How to Enroll In a Physical Therapy School near Geneva 36340
Earning a physical therapist degree near Geneva AL is an important first step to launching a fulfilling career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled due to illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the proper training and education. A PT must also become licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate those you are considering to ensure they will deliver a superior education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is enroll in a school 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 along with cost and location. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists work in a variety of locations, such as Geneva AL hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to address the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Geneva AL medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Available
There are three physical therapist degree options available for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short descriptions of degrees that are available in the Geneva AL area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are usually provided by community colleges, and require 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually a portion of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy training to ready candidates to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to complete and usually 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 also must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to finish, making the total commitment 7 years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal element in addition to the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Consequently 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 replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer attainable in the United States. A number of practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Online Colleges
While not as prevalent as the on campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapy programs available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the curriculum may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Geneva AL residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition might be significantly lower than comparable on campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
At this point you probably have made a decision regarding several of your initial questions, like the type of physical therapy degree you intend to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are numerous PT schools within the Geneva AL area and throughout Alabama, you’ll need to look into other qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of college options. Furthermore, you need to make certain that you select the school that is best for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. 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 select an online program, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy school and program you choose are accredited, not just the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist community. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Get in touch with a few Geneva AL physical therapist centers or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any advice about your college selections. 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 colleges.
What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two significant statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might indicate that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Geneva AL area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even exceptional. It also confirms that the program has a wide network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you choose provides both exceptional training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing criteria for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internships Offered? Find out if the physical therapist colleges you are evaluating have associations with Geneva AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to receive practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist graduates and students form professional relationships in the Geneva health care community and assist with job placement once licensed.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are considering what the typical teacher to student 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 an opportunity to converse with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they pick will have to be within commuting distance of their Geneva AL residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area 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 be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Most DPT colleges offer some form of financial support to their prospective students. Inquire if the schools you are examining have a financial aid office and find out what kind of help is offered. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. Some physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial aid might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapy college you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Geneva AL area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Geneva Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Geneva AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Geneva is a city in and the county seat of Geneva County, Alabama, United States. It was incorporated in 1875. It is part of the Dothan, Alabama Metropolitan Statistical Area. Since 1940, it has been the largest city of Geneva County, and had a population of 4,452 as of the 2010 census.
In late December 1862, the stern-wheel steamship Bloomer was in port on the Choctawhatchee River in Geneva. She was captured by a group of Union troops from the 91st New York Volunteers led by Lieutenant James H. Stewart. The Bloomer was then taken to Pensacola, Florida.
Geneva is located south of the center of Geneva County at 31°2′17″N 85°52′36″W / 31.03806°N 85.87667°W / 31.03806; -85.87667 (31.038181, -85.876677), at the confluence of the Pea River with the Choctawhatchee River. Alabama State Route 52 passes through the city north of downtown, leading northeast 11 miles (18 km) to Hartford and northwest 12 miles (19 km) to Samson. Dothan is 34 miles (55 km) to the northeast via Route 52. Alabama State Route 27 passes through the center of Geneva, leading north 22 miles (35 km) to Enterprise and southwest 5 miles (8 km) to the Florida border.
Select the Ideal Physical Therapy Training Program near Geneva AL
Deciding on the right physical therapy school is an important first decision you have to make to start a fulfilling career in the healthcare profession. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you enroll in should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. But there are other critical questions that you need to ask pertaining to your school of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapy school, keep in mind that a number of factors will guide you toward your final decision. You might want to go to different schools to view their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the ideal selection. And with the proper training and education, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Geneva AL.
A Few More Interesting Locations in Alabama