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How to Find the Right Physical Therapy Degree Program Near New Kingman Butler Arizona

New Kingman Butler Arizona physical therapist working with female patient using balance ballGetting a physical therapy degree near New Kingman Butler AZ is a critical first step to starting a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been disabled as a result of illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the proper education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it's essential to research the ones you are thinking about to make certain they will supply a superior education and comply with your state's licensing standards. 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 the lowest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be evaluated in addition to location and cost. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we'll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.

What is a Physical Therapist's Job Description?

New Kingman Butler Arizona physical therapist assisting female patient to walk

Physical therapists work in diverse locations, such as New Kingman Butler 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 touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they develop a course of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also strive to prevent any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:

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

Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other New Kingman Butler AZ medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degrees Offered

New Kingman Butler Arizona physical therapist working with man in pool

There are three physical therapist degree options available for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the single degree that is available that qualifies the graduate to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short explanations of degrees that are available to prospective students in the New Kingman Butler AZ area:

  • Associate Degrees educate 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 be accepted for enrollment. The programs are usually offered by junior or community colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a component of the course of study.
  • Bachelor's Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist training to prepare students to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an essential initial step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor's degrees, they normally require four years to finish and often include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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). After earning the bachelor's degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to complete, making the total investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential component along with the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in a number of 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 eliminated and is no longer offered in the United States. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master's or even a bachelor's degree were "grandfathered" in before the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapist Degrees Online

New Kingman Butler Arizona female student taking physical therapy courses onlineAlthough not as common as the on-campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online portion of the program may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student's New Kingman Butler AZ residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition may be significantly less than comparable on-campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.

Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Programs

At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding a few of your preliminary queries, such as the type of physical therapy degree you intend to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are so many PT colleges within the New Kingman Butler AZ area and across Arizona, you'll need to look into additional qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of college choices. Moreover, you want to make sure that you pick the college that is ideal for you. That's why we have put together a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. Ask all of the potential schools these questions before making an ultimate decision.

Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited?  Find out if the schools you are reviewing have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As previously 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 school, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's imperative that both the physical therapist program and school you select are accredited, not just the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.

What is the College's Ranking? Along with accreditation, it's essential that the school and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can research a PT school's reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Contact several New Kingman Butler AZ physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your program options. It might also be a good idea to check with the Arizona Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? There are a two relevant statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might indicate that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the support of the school's job placement program, particularly in the New Kingman Butler AZ area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it's an indication that its reputation within the medical care field is good or even outstanding. It also confirms that the college has a wide network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs after graduation.

Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It's important that the college you choose provides both exceptional training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements for Arizona or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is needed 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, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.

Are Internships Provided? Ask if the physical therapist colleges you are evaluating have partnerships with New Kingman Butler AZ clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to obtain hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can help graduates and students develop professional relationships in the New Kingman Butler medical community and assist with job placement after licensing.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the physical therapist program as well.

Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy school they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their New Kingman Butler AZ home. Students who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.

Is Financial Support Provided? Most DPT schools offer some type of financial assistance to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are considering have a financial assistance department and see what kind of assistance is offered. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid may be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapist program you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the New Kingman Butler AZ area, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.

Learn More About New Kingman Butler Online Physical Therapist Degrees

Choose the Right New Kingman Butler Physical Therapy School

Picking the right physical therapist program is an important first decision you have to make to begin a gratifying career in the healthcare profession. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you pick should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are additional critical questions that you need to ask concerning your school of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapist program bear in mind that numerous factors will guide you toward your final decision. You might decide to go to each of the campuses to view their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me reach 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 options so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in New Kingman Butler Arizona.


 

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