Home >> Arizona >> Marana >> Physical Therapist Schools


Receive Free Information on Physical Therapy Training Marana AZ 85652

How to Find the Right Physical Therapy Program Near Marana Arizona

Marana Arizona physical therapist working with female patient using exercise ballEarning a physical therapist degree near Marana AZ is an essential first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated due to illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the appropriate education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it's important to investigate the ones you are considering to ensure they will supply a quality education and comply with your state's licensing standards. What you should not do is enroll in a college 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 evaluated along with cost and location. But before we cover what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we'll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.

What is a Physical Therapist?

Marana Arizona physical therapist assisting woman to walk

Physical therapists practice in a variety of settings, including Marana AZ hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes 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 mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a course of treatment to address the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Head injuries
  • Heart attacks
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Burn injuries
  • Knee Replacement
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Cerebral Palsy

Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Marana AZ medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degrees

Marana Arizona physical therapist working with patient in pool

There are 3 physical therapist degree options available for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is attainable that qualifies the graduate to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short descriptions of degrees that are available to prospective students in the Marana AZ area:

  • Associate Degrees prepare 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 equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are usually made available by junior or community colleges, and require two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a portion of the program.
  • Bachelor's Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist education to ready students to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral preliminary step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor's degrees, they typically require four years to complete and usually incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are required in order to become a practicing licensed physical therapist. The degree program also must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). In addition to the bachelor's degree, the doctoral takes three years to finish, making the total investment of time seven years in most cases. Clinical training is an essential element along with the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in several states for licensing also.

The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has taken the place of the Master's of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer attainable in the USA. Some licensed physical therapists having a master's or even a bachelor's degree were "grandfathered" in prior to the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapy Online Programs

Marana Arizona female student taking physical therapist training onlineAlthough not as prevalent as the more traditional alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapist programs offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student's Marana AZ residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition can be significantly lower than comparable on-campus options, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.

Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Programs

At this point you probably have come to decision concerning a few of your initial queries, including the type of physical therapy degree you want to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are numerous PT schools within the Marana AZ area and throughout Arizona, you'll need to explore other qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of school choices. Moreover, you want to make certain that you enroll in the program that is right for you. That's why we have put together a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. Ask each of the competing schools these questions before making a final selection.

Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited?  Ask if the colleges you are looking at have earned 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 select an online school, 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. Also, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the Program's Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it's essential that the school and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist community. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT college's reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Contact several Marana AZ physical therapist clinics or other healthcare facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your program options. 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 colleges.

What is the Program's Job Placement Percentage? There are a two significant statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might indicate that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the school's job placement program, particularly in the Marana AZ area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or perhaps outstanding. It also verifies that the school has a large network of contacts to help students gain internships or employment after graduation.

Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It's imperative that the program you choose furnishes both superior training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements 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) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.

Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the physical therapist schools you are evaluating have partnerships with Marana AZ hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to obtain hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help graduates and students establish professional connections in the Marana health care community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Smaller 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 sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the physical therapy program as well.

Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapy college they select will need to be within commuting distance of their Marana AZ home. Individuals who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble 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 decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that don't reside within their districts.

Is Financial Aid Offered? The majority of DPT colleges offer some form of financial aid to their prospective students. Inquire if the schools you are considering have a financial aid office and see what kind of help is obtainable. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. A number of physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial aid might be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapy college you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Marana AZ area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.

Find Out More About Marana Online Physical Therapist Degrees

Choose the Right Marana Physical Therapy School

Picking the best physical therapist program is a necessary first decision you need to make to start a fulfilling career in the healthcare profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you pick should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. However there are additional relevant questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapy program keep in mind that numerous variables will guide you to your ultimate decision. You might want to go to each of the colleges to see their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me achieve my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the ideal choice. And with the proper training and education, you can achieve your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Marana Arizona.


 

Marana Physical Therapy Schools | Main | Marana Physical Therapy Degrees