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How to Enroll In the Right Physical Therapy Training Program Near Globe Arizona

Globe Arizona physical therapist working with female patient using balance ballReceiving a physical therapy degree near Globe AZ is an important first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated due to illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the appropriate training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it's important to evaluate those you are looking at to make certain they will furnish a superior education and satisfy your state's licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is choose a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be evaluated along with cost and location. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we'll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.

What Do Physical Therapists Do?

Globe Arizona DPT helping female patient to walk

Physical therapists practice in diverse settings, such as Globe AZ private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they create a course of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also strive to prevent any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Strokes
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Sports injuries
  • Fire injuries
  • Knee Replacement
  • Sciatica
  • Multiple Sclerosis

Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Globe AZ medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degrees

Globe Arizona DPT working with patient in pool

There are 3 physical therapy degree options available for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the single degree that is available that qualifies the graduate to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief explanations of degree levels that are available to prospective students in the Globe AZ area:

  • Associate Degrees prepare students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are most often offered by community colleges, and require 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally part of the program.
  • Bachelor's Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist training to prep candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor's degrees, they typically require four years to finish and usually include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are mandated in order 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 3 years to complete, making the overall investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an important element along with the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in a number of states for licensing also.

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 holding a master's or even a bachelor's degree were "grandfathered" in before the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapy Online Colleges

Globe Arizona woman taking physical therapy courses onlineWhile not as prevalent as the more traditional options, there are many accredited online physical therapist programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online segment of the program can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student's Globe AZ home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat lower than comparable on campus options, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.

Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Schools

At this point you most likely have come to decision concerning 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 you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are numerous PT schools within the Globe AZ area and across Arizona, you'll need to explore other qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of school options. Moreover, you need to make sure that you pick the school that is right for you. That's the reason we have compiled a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions before making an ultimate decision.

Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited?  Find out if the schools you are considering have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. 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 choose an online college, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's important that both the physical therapy school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.

What is the Program's Reputation? Along with accreditation, it's important that the school and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT school's reputation, starting with requesting 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. Get in touch with some Globe AZ physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any advice about your school options. It may also be prudent 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 Rate? There are a two important statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapy programs you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might mean 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 hired with the assistance of the college's job placement program, particularly in the Globe AZ area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even excellent. It also confirms that the college has a large network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs after graduation.

Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It's essential that the program you enroll in furnishes both superior training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements 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. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional exams.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapy schools you are evaluating have relationships with Globe AZ clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great means to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may help graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Globe health care community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are considering 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 determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the physical therapist program as well.

Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Globe AZ home. Students who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps 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 commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.

Is Financial Aid Offered? The majority of DPT colleges provide some type of financial aid to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are looking at have a financial assistance department and see what kind of assistance is available. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. Some physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial assistance may be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapist program you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Globe AZ area, verify that they are available. 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, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.

Find Out More About Globe Physical Therapy Schools

Choose the Best Globe Physical Therapy School

Selecting the ideal physical therapy program is a necessary initial decision you need to make to begin a gratifying career in the health care field. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you pick should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. However there are additional critical questions that you need to ask pertaining to your school of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapy program keep in mind that a number of variables will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You might decide to visit different campuses to view their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program 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 best choice. And with the proper education and training, you can achieve your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Globe Arizona.


 

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