How to Pick a Physical Therapy Training Program near New River 85087
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near New River AZ is an essential first step to starting a fulfilling career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled as a result of 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 training and education. A PT must also be licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate those you are looking at to make sure they will deliver a quality education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is choose a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be considered besides location and cost. 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’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in diverse locations, such as New River AZ private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help patients that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they develop a program of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other New River AZ medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degree Options
There are three physical therapy degrees offered for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the single degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief explanations of degrees that are available in the New River AZ area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are typically offered by community or junior colleges, and require two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a portion of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy education to ready students to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally take 4 years to finish and often include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated 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). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to complete, making the overall commitment 7 years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an important element in addition to the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, 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 available in the USA. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Degrees Online
Although not as prevalent as the on-campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapy programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online segment of the course of study can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s New River AZ home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition may be significantly lower than similar on-campus options, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
At this point you most likely have made a decision regarding several of your initial queries, like the type of physical therapy degree you would like to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are so many PT colleges within the New River AZ area and across Arizona, you’ll have to look into other qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of school choices. Also, you need to be sure that you choose the program that is best for you. That’s why we have put together a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapy schools you are considering. Ask all of the competing schools these questions prior to making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Find out if the schools you are reviewing have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. 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 obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist 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. Besides guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are several ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Call several New River AZ physical therapist clinics or other medical care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your program options. It may also be prudent to contact 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 important statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapy schools you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the New River AZ area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even outstanding. It also confirms that the program has a broad network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you choose furnishes both excellent training and a course of study that satisfies 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 therapist school. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the physical therapy colleges you are assessing have relationships with New River AZ clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist graduates and students establish professional connections in the New River healthcare community and help with job placement once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges 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 ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy college they select will have to be within commuting distance of their New River AZ residence. 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. One thing to bear 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 may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? The majority of DPT schools supply some type of financial assistance to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are examining have a financial assistance office and see what kind of aid is offered. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapy college you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the New River AZ area, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, learn 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 New River Arizona?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the New River AZ area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
New River, Arizona
New River is named after the seasonal wash of the same name, part of the Agua Fria River system which drains into the Salt River. It was founded by Lord Darrell Duppa in 1868 as a stagecoach stop. For many years it was the terminus of the old Black Canyon Highway (now Interstate 17). The pavement ended in New River and continued as a dirt road to the city of Prescott.
New River is located at 33°52′9″N 112°5′9″W / 33.86917°N 112.08583°W / 33.86917; -112.08583 (33.869149, −112.085759). It is bordered by the Tonto National Forest to the north, Cave Creek to the east, Phoenix to the south, and Anthem to the west. The CDP includes the area known as Desert Hills.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 70.8 square miles (183 km2), of which, 70.8 square miles (183 km2) of it is land and 0.01% is water. It includes both Daisy Mountain and Gavilan Peak.
Choose the Right Physical Therapist School near New River AZ
Choosing the right physical therapist program is a necessary first decision you need to make to begin a rewarding career in the medical profession. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you decide on should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. However there are other relevant questions that you should ask concerning your college of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapy college, bear in mind that numerous factors will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You might want to go to each of the schools to view their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me achieve my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the best selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in New River AZ.
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