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How to Select the Right Physical Therapist Course Near Globe Arizona

Globe Arizona physical therapist working with woman holding balance ballReceiving a physical therapy degree near Globe AZ is an essential first step to launching a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated due to injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the necessary education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it's necessary to evaluate those you are considering to ensure they will supply a quality education and meet your state's licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is select a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be considered along with cost and location. But before we cover what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we'll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.

What is a Physical Therapist?

Globe Arizona DPT helping female patient to walk

Physical therapists work in a variety of settings, such as Globe AZ hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also try to prevent any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Strokes
  • Heart attacks
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Fire injuries
  • Hip Replacement
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Cerebral Palsy

Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Globe AZ medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone thinking about entering 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 Degrees

Globe Arizona physical therapist working with man in pool

There are three physical therapy degree options available for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is available that qualifies the graduate to become 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 summaries of degrees that are offered to prospective students in the Globe AZ area:

  • Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are most often made available by community colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually part of the course of study.
  • Bachelor's Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy education to prep candidates to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor's degrees, they generally require 4 years to finish and commonly include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are mandated 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). In addition to the bachelor's degree, the doctoral takes three years to finish, making the total commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an important component in addition to the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in some 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 offered in the United States. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master's or even a bachelor's degree were "grandfathered" in prior to the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapy Online Colleges

Globe Arizona woman taking physical therapy courses onlineAlthough not as prevalent as the on campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the school campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online part of the course of study may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student's Globe AZ residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition might be somewhat lower than similar on-campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.

Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Programs

At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning some of your preliminary queries, such as the kind of physical therapist degree you want to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are numerous PT colleges within the Globe AZ area and throughout Arizona, you'll need to explore other qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of school options. Moreover, you want to make sure that you pick the college that is ideal for you. That's why we have compiled a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. Ask each of the potential schools these questions prior to making a final selection.

Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited?  Find out if the programs you are looking at have earned accreditation from a national or a regional 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 can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's important that both the physical therapist 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.

What is the School's Reputation? Along with accreditation, it's imperative that the college and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapy community. There are a number of ways you can research a PT program's reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Contact several Globe AZ physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your college selections. It may also be a good idea to contact the Arizona Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.

What is the Program's Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of useful statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapist schools you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may indicate that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the support of the college's job placement program, particularly in the Globe AZ area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even exceptional. It also confirms that the college has a broad network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment after graduation.

Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It's essential that the program you choose furnishes both superior training and a curriculum 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 therapist college. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapy programs you are interested in have partnerships with Globe AZ clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to get practical 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 graduates and students form professional connections in the Globe medical community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the physical therapy program as well.

Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Globe AZ home. Those who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to keep 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 need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Support Provided? The majority of DPT schools provide some type of financial support to their prospective students. Find out if the colleges you are examining have a financial assistance office and find out what kind of help is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. Some physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid may be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapy program you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Globe AZ area, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family obligations.

Find Out More About Globe Physical Therapy Schools

Choose the Best Globe Physical Therapy School

Selecting the best physical therapist program is a necessary first decision you have to make to launch a fulfilling career in the health care field. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you choose should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. However there are other relevant questions that you need to ask concerning your college of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapist college bear in mind that a number of factors will lead you to your final decision. You may decide to go to each of the campuses to see their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me accomplish my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the proper training and education, you can achieve your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Globe Arizona.


 

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