How to Enroll In a Physical Therapist College near Camden 36726
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Camden AL is a critical first step to starting a rewarding career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated due to illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the proper training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate the ones you are considering to ensure they will supply a quality education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is select a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important 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 the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in a variety of locations, including Camden AL private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help people that are struggling with a lack of mobility and often pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to address the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Camden AL medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone considering entering the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees
There are three physical therapy degree options available for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is offered to practice as 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 summaries of degrees that are available in the Camden AL area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are typically provided by community or junior colleges, and require 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically part of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist training to prepare candidates to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they typically take 4 years to finish 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 complete, making the overall investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an intregal element along with the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in a number of states for licensing as well.
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 United States. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Degrees Online
Although not as common as the on-campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapy degrees 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 necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the program can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Camden AL home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition can be somewhat less than similar on-campus options, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
By now you probably have come to decision concerning a few of your initial queries, such as the type of physical therapist degree you would like to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are so many PT colleges within the Camden AL area and across Alabama, you’ll need to look into additional qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of college options. Furthermore, you need to be sure that you enroll in the school that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist programs you are thinking about. Ask all of the competing schools these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Find out if the schools you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. 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 select an online program, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy school and program you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapy community. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT college’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Call a few Camden AL physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your college selections. It might 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 School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of important statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may mean that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Camden AL area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also affirms that the school has a wide network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you enroll in provides both exceptional 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 therapy school. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the physical therapist schools you are evaluating have associations with Camden AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent means 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 students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Camden medical community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they select will need to be within driving distance of their Camden AL home. Individuals who have chosen to attend online classes naturally 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 college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Support Offered? The majority of DPT schools supply some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Ask if the schools you are considering have a financial aid office and find out what kind of assistance is offered. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. Some physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial aid might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapist school you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Camden AL area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Camden Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Camden AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
What is now Camden was established on property donated by Thomas Dunn from his plantation holdings in order to have a new town founded on the site in 1833 to serve as the county seat. Dunn's Federal style house, built in 1825, is the oldest documented house in the town. The first county seat was in the community of Canton Bend.
The county seat was moved in 1833 to Barboursville, later renamed Camden. It had been named Barboursville in honor of United States Congressman Philip Barbour of Virginia. Incorporated in 1841, Camden was renamed by local physician John D. Caldwell in honor of his hometown of Camden, South Carolina.
The area depended on cultivation of cotton as a commodity crop, which was worked by numerous African-American slaves. The earliest documented industries in the town were a brickyard, sawmill, and window fabricator. The Camden Phenix was the town's earliest known newspaper. Townspeople founded a girls' school in 1844, the Wilcox Female Seminary and Female Institute, whose red-brick Greek-Revival style building was constructed from 1845–50. In 1976 the former school was adapted to house the Wilcox County Historical Society.
Pick the Best Physical Therapy Training Program near Camden AL
Deciding on the ideal physical therapy program is an important initial decision you must make to launch a fulfilling career in the health care field. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you enroll in should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. But there are additional important questions that you need to ask regarding your school of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapist college, bear in mind that many variables will guide you to your ultimate decision. You might want to visit different campuses to see their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the ideal selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can achieve your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Camden AL.
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