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How to Find the Right Physical Therapy Course Near Globe Arizona

Globe Arizona physical therapist working with woman using exercise ballEarning a physical therapist degree near Globe AZ is an important first step to starting a rewarding career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated as a result of illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the necessary education and training. A PT must also become licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it's essential to investigate those you are thinking about to make sure they will furnish a quality education and meet your state's licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is enroll in a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be considered in addition to location and cost. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we'll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.

What is a Physical Therapist's Job Description?

Globe Arizona DPT assisting female patient to walk

Physical therapists practice in varying locations, including Globe AZ hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are experiencing 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 issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:

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

Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Globe AZ medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy profession, it is quite 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 Therapist Degrees

Globe Arizona physical therapist working with patient in pool

There are three physical therapy degree options available for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is attainable 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 readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief summaries of degree levels that are offered to prospective students in the Globe AZ area:

  • Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are usually provided by community colleges, and require 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a component of the program.
  • Bachelor's Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist education to prep candidates to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor's degrees, they typically take 4 years to complete and often incorporate an internship program of at least 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). After earning the bachelor's degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to complete, making the overall commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Practical or 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 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 available in the United States. A number of practicing 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 instituted.

Physical Therapy Programs Online

Globe Arizona woman taking physical therapy courses onlineWhile not as common as the more traditional options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the course of study may be accessed within the comfort and convenience 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 can be somewhat lower than comparable on-campus options, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.

Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Programs

By now you probably have come to decision regarding some of your preliminary queries, including the kind of physical therapist degree you want to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are so many PT colleges within the Globe AZ area and throughout Arizona, you'll need to research other qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of college choices. Furthermore, you want to be sure that you select the college that is right for you. That's the reason we have compiled a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.

Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited?  Ask if the programs 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 school, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's essential that both the physical therapy school and program you choose are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the Program's Ranking? Along with accreditation, it's imperative that the college and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are several ways you can look into a PT school's reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Contact several Globe AZ physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your program 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 filed against the schools.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of important statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might mean that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, 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's an indication that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even excellent. It also verifies that the school has a broad network of contacts to help students get internships or employment after graduation.

Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It's essential that the program you enroll in furnishes both excellent training and a course of study that satisfies 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 fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapy schools you are assessing have associations with Globe AZ clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great way to obtain practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Globe medical community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the physical therapist program also.

Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy school they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Globe AZ home. Those who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Help Offered? Most DPT schools offer some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are examining have a financial assistance office and find out what type of assistance is obtainable. They at least should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. A number of 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 aid may be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapy college you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while attending classes. 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, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.

Learn More About Globe Online Physical Therapy Degrees

Choose the Right Globe Physical Therapist School

Picking the ideal physical therapist program is an important first decision you must make to begin a gratifying career in the healthcare profession. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you enroll in should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. But 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 keep in mind that many factors will lead you to your ultimate decision. You might want to go to different colleges to view their facilities and speak to active 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 following our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the right choice. And with the proper training and education, you can fulfill your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Globe Arizona.


 

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