How to Select a Physical Therapist Training Program near El Mirage 85335
Getting a physical therapy degree near El Mirage AZ is an essential first step to launching a rewarding career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled as a result of illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the proper education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research those you are considering to ensure they will deliver a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is select a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be evaluated in addition to cost and location. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists work in diverse settings, such as El Mirage AZ hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they develop a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate 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
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other El Mirage AZ health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, 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 bear in mind for anyone considering going into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees
There are 3 physical therapy degree options offered for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief summaries of degrees that are available in the El Mirage AZ area:
- Associate Degrees train students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are typically provided by community or junior colleges, and require 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually part of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy education to prepare candidates to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally require 4 years to complete and often 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 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 investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal component along with the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not solely 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 in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Online Schools
Although not as prevalent as the more traditional alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapy programs offered, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the course of study may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s El Mirage AZ home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition may be somewhat lower than similar on campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
By now you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding several of your initial queries, like the kind of physical therapist degree you intend to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are so many PT schools within the El Mirage AZ area and throughout Arizona, you’ll need to explore other qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of school choices. Also, you need to make certain that you select the program that is right for you. That’s why we have put together a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are considering. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Find out if the programs you are looking at have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. 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 select an online school, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy program and school you choose are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are several ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Call some El Mirage 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 insight about your college selections. It might 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 Rate? There are a two significant statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may suggest that students left due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, 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 El Mirage AZ area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care field is good or even exceptional. It also affirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you choose provides both excellent training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the physical therapy schools you are assessing have partnerships with El Mirage AZ clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to get practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help graduates and students form professional relationships in the El Mirage medical community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy college they select will have to be within driving distance of their El Mirage AZ home. Those who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Support Provided? Most DPT colleges provide some type of financial support to their prospective students. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial assistance department and find out what type of help is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in securing 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 college because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapy program you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the El Mirage AZ area, check that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near El Mirage Arizona?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the El Mirage AZ area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
El Mirage, Arizona
As of the census of 2000, there were 7,609 people, 2,121 households, and 1,737 families residing in the city. The population density was 786.8 people per square mile (303.8/km²). There were 3,162 housing units at an average density of 326.9 per square mile (126.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 66.26% White, 3.29% Black or African American, 0.85% Native American, 0.38% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 26.18% from other races, and 2.98% from two or more races. 66.82% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 2,121 households out of which 48.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.3% were married couples living together, 17.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 18.1% were non-families. 13.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 3.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.59 and the average family size was 3.87.
In the city, the population was spread out with 36.8% under the age of 18, 14.1% from 18 to 24, 28.6% from 25 to 44, 13.8% from 45 to 64, and 6.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 25 years. For every 100 females, there were 105.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 105.0 males.
Choose the Best Physical Therapy Training Program near El Mirage AZ
Picking the best physical therapist college is an important initial decision you must make to launch a gratifying career in the healthcare profession. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you pick should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. However there are other critical questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapist school, keep in mind that numerous variables will lead you toward your final decision. You may decide to go to different campuses to see their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me achieve 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 right choice. And with the proper education and training, you can fulfill your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in El Mirage AZ.
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