How to Find the Right Physical Therapist Program near Littlefield 86432
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Littlefield AZ is an important first step to launching a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated as a result of illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the necessary education and training. A PT must also become licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate those you are looking at to make sure they will provide a superior education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is enroll in a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be considered besides cost and location. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists work in varying locations, including Littlefield 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 mentioned, 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 course of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Littlefield AZ medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy field, it is rather 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 Therapy Degree Options
There are three physical therapy degrees available for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, 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 progress to the doctoral level. Following are short descriptions of degree levels that are offered in the Littlefield AZ area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are usually provided by community or junior colleges, and require two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually a component of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy training to prepare students to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally take 4 years to complete and commonly incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required in order to become a practicing licensed physical therapist. The degree program must also be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to finish, making the total commitment seven years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential component in addition to the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in several states for licensing also.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer available in the United States. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Programs Online
While not as common as the on campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online segment of the program can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Littlefield AZ residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition can be significantly less than similar on-campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages may make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
By now you probably have made a decision regarding several of your preliminary 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 spend for your education. But because there are so many PT schools within the Littlefield AZ area and across Arizona, you’ll have to look into other qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of school choices. Also, you need to make certain that you select the school that is best for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapist colleges you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing schools these questions prior to making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Find out if the schools you are considering have earned 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 choose 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 select are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy community. There are several ways you can look into a PT school’s reputation, beginning 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 some Littlefield AZ physical therapist centers or other medical care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your college options. 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 colleges.
What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two important statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapist colleges you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might suggest that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Littlefield AZ area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even exceptional. It also confirms that the school has a large network of contacts to assist students get internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you enroll in provides both excellent training and a course of study that supports the licensing criteria 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 program. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapy colleges you are interested in have partnerships with Littlefield AZ clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to receive practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can help students and graduates form professional relationships in the Littlefield healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate 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 Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they decide on will need to be within driving distance of their Littlefield AZ home. Students who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? The majority of DPT schools provide some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial aid department and find out what kind of aid is available. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. Some physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial assistance might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapist college you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Littlefield AZ area, check that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Littlefield Arizona?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Littlefield AZ area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Littlefield is an unincorporated community and census-designated place in Mohave County located in the Arizona Strip region of the U.S. state of Arizona. As of the 2010 census, its population was 308. It lies along Interstate 15 approximately 10 miles northeast of Mesquite, Nevada. Littlefield is located in the 86432 zip code.
Littlefield and neighboring Beaver Dam have the distinction of being the only towns in Arizona along I-15. Owing to its location in the Arizona Strip, northwest of Grand Canyon National Park and west of the Virgin River, it is isolated by hundreds of miles from the rest of the state. Travel to other towns within Arizona requires crossing through either Nevada or Utah, or routing through unpaved roads to the rest of Arizona's road network.
Choose the Ideal Physical Therapist College near Littlefield AZ
Picking the right physical therapist program is an important initial decision you have to make to launch a fulfilling career in the health care field. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you enroll in should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. But there are additional critical questions that you should ask concerning your school of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapy program, bear in mind that many factors will guide you to your ultimate decision. You might decide to visit different campuses to view their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me achieve my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the best selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can achieve your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Littlefield AZ.
A Few More Interesting Locations in Arizona
Business Results 1 - 10 of 4