How to Select a Physical Therapist Program near Bullhead City 86429
Earning a physical therapy degree near Bullhead City AZ is a critical first step to starting a rewarding career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated as a result of injury or illness 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 also become licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate those you are looking at to make certain they will deliver a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is select a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence 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 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’s Job Description?
Physical therapists practice in varying locations, such as Bullhead City AZ hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help people that are struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a course of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also strive to prevent any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Bullhead City AZ medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone considering entering the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees
There are three physical therapy degree options available for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief explanations of degrees that are offered in the Bullhead City AZ area:
- Associate Degrees train students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are usually offered by community or junior colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually part of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist training to ready students to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral preliminary step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they typically take four years to finish and often 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). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to complete, making the overall investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an essential component along with the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in a number of 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 offered in the United States. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Programs
Although not as common as the on-campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy programs available, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online part of the program can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Bullhead City AZ home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition can be significantly less than comparable on campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages may make the online option the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
By now you most likely have come to decision concerning a few of your preliminary queries, like the type of physical therapist degree you want to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are so many PT colleges within the Bullhead City AZ area and across Arizona, you’ll need to explore additional qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of school options. Also, you need to make sure that you pick the college that is best for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist programs you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing schools these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Ask if the programs you are looking at have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As earlier stated, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you select an online college, it may also earn 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, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are several ways you can look into a PT school’s reputation, beginning with requesting 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 also. Get in touch with some Bullhead City AZ physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your college selections. It might also be a good idea 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 College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two significant statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapy schools you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may suggest that students left because of displeasure 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 school’s job placement program, particularly in the Bullhead City AZ area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also verifies that the college has a broad network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you select furnishes both exceptional 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 required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internships Provided? Ask if the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing have relationships with Bullhead City AZ clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent means to get practical training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist students and graduates develop professional connections in the Bullhead City healthcare community and assist with job placement after licensing.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they decide on will need to be within driving distance of their Bullhead City AZ residence. 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 local internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Help Offered? The majority of DPT colleges supply some form of financial support to their prospective students. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have a financial assistance office and see what kind of assistance is offered. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. A number of physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial aid might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapist college you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Bullhead City AZ area, confirm that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Bullhead City Arizona?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Bullhead City AZ area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Bullhead City, Arizona
Bullhead City is a city located on the Colorado River in Mohave County, Arizona, United States, roughly 90 mi (140 km) south of Las Vegas, Nevada, and directly across the Colorado River from Laughlin, Nevada, whose casinos and ancillary services supply much of the employment for Bullhead City. Bullhead City is located on the southern border of Lake Mohave. According to the 2010 census, the population of the city is 39,540. The nearby communities of Laughlin, Needles, California, Fort Mohave and Mohave Valley bring the Bullhead area's total population to about 100,000, making it the largest micropolitan area in Mohave County.
In 2011, the Laughlin/Bullhead International Airport was named Airport of the Year by the Arizona Department of Transportation. The latest figures indicate that "...more than 115,000 people flew into Laughlin/Bullhead International Airport on casino-sponsored charters in 2010." In the 1980s the airport was home to the helicopters of the TV show Airwolf.
The earliest inhabitants of the Colorado River Valley were the Mojave people. The rich soil and plentiful water provided the valley's natives with the necessities to create a prosperous farming community. According to Mojave legend, life began on Spirit Mountain, the highest peak visible from the Bullhead City area.
Enroll in the Ideal Physical Therapy College near Bullhead City AZ
Selecting the best physical therapy program is a necessary initial decision you need to make to launch a gratifying career in the health care profession. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you select should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are other relevant questions that you should ask concerning your school of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapy college, bear in mind that numerous factors will lead you toward your final decision. You might want to visit different schools to see their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me reach my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the best choice. And with the proper education and training, you can achieve your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Bullhead City AZ.
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