How to Find the Right Physical Therapy School near Gilbert 85233
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Gilbert AZ is an essential first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled due to injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the necessary education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to research those you are looking at to make certain they will furnish a superior education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is enroll in a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be evaluated in addition to cost and location. But before we talk about 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 Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists work in diverse locations, including Gilbert AZ private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes 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 experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also try to stop any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Gilbert AZ health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work under 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 quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degree Options
There are 3 physical therapist degree options available for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the single degree that is attainable 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 progress to the doctoral level. Following are short descriptions of degrees that are available in the Gilbert AZ area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are usually offered by community colleges, and require two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a portion of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy education to prepare students to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they typically take four years to complete and usually include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated if you want to become a practicing licensed 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 total commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an essential element in addition to the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not only 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 offered in the USA. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Online Schools
Although not as common as the on-campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapist programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the school campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online part of the course of study may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Gilbert AZ residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition can be significantly lower than similar on campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
At this point you undoubtedly have come to decision regarding some of your initial questions, like the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are numerous PT schools within the Gilbert AZ area and across Arizona, you’ll have to research other qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of school choices. Moreover, you want to make sure that you pick the college that is ideal for you. That’s why we have put together 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 prior to making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are looking at have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As previously mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you enroll in an online school, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy school and program you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Get in touch with a few Gilbert AZ physical therapy clinics or other medical care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your school selections. It might also be prudent to contact the Arizona Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two important statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapy programs you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may suggest that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Gilbert AZ area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care field is good or even exceptional. It also verifies that the program has a broad network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you choose furnishes both superior training and a course of study that supports the licensing criteria 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) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapy schools you are evaluating have associations with Gilbert AZ clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to obtain practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist graduates and students develop professional connections in the Gilbert health care community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy college they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Gilbert AZ residence. Those who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Most DPT colleges supply some form of financial support to their potential students. Ask if the colleges 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 grants you might be eligible for. Some physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial aid might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapy program you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Gilbert AZ area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Gilbert Arizona?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Gilbert AZ area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Gilbert is a town in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States, located southeast of Phoenix, within the Phoenix metropolitan area. Once known as the "Hay Shipping Capital of the World", Gilbert is currently the most populous incorporated town in the United States. It is the sixth-largest municipality in Arizona, and the fifth-largest in the Metropolitan Phoenix Area.
Gilbert encompasses 76 square miles (197 km2) and has made a rapid transformation from an agriculture-based community to an economically diverse suburban center located in the southeast valley of the Greater Phoenix area. In the last three decades, Gilbert has grown at an extremely high rate, increasing in population from 5,717 in 1980 to 208,453 as of the 2010 census. The town grew at an average annual growth rate of nearly 13% during this 30-year period.
Gilbert owes its beginnings to William "Bobby" Gilbert who provided land to the Arizona Eastern Railway in 1902 to construct a rail line between Phoenix and Florence, Arizona. Ayer's Grocery Store, the first store in Gilbert, opened in 1910 and became the location of the first post office in 1912. The location of the town post office moved several times before settling on the east side of Gilbert Road in downtown, where it still stands today. In 1912, many Mormons who had fled the Mormon colonies in Mexico due to the actions of the forces of Pancho Villa settled in Gilbert. By 1915, they began holding church meetings at the Gilbert Elementary School. In 1918, they were organized into the Gilbert Ward.
Select the Best Physical Therapy School near Gilbert AZ
Selecting the ideal physical therapist school is a necessary initial decision you must make to start a fulfilling career in the medical field. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you pick should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. But there are other relevant questions that you need to ask concerning your school of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapist college, keep in mind that a number of factors will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You may decide to go to different schools to view their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the right choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can achieve your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Gilbert AZ.
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