How to Pick a Physical Therapy School near Water Valley 38965
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near Water Valley MS is an important first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated as a result of illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the proper education and training. A PT must also be licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research the ones you are thinking about to ensure they will deliver a quality 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 lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be evaluated besides cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of settings, including Water Valley MS private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help patients that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they create a course of treatment to address the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also strive to stop any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Water Valley MS medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to bear in mind 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 three physical therapist degrees available for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief summaries of degree levels that are available in the Water Valley MS area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are usually made available by community colleges, and require 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically part of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to prepare candidates to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they typically take four years to complete and commonly include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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 three years to finish, making the total investment of time seven years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an essential component in addition to the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not just for graduation but in several states for licensing as well.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer attainable in the United States. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Schools
Although not as prevalent as the on campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapy programs offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online segment of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Water Valley MS home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition might be significantly less than similar on-campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
By now you probably have made a decision concerning a few of your initial questions, including the type of physical therapist degree you would like to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are numerous PT colleges within the Water Valley MS area and across Mississippi, you’ll need to research other qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of college options. Moreover, you need to be sure that you choose the college that is ideal for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are thinking about. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are considering have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As earlier mentioned, 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 program, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy program and school you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapist community. There are several ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Get in touch with a few Water Valley MS physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your program selections. It might also be prudent to contact the Mississippi Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two relevant statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might indicate 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 placed in jobs with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Water Valley MS area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care field is good or perhaps excellent. It also affirms that the program has a wide network of contacts to help students obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you enroll in provides both exceptional training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements for Mississippi or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapy schools you are evaluating have partnerships with Water Valley MS hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent means to receive practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist graduates and students develop professional connections in the Water Valley medical community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are researching 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 final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy college they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Water Valley MS residence. Those who have opted to attend classes online 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 keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often 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 Support Provided? The majority of DPT schools offer some type of financial assistance to their potential students. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance department and find out what type of help is available. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. A number of physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial assistance may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapist school you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Water Valley MS area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Water Valley Mississippi?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Water Valley MS area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Water Valley, Mississippi
As of the census of 2000, there were 3,677 people, 1,470 households, and 961 families residing in the city. The population density was 523.2 people per square mile (201.9/km²). There were 1,675 housing units at an average density of 238.3 per square mile (92.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 57.87% White, 40.74% African American, 0.33% Native American, 0.16% Asian, 0.22% Pacific Islander, 0.19% from other races, and 0.49% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.20% of the population.
There were 1,470 households out of which 30.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.0% were married couples living together, 23.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.6% were non-families. 31.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 3.07.
In the city, the population was spread out with 26.5% under the age of 18, 8.9% from 18 to 24, 26.2% from 25 to 44, 21.1% from 45 to 64, and 17.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 81.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 74.3 males.
Pick the Right Physical Therapy Training Program near Water Valley MS
Choosing the best physical therapy program is a necessary first decision you have to make to start a rewarding career in the health care field. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you select should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are additional relevant questions that you need to ask regarding your college of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapist program, bear in mind that many variables will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You may decide to visit different colleges to see their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me realize my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the right selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can fulfill your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Water Valley MS.
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