How to Find the Right Physical Therapy Degree Program near Weatherford 73096
Getting a physical therapist degree near Weatherford OK is an important first step to launching a rewarding career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated as a result of illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the necessary education and training. A PT must also become licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate those you are thinking about to make sure they will provide 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 relevant qualifications that need to be considered along with location and cost. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists practice in varying settings, such as Weatherford OK private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they design a course of treatment to address the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Weatherford OK medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees
There are 3 physical therapy degree options available for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief explanations of degree levels that are offered in the Weatherford OK area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are typically provided by community or junior colleges, and take about two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a component of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist education to prep students to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral preliminary step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to finish and often include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to finish, making the total investment of time seven years in most cases. Clinical training is an important element in addition to the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in some 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 offered in the United States. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Schools Online
Although not as common as the on campus options, there are some 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 integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the program can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Weatherford OK home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition may be somewhat less than comparable on-campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
By now you most likely have made a decision concerning some of your initial queries, like the type of physical therapy degree you intend to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are so many PT schools within the Weatherford OK area and across Oklahoma, you’ll have to explore other qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of college choices. Moreover, you need to make certain that you choose the school that is best for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are considering. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As previously stated, 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 college, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist school and program you select are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapist community. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Get in touch with several Weatherford OK physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your program options. It may also be prudent to check with the Oklahoma Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of significant statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapy programs you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might mean that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, 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 Weatherford OK area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care field is good or even excellent. It also verifies that the program has a wide network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you select provides both excellent training and a course of study that supports the licensing criteria for Oklahoma or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internships Provided? Ask if the physical therapy schools you are evaluating have partnerships with Weatherford OK hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to obtain practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist graduates and students establish professional connections in the Weatherford health care community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer 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 instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist college they decide on will have to be within driving distance of their Weatherford OK residence. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Most DPT colleges provide some type of financial aid to their prospective students. Ask if the schools you are looking at have a financial assistance department and see what type of help is obtainable. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. Some physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapist college you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Weatherford OK area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Weatherford Oklahoma?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Weatherford OK area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Weatherford is located at 35°32′18″N 98°41′14″W / 35.53833°N 98.68722°W / 35.53833; -98.68722 (35.5384097, -98.6872467). The elevation is 1,634 feet (498 m). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.44 square miles (16.7 km2).
Situated on land made available to homesteaders as part of the Cheyenne-Arapaho Opening on April 19, 1892, Weatherford was incorporated on August 3, 1898, on a townsite location chosen by banking and civic leader Beeks Erick. By 1900, the town's population was 1,017. The town's original post office was located approximately two miles north of town, on William John and Lorinda Powell Weatherford's homestead. Lorinda Weatherford served as its postmaster and namesake. In its early years, farming and ranching provided the major economic base, with corn, cotton, and maize the major crops. Additionally, a brick plant, a cement plant, and a broom factory provided jobs as well as supplies for early residents.
As of the census of 2015, there were 12,126 people, 3,991 households, and 2,187 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,699.3 people per square mile (656.3/km²). There were 4,468 housing units at an average density of 770.1 per square mile (297.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 73.7% White, 4.9% African American, 2.3% Native American, 1.4% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.76% from other races, and 6.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 10.8% of the population.
Select the Best Physical Therapy Training Program near Weatherford OK
Picking the right physical therapy college is an important first decision you need to make to start a gratifying career in the health care profession. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you enroll in should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. However there are other relevant questions that you should ask regarding your college of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapy school, bear in mind that numerous variables will guide you to your final decision. You might want to go to each of the colleges to view their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me reach my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the ideal selection. And with the proper training and education, you can achieve your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Weatherford OK.
A Few More Interesting Locations in Oklahoma