How to Enroll In a Physical Therapist School near Elba 36323
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near Elba AL is an essential first step to launching a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated 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 need to obtain the proper education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to investigate those you are considering to make certain they will provide a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is choose 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 location and cost. But before we cover what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists practice in varying locations, such as Elba 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 earlier touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they design a course of treatment to address the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also strive to stop any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Elba AL health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Available
There are three physical therapist degree options offered for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short descriptions of degree levels that are available in the Elba AL area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are most often offered by community or junior colleges, and require two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a component of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist education to ready candidates to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally require four years to finish and often incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required 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 complete, making the overall commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an intregal component along with the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not just 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 offered 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 mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Online Programs
Although not as common as the on-campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapy programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online part of the course of study may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Elba AL home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition might be significantly lower than comparable on campus options, and expenditures 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 option the right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
By now you probably have made a decision regarding several of your preliminary queries, such as the type of physical therapist degree you intend to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are numerous PT schools within the Elba AL area and across Alabama, you’ll need to explore other qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of school options. Moreover, you want to make sure that you select the college that is best for you. That’s why we have collected a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions prior to making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Find out if the schools you are looking at have earned accreditation from a regional or a national 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 select an online school, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist school and program you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Get in touch with a few Elba AL physical therapist clinics or other medical care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your school options. It might also be prudent to check with the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two important statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapist colleges you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might mean that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Elba AL area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care field is good or perhaps excellent. It also confirms that the college has a large network of contacts to help students gain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you enroll in furnishes both superior 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 needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internships Provided? Ask if the physical therapist programs you are reviewing have partnerships with Elba AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to obtain practical training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Elba healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist college they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Elba AL home. Students who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Aid Offered? The majority of DPT colleges offer some form of financial aid to their prospective students. Ask if the colleges you are examining have a financial aid office and see what kind of help is available. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapist school you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Elba AL area, make sure 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 need 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 Elba Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Elba AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Elba is a city in Coffee County, Alabama, United States. At the time of the 2010 U.S. census, its population was 3,940. Elba is part of the Enterprise micropolitan statistical area. Elba is the official county seat of Coffee County, though there are two county courthouses, with the other one being located in the town of Enterprise.
The town which eventually became Elba originated near a ferry across the Pea River in the early 1830s. Originally called Bridgeville, a U.S. post office was established in the town by 1841. In 1851, a lottery to determine a new name for the town was held. One citizen had been reading a biography of Napoleon Bonaparte, and his suggestion of "Elba" as its name was the winner when it was drawn from a hat before any of the other suggestions. Elba became the county seat of Coffee County in 1852.
A logging railroad first reached Elba on March 20, 1892, with the first permanent rail line arriving in October 1898. The "Dorsey Trailer Company" was constructed at the end of this railroad line, and this company manufactured the highway trailers that served on railroads and highways starting with the piggyback railroad or containerized cargo boom of the second half of the 20th century. The new railroad line ended in West Elba, where the "New Town" industrial section of the town was located. The Seaboard System Railroad ceased all railroad service to Elba, including freight service, on November 27, 1984.
Choose the Best Physical Therapist School near Elba AL
Deciding on the ideal physical therapy college is an important initial decision you must make to begin a gratifying career in the healthcare profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you decide on should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. However there are other relevant questions that you need to ask regarding your college of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapy college, keep in mind that many variables will guide you to your final decision. You might decide to visit different campuses to view their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me realize 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 options so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can fulfill your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Elba AL.
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