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How to Enroll In the Right Physical Therapist School Near Kingman Arizona

Kingman Arizona physical therapist working with woman using exercise ballObtaining a physical therapist degree near Kingman AZ is an important first step to launching a rewarding career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled due to injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the appropriate training and education. A PT must also become licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it's essential to evaluate the ones you are considering to make sure they will provide a superior education and satisfy your state's licensing standards. What you do not want to do is choose a college just 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 cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we'll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.

What Do Physical Therapists Do?

Kingman Arizona physical therapist helping woman to walk

Physical therapists work in varying settings, such as Kingman AZ hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a course of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also strive to prevent any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Strokes
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Sports injuries
  • Burn injuries
  • Hip Replacement
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Cerebral Palsy

Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Kingman AZ health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone considering going into 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 Available

Kingman Arizona physical therapist working with patient in pool

There are 3 physical therapist degrees available for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the only degree that is attainable that qualifies the graduate to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief descriptions of degrees that are available to prospective students in the Kingman 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. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are usually made available by community colleges, and require 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a component of the course of study.
  • Bachelor's Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy training to prep candidates to advance to the doctoral level. Although 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 the majority of bachelor's degrees, they normally require 4 years to finish and often incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are a requirement in order to become a licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program also must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). After earning the bachelor's degree, the doctoral takes three years to finish, making the total investment of time seven years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an essential element along with the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in some states for licensing also.

The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master's of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer offered in the USA. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master's or even a bachelor's degree were "grandfathered" in prior to the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapist Online Schools

Kingman Arizona woman taking physical therapist classes onlineAlthough not as prevalent as the on campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online part of the program may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student's Kingman AZ home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition can be somewhat less than comparable on-campus options, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.

Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Programs

By now you most likely have made a decision regarding several of your initial questions, like the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are numerous PT colleges within the Kingman AZ area and across Arizona, you'll have to look into additional qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of college options. Also, you want to make sure that you pick the school that is best for you. That's the reason we have compiled a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapy colleges you are thinking about. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.

Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited?  Find out if the programs you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a regional or a national 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 choose an online college, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's imperative 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 agency. Along with ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the School's Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it's important that the college and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapist community. There are several ways you can research a PT college's reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Contact a few Kingman AZ physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your program options. It might also be a good idea to contact the Arizona Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.

What is the College's Job Placement Percentage? There are a two useful statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapy programs you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may 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 hired with the help of the college's job placement program, particularly in the Kingman AZ area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even outstanding. It also verifies that the school has a wide network of contacts to help students gain internships or employment upon graduation.

Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It's important that the program you enroll in provides both excellent training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. Although 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 exams.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapy programs you are assessing have associations with Kingman AZ clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent manner to get practical training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may assist graduates and students develop professional connections in the Kingman healthcare community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing 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 final determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the physical therapy program also.

Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy college they decide on will need to be within driving distance of their Kingman AZ residence. Those who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Most DPT schools provide some form of financial aid to their potential students. Find out if the schools you are examining have a financial aid department and see what type of assistance is offered. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. Some physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial aid might be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapy school you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Kingman AZ area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family obligations.

Find Out More About Kingman Online Physical Therapist Programs

Choose the Best Kingman Physical Therapy School

Deciding on the best physical therapist college is a necessary initial decision you have to make to launch a rewarding career in the healthcare profession. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you select should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. However there are additional critical questions that you should ask concerning your college of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapist school keep in mind that a number of variables will lead you toward your final decision. You might want to visit different colleges to see their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me achieve my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the best selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Kingman Arizona.


 

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