How to Enroll In a Physical Therapist Training Program near Fayette 35555
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Fayette AL is an important first step to beginning a rewarding career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated due to illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the appropriate education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate those you are thinking about to make certain they will supply a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is enroll in 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 need to be evaluated besides cost and location. But before we talk about 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 work in diverse locations, such as Fayette 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 diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they create a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Fayette AL medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about getting into 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 long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Offered
There are 3 physical therapy degree options offered for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the single degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief explanations of degrees that are offered in the Fayette AL area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are most often made available by community colleges, and require two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a portion of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy education to prep students to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically take 4 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 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 commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal component in addition to the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in some 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 available in the United States. Some licensed 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 instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Schools
While not as prevalent as the more traditional alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the curriculum may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Fayette AL residence. Online schools 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 reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
By now you probably have made a decision concerning several of your initial queries, like the type of physical therapy degree you intend to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are numerous PT colleges within the Fayette AL area and throughout Alabama, you’ll need to look into additional qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of school options. Also, you need to be sure that you choose the college that is best for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Find out if the programs you are looking at have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As earlier stated, 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 school, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist school and program you choose are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy community. There are several ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Get in touch with some Fayette AL physical therapy clinics or other medical care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your school options. It might also be prudent 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 couple of relevant statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapist schools you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might suggest that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Fayette AL area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or perhaps excellent. It also verifies that the college has a wide network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you choose provides both exceptional training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working. 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 program. Although licensing requirements differ 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 additional exams.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the physical therapist programs you are evaluating have associations with Fayette AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to obtain hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Fayette health care community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing 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 ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they pick will have to be within commuting distance of their Fayette AL residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often 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 Aid Provided? Most DPT schools supply some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at have a financial assistance department and see what kind of help is obtainable. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. A number of physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapist college you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Fayette AL area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Fayette Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Fayette AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Originally known as "La Fayette", it incorporated on January 15, 1821. When Fayette County was created in 1824, the town's name was officially changed to "Fayette Court House", though it was also known as "Fayetteville", which was the name shown on maps and on the U.S. Census in 1880 and 1890. It was officially shortened to "Fayette" in 1898.
As of the census of 2000, there were 4,922 people, 2,092 households, and 1,303 families residing in the city. The population density was 575.1 people per square mile (222.0/km²). There were 2,336 housing units at an average density of 273.0 per square mile (105.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 75.34% White, 23.38% Black or African American, 0.12% Native American, 0.28% Asian, 0.30% from other races, and 0.57% from two or more races. One percent of the population was Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 2,092 households out of which 26.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.2% were married couples living together, 14.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.7% were non-families. 35.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 19.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.20 and the average family size was 2.85.
Enroll in the Best Physical Therapist School near Fayette AL
Selecting the best physical therapist college is an important first decision you have to 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 college you enroll in should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. However there are other relevant questions that you should ask pertaining to your school of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapy college, keep in mind that many factors will lead you to your final decision. You might want to go to each of the schools to see their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me reach my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the proper education and training, you can fulfill your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Fayette AL.
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