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How to Find the Right Physical Therapy Course Near Fort Mohave Arizona

Fort Mohave Arizona physical therapist working with woman holding exercise ballGetting a physical therapist degree near Fort Mohave AZ is an essential first step to starting a rewarding career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated as a result of injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the appropriate training and education. A PT must also be licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it's important to research the ones you are thinking about to make certain they will supply a superior education and meet your state's licensing standards. What you do not want to do is enroll in a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be evaluated in addition to 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 what the educational options are.

What Does a Physical Therapist Do?

Fort Mohave Arizona physical therapist helping female patient to walk

Physical therapists practice in varying locations, including Fort Mohave AZ hospitals, health clinics, 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 mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they design a program of treatment to address the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also strive to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Head injuries
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Sports injuries
  • Fire injuries
  • Hip Replacement
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Multiple Sclerosis

Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Fort Mohave AZ health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also manage several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone considering going into the physical therapy field, 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 Therapist Degrees Available

Fort Mohave Arizona physical therapist working with man in pool

There are three physical therapy degrees offered for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is attainable that qualifies the graduate to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief explanations of degree levels that are offered to prospective students in the Fort Mohave AZ area:

  • Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are typically provided by community colleges, and require two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a component of the course of study.
  • Bachelor's Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy education to prep candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential initial step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor's degrees, they normally require 4 years to complete and commonly include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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). In addition to the bachelor's degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to finish, making the overall investment of time seven years in most cases. Clinical training is an intregal component along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in several states for licensing also.

The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has taken the place of the Master's of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer attainable in the USA. A number of practicing physical therapists holding a master's or in some cases a bachelor's degree were "grandfathered" in before the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapist Degrees Online

Fort Mohave Arizona female student taking physical therapy classes onlineWhile not as common as the on-campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapist degrees available, even more 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 requires that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the course of study may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student's Fort Mohave AZ residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition might be significantly less than comparable on-campus options, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.

Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Schools

By now you most likely have come to decision regarding a few of your preliminary queries, like the kind of physical therapist degree you intend to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are so many PT schools within the Fort Mohave AZ area and across Arizona, you'll have to research additional qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of school choices. Furthermore, you need to be sure that you enroll in the college that is right for you. That's why we have put together a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. Ask each of the potential schools these questions prior to making a final selection.

Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited?  Ask if the schools you are reviewing have earned 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 select an online college, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's imperative that both the physical therapy program and school you choose are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.

What is the Program's Standing? Along with accreditation, it's essential that the school and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT school's reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Call several Fort Mohave AZ physical therapist clinics or other medical care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your program options. It may also be a good idea to check with the Arizona Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.

What is the Program's Job Placement Percentage? There are a two important statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might indicate that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the help of the school's job placement program, particularly in the Fort Mohave AZ area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care field is good or perhaps outstanding. It also confirms that the college has a broad network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment upon graduation.

Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It's essential that the program you choose provides both excellent training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working. In every 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 PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.

Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the physical therapy programs you are reviewing have associations with Fort Mohave AZ clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to get hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may help students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Fort Mohave healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the physical therapy program as well.

Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy college they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their Fort Mohave AZ residence. Those who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble 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 program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.

Is Financial Support Provided? The majority of DPT colleges offer some form of financial support to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have a financial aid office and find out what kind of assistance is offered. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. A number of physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial aid may be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapist school you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Fort Mohave AZ area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses 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 work, illness or family obligations.

Find Out More About Fort Mohave Physical Therapy Majors

Enroll in the Right Fort Mohave Physical Therapy School

Picking the best physical therapist school is an important initial decision you need to make to launch a fulfilling career in the health care field. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you select should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. But there are other important questions that you need to ask regarding your school of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapist program keep in mind that many factors will guide you toward your final decision. You may want to visit different schools to view their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me realize 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 options so you can make the right selection. And with the proper education and training, you can fulfill your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Fort Mohave Arizona.


 

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