How to Choose a Physical Therapist College near Deatsville 36022
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near Deatsville AL is an important first step to starting a fulfilling career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated due to illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the appropriate education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research the ones you are thinking about to make certain they will provide a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is select a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be considered in addition to cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of settings, including Deatsville AL hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously mentioned, 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 design a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also try to stop any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Deatsville AL health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone considering going into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degree Options
There are 3 physical therapist degree options available for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the single degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short explanations of degrees that are available in the Deatsville AL area:
- Associate Degrees educate 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 equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are most often provided by community or junior colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a portion of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist training to prepare candidates to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they typically take four years to complete and often incorporate 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 three years to finish, making the overall investment of time seven years in most cases. Clinical training is an important element in addition to the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in some 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 licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Schools Online
While not as common as the more traditional alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapist programs offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the curriculum may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Deatsville AL home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition may be significantly less than comparable on campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
By now you most likely have made a decision concerning several of your preliminary questions, including the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are numerous PT colleges within the Deatsville AL area and throughout Alabama, you’ll need to research other qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of school choices. Furthermore, you want to make certain that you pick the program that is ideal for you. That’s why we have put together a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy schools you are thinking about. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Ask if the schools you are reviewing have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As earlier 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 program, it can 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. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Call a few Deatsville AL physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your college selections. 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 School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two important statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapy colleges you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may suggest that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Deatsville AL area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even outstanding. It also confirms that the college has a wide network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you choose furnishes both superior training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the physical therapist schools you are interested in have associations with Deatsville AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great 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 secondary benefit, they may assist students and graduates form professional connections in the Deatsville health care community and assist with job placement after licensing.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist college they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Deatsville AL home. Those who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Support Provided? The majority of DPT colleges offer some form of financial aid to their prospective students. Inquire if the schools you are considering have a financial aid department and find out what type of aid is obtainable. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. Some physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial assistance may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapist school you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Deatsville AL area, confirm that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Deatsville Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Deatsville AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Deatsville is a town in Elmore County, Alabama, United States. Although Deatsville initially incorporated in 1903, it lapsed at some point after the 1910 U.S. Census and did not appear again as incorporated until 2000. As of the 2010 census, the population was 1,154, up from 340 in 2000. Holtville High School is located near Deatsville.
Deatsville is located in western Elmore County at 32°35′38″N 86°23′36″W / 32.59389°N 86.39333°W / 32.59389; -86.39333 (32.593958, -86.393454). It is bordered to the west by Autauga County and to the south by the city of Millbrook.
Alabama State Route 143 passes through the center of Deatsville, leading northwest 22 miles (35 km) to Clanton and southeast 8 miles (13 km) to Elmore. Montgomery, the state capital, is 23 miles (37 km) to the south.
Select the Best Physical Therapy Degree Program near Deatsville AL
Picking the best physical therapist program is a necessary initial decision you have to make to begin a gratifying career in the medical profession. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you select should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are other critical questions that you should ask regarding your college of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapist school, keep in mind that a number of variables will lead you toward your final decision. You may want to visit each of the colleges to view their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me achieve my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the right choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can achieve your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Deatsville AL.
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