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How to Enroll In the Right Physical Therapist College Near Holbrook Arizona

Holbrook Arizona physical therapist working with female patient holding exercise ballGetting a physical therapist degree near Holbrook AZ is a critical first step to starting a rewarding career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated as a result of injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the necessary training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it's important to research the ones you are considering to make certain they will supply a superior education and comply with your state's licensing standards. What you should not do is select a school just because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be evaluated in addition to location and cost. But before we discuss 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?

Holbrook Arizona physical therapist helping woman to walk

Physical therapists work in a variety of locations, such as Holbrook AZ hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they design a course of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Head injuries
  • Heart attacks
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Burn injuries
  • Hip Replacement
  • Sciatica
  • Multiple Sclerosis

Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Holbrook AZ medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone considering getting 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 long periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degree Options

Holbrook Arizona DPT working with patient in pool

There are 3 physical therapist degrees available for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is offered that qualifies the graduate to practice as 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 explanations of degree levels that are available to prospective students in the Holbrook AZ area:

  • Associate Degrees train students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are typically made available by community or junior colleges, and take about two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a portion of the program.
  • Bachelor's Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist training to prepare students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor's degrees, they generally require 4 years to finish and usually 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 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 finish, making the total investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an intregal component along with the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not just 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 phased out and is no longer offered in the USA. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master's or even a bachelor's degree were "grandfathered" in before the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapy Online Degrees

Holbrook Arizona female student taking physical therapist training onlineWhile not as prevalent as the more traditional options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student's Holbrook AZ home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition might be significantly lower than similar on campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.

What to Ask Physical Therapy Schools

At this point you most likely have come to decision concerning a few of your initial questions, such as the type of physical therapist degree you want to earn, 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 Holbrook AZ area and throughout Arizona, you'll need to look into other qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of college options. Furthermore, you need to make certain that you pick the college that is ideal for you. That's the reason we have compiled a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapy schools you are considering. Ask each of the potential schools these questions before making a final selection.

Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited?  Find out if the programs you are considering have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As previously 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 may also earn 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, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.

What is the School's Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it's important that the school and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapy community. There are several ways you can investigate a PT college's reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Contact some Holbrook AZ physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any advice about your college options. It might also be prudent to contact the Arizona Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.

What is the School's Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of significant statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might indicate that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the college's job placement program, particularly in the Holbrook AZ area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care field is good or even outstanding. It also verifies that the program has a large network of contacts to assist students get internships or jobs after graduation.

Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It's essential that the school you enroll in furnishes both exceptional training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional exams.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapist schools you are evaluating have partnerships with Holbrook AZ hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to receive practical training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can assist graduates and students develop professional connections in the Holbrook healthcare community and help with job placement once licensed.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering what the typical teacher to student 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 a chance to speak with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the physical therapy program also.

Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy college they select will have to be within travelling distance of their Holbrook AZ residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even 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 usually charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Most DPT colleges offer some type of financial support to their prospective students. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial assistance office and find out what kind of help is offered. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. Some physical therapy colleges provide 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 Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapist college you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Holbrook AZ area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify 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 might miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.

Learn More About Holbrook Online Physical Therapist Colleges

Enroll in the Right Holbrook Physical Therapy School

Picking the ideal physical therapist college is an important first decision you need to make to launch a fulfilling career in the healthcare profession. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you select should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. But there are additional important questions that you should ask pertaining to your college of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapy college bear in mind that a number of variables will guide you toward your final decision. You might want to visit different colleges to view their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me accomplish my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the proper education and training, you can achieve your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Holbrook Arizona.


 

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