Home >> Arizona >> Guadalupe >> Physical Therapy Schools


Receive Free Information on Physical Therapist Courses Guadalupe AZ 85283

How to Select the Right Physical Therapy Program Near Guadalupe Arizona

Guadalupe Arizona physical therapist working with female patient holding exercise ballObtaining a physical therapist degree near Guadalupe AZ is an essential first step to launching a rewarding career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled due to illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the proper education and training. A PT must also be licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it's important to investigate the ones you are looking at to make sure they will supply a superior education and comply with your state's licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is enroll in a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be considered besides location and cost. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we'll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.

What is a Physical Therapist's Job Description?

Guadalupe Arizona DPT helping woman to walk

Physical therapists work in varying settings, such as Guadalupe AZ private practices, hospitals, 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 earlier touched on, physical therapists help people that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also try 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
  • Hip Replacement
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Cerebral Palsy

Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Guadalupe AZ medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone considering entering the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degrees

Guadalupe Arizona physical therapist working with patient in pool

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

  • Associate Degrees train students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are typically made available by community colleges, and take about two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a portion of the course of study.
  • Bachelor's Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy education to ready candidates to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential initial step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor's degrees, they normally require 4 years to finish and usually include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are required if you want 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 total commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an important component along with the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in several 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 United States. Some licensed physical therapists having a master's or in some cases a bachelor's degree were "grandfathered" in prior to the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapy Online Degrees

Guadalupe Arizona female student taking physical therapist training onlineAlthough not as prevalent as the more traditional options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the program can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student's Guadalupe AZ home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition can be somewhat less than comparable on campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online option the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.

Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges

By now you probably have made a decision regarding a few of your initial questions, like the type of physical therapist degree you intend to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are so many PT schools within the Guadalupe AZ area and throughout Arizona, you'll need to research other qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of college options. Also, you need to make certain that you select the program that is best for you. That's why we have compiled a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are considering. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.

Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited?  Find out if the colleges you are considering have earned accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As previously mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctoral degree 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 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 recognized accrediting organization. Besides ensuring that you obtain a quality 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 pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are several ways you can look into a PT school's reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Call several Guadalupe AZ physical therapist clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your school selections. It may also be prudent to contact the Arizona Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapy schools you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may suggest that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the college's job placement program, particularly in the Guadalupe AZ area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or perhaps exceptional. It also verifies that the program has a broad network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs after graduation.

Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It's imperative that the program you enroll in furnishes both exceptional training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing criteria for Arizona or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional exams.

Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the physical therapist schools you are evaluating have associations with Guadalupe AZ hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent manner to get practical training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Guadalupe health care community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom 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 therapist colleges you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the physical therapy program also.

Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Guadalupe AZ residence. Individuals 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. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Support Provided? Most DPT colleges supply some form of financial support to their prospective students. Inquire if the colleges you are considering have a financial assistance department and see what type of help is offered. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. Some physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial aid may be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapist program you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Guadalupe AZ area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family obligations.

Learn More About Guadalupe Online Physical Therapy Programs

Enroll in the Best Guadalupe Physical Therapist School

Selecting the best physical therapy college is a necessary initial decision you need to make to launch a fulfilling career in the health care field. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you choose should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. However there are other relevant questions that you should ask regarding your college of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapy program bear in mind that many factors will guide you to your ultimate decision. You may want to visit different schools to view their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me realize my goal of becoming a practicing licensed 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 necessary training and education, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Guadalupe Arizona.


 

Guadalupe Physical Therapy Major Programs | Main | Guadalupe Physical Therapist Schools