Home >> Arizona >> Nogales >> Physical Therapy Degrees


Receive Free Info on Physical Therapy Degree Majors Nogales AZ 85621

How to Choose the Right Physical Therapist College Near Nogales Arizona

Nogales Arizona physical therapist working with woman using exercise ballReceiving a physical therapy degree near Nogales AZ is a critical first step to launching a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated as a result of injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the necessary education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it's necessary to evaluate the ones you are thinking about to make certain they will furnish a superior education and comply with your state's licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is select a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be considered along with location and cost. But before we talk about 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 Does a Physical Therapist Do?

Nogales Arizona physical therapist helping woman to walk

Physical therapists work in a variety of settings, such as Nogales AZ hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. 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 people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a course of treatment to address the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Strokes
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Sports injuries
  • Burn injuries
  • Knee Replacement
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Cerebral Palsy

Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Nogales AZ medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy field, it is quite 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 Offered

Nogales Arizona physical therapist working with patient in pool

There are three physical therapist degrees offered for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is available that qualifies the graduate to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief explanations of degrees that are available to prospective students in the Nogales 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 a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are usually offered by junior or community colleges, and require two 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 designed as pre-physical therapy education to prep candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor's degrees, they generally take four years to complete and often incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are mandated 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 commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an intregal component along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently 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 phased out and is no longer available in the USA. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master's or in some cases a bachelor's degree were "grandfathered" in before the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapist Online Colleges

Nogales Arizona female student taking physical therapist training onlineAlthough not as common as the on-campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapy programs available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online part of the curriculum can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student's Nogales AZ home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition can be significantly less than similar on-campus options, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.

Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges

By now you most likely have made a decision concerning a few of your preliminary queries, such as the type of physical therapist degree you intend to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are so many PT schools within the Nogales AZ area and across Arizona, you'll have to look into additional qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of college options. Furthermore, you want to make sure that you select the program that is ideal for you. That's why we have put together a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. Ask all of the potential schools these questions prior to making a final selection.

Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited?  Ask if the programs 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 program, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's essential that both the physical therapist school and program you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.

What is the Program's Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it's imperative that the school and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapy community. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT program's reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Contact a few Nogales AZ physical therapist centers or other health care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your college selections. It may also be a good idea to check with the Arizona Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.

What is the School's Job Placement Percentage? There are a two significant statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapy schools you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might mean that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the assistance of the school's job placement program, particularly in the Nogales AZ area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even excellent. It also confirms that the college has a wide network of contacts to assist students get internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It's imperative that the program you choose provides both superior training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria 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) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional exams.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapist colleges you are evaluating have relationships with Nogales AZ clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to receive practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist graduates and students establish professional connections in the Nogales healthcare community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the physical therapy program as well.

Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapy college they decide on will have to be within travelling distance of their Nogales AZ home. Students 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 importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Support Offered? Most DPT schools supply some type of financial support to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have a financial assistance office and find out what kind of assistance is obtainable. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. Some physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial aid might be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapy program you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Nogales AZ area, check 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 enroll in. Also, learn 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 Nogales Online Physical Therapy Majors

Enroll in the Right Nogales Physical Therapist School

Selecting the right physical therapy college is an important first decision you need to make to start a gratifying career in the medical field. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you decide on should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. However there are other relevant questions that you need to ask pertaining to your school of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapy college keep in mind that numerous variables will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You might want to go to each of the campuses to see their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college 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 field so you can make the best selection. And with the proper education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Nogales Arizona.


 

Nogales Physical Therapist Schools | Main | Nogales Physical Therapist Degrees