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How to Choose the Right Physical Therapist Course Near Globe Arizona

Globe Arizona physical therapist working with woman holding exercise ballReceiving a physical therapist degree near Globe AZ is a critical first step to launching a fulfilling career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled due to injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the appropriate training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it's essential to research the ones you are looking at to ensure they will deliver a superior education and meet your state's licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is choose a college 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 considered in addition to location and cost. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we'll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.

What Does a Physical Therapist Do?

Globe Arizona DPT assisting female patient to walk

Physical therapists work in diverse settings, including Globe AZ hospitals, health clinics, 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 previously touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they create a course of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Head injuries
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Sports injuries
  • Fire injuries
  • Hip Replacement
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Cerebral Palsy

Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Globe AZ health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degrees Offered

Globe Arizona physical therapist working with patient in pool

There are three physical therapy degrees available for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is offered that qualifies the graduate to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short summaries of degree levels that are available to prospective students in the Globe AZ area:

  • Associate Degrees train students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are usually made available by community colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a portion of the program.
  • Bachelor's Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy training to ready students to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor's degrees, they generally take four years to finish and commonly include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are required in order to become a practicing licensed 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 three years to finish, making the overall commitment seven years in most cases. Clinical training is an intregal element in addition to the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in a number of 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 USA. Some licensed physical therapists having a master's or in some cases a bachelor's degree were "grandfathered" in prior to the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapist Online Schools

Globe Arizona woman taking physical therapist courses onlineAlthough not as common as the on campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the program may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student's Globe AZ home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition might be somewhat less than similar on-campus options, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.

Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Programs

By now you most likely have come to decision concerning a few of your preliminary questions, such as the kind 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 since there are so many PT schools within the Globe AZ area and throughout Arizona, you'll need to look into additional qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of school options. Moreover, you need to be sure that you pick the college that is right for you. That's the reason we have compiled a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are considering. Ask all of the potential schools these questions before making an ultimate selection.

Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited?  Find out if the programs you are considering have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As earlier stated, if you are pursuing a doctoral degree the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you enroll in an online school, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's essential that both the physical therapy school and program you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.

What is the Program's Reputation? Along with accreditation, it's essential that the college and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist community. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT program's reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Call several Globe AZ physical therapy clinics or other medical care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your program selections. It might also be a good idea to check with the Arizona Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.

What is the Program's Job Placement Percentage? There are a two relevant statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapy programs you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might suggest that students left because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance 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 health care community is good or even exceptional. It also confirms that the program has a broad network of contacts to help students get internships or employment upon graduation.

Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It's imperative that the program you enroll in furnishes both superior training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy 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 Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the physical therapist colleges you are interested in have associations with Globe AZ hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to get hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist students and graduates form professional relationships in the Globe healthcare community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit far in the back of class or hide 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 therapy schools you are looking at what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the physical therapist program also.

Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapy school they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Globe AZ residence. Students who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to keep 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 have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.

Is Financial Help Provided? Most DPT colleges supply some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance department and find out what kind of assistance is available. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. Some physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial assistance may be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapy college you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Globe AZ area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family obligations.

Find Out More About Globe Physical Therapy Majors

Enroll in the Best Globe Physical Therapy School

Picking the best physical therapist college is a necessary first decision you need to make to begin a gratifying career in the medical field. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you choose should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. But there are additional important questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapist program keep in mind that many factors will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You might want to go to different schools to see their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me achieve my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the ideal selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can achieve your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Globe Arizona.


 

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