Home >> Arizona >> Lake Montezuma >> Physical Therapy Degrees


Request Free Information on Physical Therapy Courses Lake Montezuma AZ 86335

How to Find the Right Physical Therapy Course Near Lake Montezuma Arizona

Lake Montezuma Arizona physical therapist working with woman holding exercise ballEarning a physical therapist degree near Lake Montezuma AZ is an important first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated due to injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the appropriate education and training. A PT must also become licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it's important to evaluate those you are considering to make sure they will supply a quality education and meet your state's licensing standards. What you should not do is enroll in a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be considered in addition to cost and location. 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?

Lake Montezuma Arizona physical therapist helping female patient to walk

Physical therapists practice in a variety of settings, including Lake Montezuma AZ hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they design a program of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also strive to stop any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Strokes
  • Heart attacks
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Fire injuries
  • Hip Replacement
  • Sciatica
  • Multiple Sclerosis

Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Lake Montezuma AZ medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone considering entering the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degrees Available

Lake Montezuma Arizona DPT working with man in pool

There are 3 physical therapist degree options offered for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is offered that qualifies the graduate to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short descriptions of degrees that are available to prospective students in the Lake Montezuma AZ area:

  • Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or can 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 programs are most often made available by junior or community colleges, and take about two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a component of the program.
  • Bachelor's Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist education to ready students to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor's degrees, they normally require 4 years to finish and often incorporate 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). After earning the bachelor's degree, the doctoral takes three years to complete, making the overall commitment seven years in most cases. Clinical training is an important component in addition to the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment 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 eliminated and is no longer attainable in the United States. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master's or even a bachelor's degree were "grandfathered" in before the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapist Online Colleges

Lake Montezuma Arizona woman taking physical therapist courses onlineAlthough not as common as the more traditional options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist degrees available, even more 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 close to the college campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online segment of the curriculum may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student's Lake Montezuma AZ residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat less than similar on campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages may make the online option the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.

What to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges

By now you most likely 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 invest in your education. But because there are so many PT colleges within the Lake Montezuma AZ area and throughout Arizona, you'll need to research other qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of school choices. Also, you need to be sure that you choose the program that is ideal for you. That's the reason we have put together a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions before making an ultimate selection.

Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited?  Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As earlier 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 enroll in an online college, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's important that both the physical therapy school and program you select are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the School's Standing? Along with accreditation, it's imperative that the college and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are several ways you can investigate a PT school's reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Call some Lake Montezuma AZ physical therapist centers or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your college selections. It might 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 colleges.

What is the Program's Job Placement Rate? There are a two important statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate 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 placed in jobs with the assistance of the school's job placement program, particularly in the Lake Montezuma AZ area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even exceptional. It also confirms that the program has a large network of contacts to assist students get internships or jobs after graduation.

Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It's essential that the program you choose provides both excellent training and a curriculum 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 school. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.

Are Internships Offered? Inquire if the physical therapy colleges you are evaluating have partnerships with Lake Montezuma AZ clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific way to obtain hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist students and graduates develop professional connections in the Lake Montezuma health care community and assist 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 get lost 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 therapy colleges you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the physical therapy program also.

Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they select will have to be within driving distance of their Lake Montezuma AZ residence. Students who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually 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 Help Provided? Most DPT schools provide some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have a financial aid department and find out what type of aid is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. A number of physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial aid may be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapist program you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Lake Montezuma AZ area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check 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 emergencies.

Find Out More About Lake Montezuma Online Physical Therapist Courses

Enroll in the Best Lake Montezuma Physical Therapy School

Selecting the ideal physical therapy program is a necessary initial decision you must make to begin a fulfilling career in the health care field. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you decide on should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. But there are other important questions that you should ask concerning your school of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapy program keep in mind that many factors will lead you toward your final decision. You may want to go to different campuses to see their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to 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 education and training, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Lake Montezuma Arizona.


 

Lake Montezuma Physical Therapist Schools | Main | Lake Montezuma Physical Therapist Degrees