How to Choose a Physical Therapy Training Program near Walnut Grove 35990
Getting a physical therapist degree near Walnut Grove AL is an important first step to starting a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled as a result of illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the appropriate education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate those you are looking at to ensure they will furnish a superior education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is enroll in a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be considered besides cost and location. But before we discuss 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?
Physical therapists work in a variety of locations, including Walnut Grove AL hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help people that are struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to address the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to prevent any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Walnut Grove AL health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone thinking about entering 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 prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Offered
There are three physical therapist degrees available for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief explanations of degrees that are available in the Walnut Grove AL area:
- Associate Degrees train students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are most often provided by community colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a portion of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy education to prep students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they normally take 4 years to complete and often include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated in order 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 7 years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal element along with the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, not solely 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 phased out and is no longer available in the USA. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Online Schools
Although not as prevalent as the on campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist degrees available, more so 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 in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online part of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Walnut Grove AL home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition can be significantly less than similar on campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages may make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
By now you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding a few of your preliminary questions, including the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the Walnut Grove AL area and throughout Alabama, you’ll have to explore other qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of college options. Also, you need to be sure that you pick the program that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering. Ask each of the competing schools these questions before making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are looking at have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As earlier mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctorate 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 receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist school and program you select are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Call some Walnut Grove AL physical therapist centers or other medical care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your college options. It may also be a good idea to contact the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two useful statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapist colleges you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may mean that students dropped out because of 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 college’s job placement program, particularly in the Walnut Grove AL area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps excellent. It also affirms that the program has a broad network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you choose furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria for Alabama or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. Although licensing requirements fluctuate 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 reviewing have relationships with Walnut Grove AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great way to receive hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may help graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Walnut Grove health care community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are looking at 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 a chance to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy college they decide on will need to be within travelling distance of their Walnut Grove AL residence. Individuals who have opted 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 bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Most DPT colleges supply some type of financial aid to their prospective students. Ask if the schools you are examining have a financial aid department and find out what type of help is obtainable. They at least should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. Some physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial aid might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapist college you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Walnut Grove AL area, confirm that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Walnut Grove Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Walnut Grove AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Walnut Grove, Alabama
Walnut Grove is a town in Etowah County, Alabama, United States. It is part of the Gadsden Metropolitan Statistical Area. At the 2010 census the population was 698. From 1880 until the 1960 U.S. Census, with the exclusion of 1890 when no figure was reported, Walnut Grove had the distinction of being the least populated community wholly within Etowah County. It lost that distinction in 1970 to newly incorporated Ridgeville which has held the title since.
Walnut Grove was part of Blount County before it was included in Baine County (now Etowah) in 1866. Walnut Grove was settled by the Battles family in 1813, the Morton family, and the Carnes family (namesake of the Carnes Chapel area near the ghost town of Bennettsville off of US 278) in 1823. Around 1825, the town was known as "Thomas Crossroads", after landowner Jordan D. Thomas. In 1848, the town was named "Cornelius", after postmaster Harvey Cornelius. In 1849, it was renamed "Walnut Grove".
The first college preparatory school for males and females in northeast Alabama was established by act of Legislature in 1884. The Walnut Grove College ran for 15 years, and during the college's peak the town had grown to have 13 stores, including a drug store with a soda fountain. The Walnut Grove College closed in 1899 as high schools were being established in Etowah County.
Pick the Best Physical Therapist College near Walnut Grove AL
Picking the best physical therapist college is an important first decision you need to make to begin a rewarding career in the healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you enroll in should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. However there are additional critical questions that you should ask pertaining to your college of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapist school, bear in mind that numerous factors will guide you toward your final decision. You might want to visit different colleges to view their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me achieve my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the proper training and education, you can achieve your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Walnut Grove AL.
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