How to Enroll In a Physical Therapist Training Program near Calera 35040
Getting a physical therapist degree near Calera AL is an essential first step to launching a rewarding career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated as a result of illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the proper education and training. A PT must also become licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate those you are considering to ensure they will provide a superior education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is choose a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be considered along with location and cost. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of locations, such as Calera AL private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help patients 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 eradicate any pain. They also strive to prevent any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Calera AL health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degree Options
There are three physical therapy degrees offered for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short summaries of degrees that are offered in the Calera AL area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are most often offered by community colleges, and require 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually a component of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to ready students to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take four years to complete and usually include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to complete, making the overall investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an intregal component along with the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not just for graduation but in a number of 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 attainable in the USA. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Programs Online
While not as prevalent as the on-campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist programs available, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online part of the curriculum may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Calera AL residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition might be significantly lower than similar on-campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
By now you undoubtedly have come to decision concerning several of your initial questions, including the kind of physical therapist degree you want to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the Calera AL area and across Alabama, you’ll have to look into other qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of college choices. Moreover, you want to be sure that you choose the program that is right for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are thinking about. Ask all of the competing schools these questions before making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Ask if the schools you are considering have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As previously mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you choose an online school, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist program and school you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are several ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Get in touch with several Calera AL physical therapy clinics or other medical care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any advice about your school options. It may also be prudent to contact the Alabama 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 couple of important statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapy schools you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might indicate that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Calera AL area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care field is good or perhaps exceptional. It also verifies that the program has a wide network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you choose furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. Although licensing requirements fluctuate 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 supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the physical therapy programs you are interested in have associations with Calera AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to receive hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may assist graduates and students develop professional connections in the Calera healthcare community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist school they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Calera AL residence. Students who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern 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 college that is out of state or even 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 often charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Support Offered? The majority of DPT colleges provide some form of financial aid to their prospective students. Find out if the colleges you are considering have a financial assistance office and see what kind of aid is offered. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. A number of physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial assistance might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapist program you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Calera AL area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Calera Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Calera AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
As of the 2010 census the population had more than tripled to 11,620, making it the fastest-growing city in Alabama. It is within the Birmingham-Hoover, Alabama Metropolitan Statistical Area and positively affected by the growth in its economy.
Calera is located in southern Shelby County at 33°06′27″N 86°45′00″W / 33.107572°N 86.749964°W / 33.107572; -86.749964. The city limits extend southward into Chilton County along U.S. Route 31, the main highway through the city. Interstate 65 passes through the eastern side of the city, with access from exits 228, 231, and 234.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 24.4 square miles (63.1 km2), of which 24.1 square miles (62.4 km2) is land and 0.27 square miles (0.7 km2), or 1.17%, is water.
Enroll in the Best Physical Therapist Degree Program near Calera AL
Deciding on the best physical therapist program is a necessary first decision you have to make to launch a gratifying career in the medical profession. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you pick should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. But there are other important questions that you should ask regarding your school of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapy school, bear in mind that numerous variables will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You may decide to go to each of the schools to see their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me realize my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the right selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can fulfill your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Calera AL.
A Few More Interesting Locations in Alabama
Business Results 1 - 10 of 24