal physical therapy school is an important initial decision you have to make to launch a rewarding career in the health care profession. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you pick should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. But there are additional relevant questions that you need to ask concerning your school of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapy program, bear in mind that numerous variables will lead you to your ultimate decision. You may want to go to different colleges to view their facilities and talk with current 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 additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the best selection. And with the proper education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Cottonwood AZ.
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