How to Pick a Physical Therapist Degree Program near Millport 35576
Getting a physical therapist degree near Millport AL is a critical first step to starting a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated as a result of injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the proper education and training. A PT must also become licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate the ones you are thinking about to ensure they will furnish a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is enroll in a college just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be evaluated besides cost and location. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists work in a variety of locations, such as Millport 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 the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they create a program of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Millport AL health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone considering entering the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Available
There are three physical therapy degrees available for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the single degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short summaries of degrees that are offered in the Millport AL area:
- Associate Degrees train students to become physical therapy assistants, or can 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 degrees are typically made available by community colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a portion of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist education to ready candidates to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement 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 finish and commonly incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated in order to become a practicing licensed physical therapist. The degree program also must 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 total investment of time 7 years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an important element along with the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not only 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 phased out and is no longer offered in the USA. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Schools Online
While not as common as the on-campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapist programs available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college 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 Millport AL home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition can be somewhat less than similar on-campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
By now you probably have come to decision regarding some of your preliminary questions, like the type of physical therapy degree you would like to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are so many PT colleges within the Millport AL area and throughout Alabama, you’ll need to explore other qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of college choices. Moreover, you want to make sure that you select the school that is right for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are thinking about. Ask each of the potential schools these questions before making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As earlier mentioned, 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 school, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist program and school you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are several ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, beginning 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. Contact several Millport AL physical therapy centers or other medical care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any advice 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 colleges.
What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of significant statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapist colleges you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might indicate that students left due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Millport AL area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even excellent. It also affirms that the school has a wide network of contacts to help students get internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you select furnishes both excellent training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is required 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 amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapist schools you are evaluating have relationships with Millport AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to get practical training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can assist students and graduates establish professional connections in the Millport health care community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Millport AL home. Students who have chosen to attend classes online obviously 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 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 have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? The majority of DPT schools offer some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid office and find out what type of aid is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. A number of physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial aid may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapy program you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Millport AL area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Millport Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Millport AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Millport is a town in Lamar County, Alabama, United States. It incorporated in 1887. At the 2010 census the population was 1,049, down from 1,160 in 2000. After its incorporation from 1890-1900, it was the largest town in Lamar County, losing the distinction to Sulligent. Since 1940, it has been the 3rd largest town.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,160 people, 495 households, and 328 families residing in the town. The population density was 213.7 people per square mile (82.5/km²). There were 561 housing units at an average density of 103.3 per square mile (39.9/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 65.52% White, 33.97% Black, 0.09% Native American, and 0.43% from two or more races.
There were 495 households out of which 28.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.1% were married couples living together, 16.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.7% were non-families. 32.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.34 and the average family size was 2.96.
Pick the Right Physical Therapist School near Millport AL
Deciding on the right physical therapy school is an important first decision you have to make to start a rewarding career in the health care profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you enroll in should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are additional relevant questions that you need to ask regarding your college of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapist program, bear in mind that many factors will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You may want to go to each of the schools to view their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me achieve my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the best choice. And with the proper training and education, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Millport AL.
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