How to Select a Physical Therapy School near Haleyville 35565
Receiving a physical therapist degree near Haleyville AL is an essential first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. 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 must get the proper training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to investigate those you are considering to make certain they will provide a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is select a school just because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be evaluated along with location and cost. 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 varying locations, such as Haleyville AL private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they develop a course of treatment to address the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Haleyville AL health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees
There are three physical therapist degrees offered for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief summaries of degrees that are offered in the Haleyville AL area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are typically offered by community or junior colleges, and take about two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a portion of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy education to prep candidates to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they generally require 4 years to complete and commonly incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement in order 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 total investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal component along with the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not solely 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 eliminated and is no longer offered in the USA. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Degrees
Although not as prevalent as the more traditional alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapy programs offered, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature 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 in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online portion of the course of study may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Haleyville AL home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition may be somewhat lower than comparable on-campus options, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online option the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning some of your initial questions, including the kind of physical therapy degree you want to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are so many PT colleges within the Haleyville AL area and across Alabama, you’ll need to research additional qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of college choices. Moreover, you want to be sure that you pick the program that is best for you. That’s why we have put together a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapist programs you are considering. Ask each of the potential schools these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Find out if the schools you are looking at have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As previously 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 college, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy school and program you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are several ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Get in touch with several Haleyville AL physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your school selections. It may also be prudent to contact the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapy colleges you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may indicate that students left due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Haleyville AL area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also affirms that the college has a broad network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you select provides both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria 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) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapist schools you are reviewing have associations with Haleyville AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to obtain 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 develop professional connections in the Haleyville healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Haleyville AL residence. Those who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry 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 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 generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Support Offered? The majority of DPT schools offer some type of financial assistance to their potential students. Ask if the schools you are considering have a financial aid department and find out what kind of assistance is available. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. Some physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapy school you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Haleyville AL area, verify that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Haleyville Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Haleyville AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Haleyville is a city in Winston and Marion counties in the U.S. state of Alabama. It incorporated on February 28, 1889. Most of the city is located in Winston County, with a small portion of the western limits entering Marion County. Haleyville was originally named Davis Cross Roads, having been established at the crossroads of Byler Road and the Illinois Central Railroad. At the 2010 census the population was 4,173, down slightly from 4,182 in 2000.
As of the census of 2000, there were 4,182 people, 1,815 households, and 1,148 families residing in the city. The population density was 563.9 people per square mile (217.6/km²). There were 2,061 housing units at an average density of 277.9 per square mile (107.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 94.81% White, 1.48% Black or African American, 0.17% Native American, 0.12% Asian, 2.68% from other races, and 0.74% from two or more races. 3.11% of the population were Latino of any race.
There were 1,815 households out of which 26.6% had children under the age of 52 living with them, 49.3% were married couples living together, 11.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.7% were non-families. 34.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.25 and the average family size was 2.87.
Enroll in the Right Physical Therapy Degree Program near Haleyville AL
Picking the right physical therapy program is a necessary first decision you have to make to start a rewarding career in the medical field. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you select should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. However there are additional critical questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapist school, bear in mind that many variables will guide you to your final decision. You may want to go to different colleges to view their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me achieve my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Haleyville AL.
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