How to Pick a Physical Therapist College near Fredonia 86022
Receiving a physical therapist degree near Fredonia AZ is a critical first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been disabled due to illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the necessary training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to research the ones you are considering to make certain they will deliver a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is enroll in a college just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be evaluated besides 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 the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists practice in diverse locations, such as Fredonia AZ hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes 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 earlier stated, physical therapists help patients 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 resolve the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also try to prevent any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Fredonia AZ medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Offered
There are 3 physical therapist degrees offered for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short descriptions of degree levels that are available in the Fredonia AZ area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are typically provided by community colleges, and require 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a portion of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to prepare candidates to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an essential initial step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require 4 years to finish and usually include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required if you want 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 complete, making the overall investment of time 7 years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an important component in addition to the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, not solely 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 phased out and is no longer available in the USA. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Colleges
Although not as prevalent as the more traditional options, there are some accredited online physical therapist degrees available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the school campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the course of study may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Fredonia AZ home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition can be significantly lower than similar on-campus options, and costs 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 right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
By now you most likely have come to decision concerning a few of your preliminary questions, including the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the Fredonia AZ area and throughout Arizona, you’ll have to explore additional qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of school choices. Also, you want to make certain that you select the program that is ideal for you. That’s why we have collected 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 decision.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are considering have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As previously stated, if you are pursuing a doctorate 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 important that both the physical therapist program and school you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are multiple ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Get in touch with several Fredonia AZ physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your college 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 submitted against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two significant statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might suggest that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Fredonia AZ area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also affirms that the program has a broad network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you select furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria for Arizona or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. Although licensing requirements fluctuate 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 supplemental tests.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapy colleges you are evaluating have relationships with Fredonia AZ hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to obtain practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can help graduates and students establish professional connections in the Fredonia health care community and assist with job placement after licensing.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are considering 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 ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they decide on will need to be within travelling distance of their Fredonia AZ residence. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area 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 even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally 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 support to their potential students. Inquire if the schools you are considering have a financial aid department and find out what kind of help is offered. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. Some physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial assistance might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapy program you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Fredonia AZ area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Fredonia Arizona?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Fredonia AZ area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,036 people, 359 households, and 287 families residing in the town. The population density was 139.7 people per square mile (54.0/km²). There were 455 housing units at an average density of 61.4 per square mile (23.7/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 85.71% White, 1.06% Black or African American, 11.39% Native American, 0.39% from other races, and 1.45% from two or more races. 1.45% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 359 households out of which 37.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 65.5% were married couples living together, 10.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 19.8% were non-families. 15.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.89 and the average family size was 3.25.
In the town, the age distribution of the population shows 32.3% under the age of 18, 6.2% from 18 to 24, 27.7% from 25 to 44, 22.7% from 45 to 64, and 11.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 104.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.0 males.
Pick the Right Physical Therapist Training Program near Fredonia AZ
Picking the right physical therapy program is an important initial decision you must make to launch a fulfilling career in the health care profession. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you select should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are additional critical questions that you need to ask pertaining to your school of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapist program, bear in mind that a number of variables will guide you toward your final decision. You may want to visit each of the campuses to see their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me accomplish my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the proper training and education, you can achieve your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Fredonia AZ.
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